Ahead of her headline slot for Pan-Pot’s first ever Second State label showcase in London on 26th March, DJ Mag sits down with French visionary Miss Kittin, to talk sexism in dance music, her long and fruitful 20-year career, and what she'd most like to change about the industry...
Hello Miss Kittin! Whereabouts are you today?
"I am home packing as I am moving to another place, decorating the new place all together. I was supposed to have 3 months off, but didn’t really work out… Desperately need some vacation!"
And what’s the weather like?
"Rainy and stormy, with sunrays in between."
You’ve reached 20 years in dance music – what’s your secret to such amazing longevity?
"First, I never expected such a longevity. I always knew things can stop any day so I am enjoying every second of it, with a lot of gratitude and respect. Let’s say I am not obsessed with the music world, I do it with integrity, discipline and passion, but I have a rich life outside, helps to keep the mind clear, good intuition and inspiration. I have no secret, just feet on the ground. And a constant need of intellectual stimulation, maybe a bit too much, I am bored very quickly. You can call it "mental hyper-activity". Believe me it’s a burden!"
We’ve just released a special Women In Dance Music edition of DJ Magazine – do you think dance music has come far enough in creating equal opportunities for women during your time?
"Just by making a Women In Dance Music edition, obviously not. Otherwise we wouldn’t have to talk about it, again and again. Thank God there’s an evolution, just by seeing the amount of women here today who can express their creativity. But we can’t say opportunities are equal. Salaries are not equal for a start, big taboo. It’s a far bigger picture, look around you. Unconsciously, most people think women can’t do things better than men, especially when technical or business skills are required. Men still occupy the highest positions, in the music industry, in line-ups too. But I still consider myself lucky to live in a part of the world where I can be who I want to be and express myself freely. I am thankful for it everyday and think about all oppression around the world."
Who do you think is to blame for the gender gap in dance music? Promoters? Fans? Label Managers? Or is it just a reflection of the inequality of the real world?
"Collective unconsciousness, centuries of traditions and clichés, as I said, a reflection of this world. I can understand when men, having the comfortable position, don’t really want things to change. And I think it explains a lot of the violence in the world."
You’ve consistently worked with The Hacker during your career – if you could choose anyone, past or present, to work with you for the next 20, who would you choose?
"It would be him, even if we have this "open relationship" in music. He is my brother and always will be, you only meet such a partner once in your life, so I couldn’t think about (working with) anyone else. What we have is stronger than just a love story, even though we never were together in private."
What’s you’ve got planned for the year ahead? Any new music or collaborations we should know about?
"I released a lot of collaborations in the last year so I need to slow down. But I still have a few in the pipeline: we are finishing our next EP with Dubfire on Sci-Tec, coming up before the summer. I have another great project coming up with Martinez Brothers, and in France I am supporting the debut album of Fils du Calvaire, the French project of D.O.P. But I really need to finalise my own EP — it's a series of club tracks I’ve been working on for a long time. I also continue to do songwriting for other artists, which is what I am pushing for for the future."
If you could change one thing about the music industry – what would you choose and why?
"I would destroy social media and see who is real. It’s kind of sad it became the barometer of success. Easy to fake who you are, embellish reality, buy followers, hire publicists to build up your image and career — music is just used as a way to be famous. I would be curious to see who would step out without this game. We knew the most talented are not the most successful, it's become extreme lately. Social media is insanely addictive... so it would do good to live without it for a while."
The French scene seems to be going from strength-to-strength at the moment — with the likes of Bromance and Ed Banger still at the top of their game — are you excited by what you’re hearing from fellow French musicians?
"Of course. Beyond the French glamour, it’s complicated to be a French musician; our country is such a land of culture, food, wine, art, literature and so on, there’s not much space for music. That’s why most of us started to shine outside our own land. I think the success of Bromance or Ed Banger comes from that international vision, this open mind of digesting all kinds of influences and turning it into something else. I am very proud of them, we have more things in common that it seems."
Who should be on our radar music-wise — who is getting you really excited?
"I am a big fan of Matrixxman, I love his personality and his music of course. We started working on some ideas together. I also love Mike Servito as a DJ. (There is) a great dynamic of people who manage to transform the sounds I grew up with into something completely modern, comforting and futuristic at the same time. We had our revolution, it would be too ambitious to expect a new one inside electronic music, so we can be happy to experience a generation able to reinvent what we had and take it further."
Catch Miss Kittin spin with Pan-Pot at Studio Spaces on 26th March for their Second State label showcase, alongside an all-star cast of DJs including Stephan Hinz, Michael Klein, Miss Kittin, Clint Stewart and Reason Y.