Something of a star in his native Belgium, Henri Pieffer — aka Henri PFR — has been working his way towards the Top 100 DJs chart for some time. He initially broke through in 2013 with the wildly popular ‘La Belle Musique Mixtape: Summer Memories’ DJ mix and has been on an upward trajectory ever since.
2019 marks his first appearance in the Top 100 chart, which seems a fitting conclusion to a year that has included a string of crossover hits, most notably Belgian chart-topper ‘Going On’, some big remixes (Chainsmokers, Offenbach) and a hectic gig schedule. The thing Pieffer is most proud of, though, is his new role as a goodwill ambassador for Unicef. “I went on a humanitarian mission to the Ivory Coast and the trip deeply changed me,” he explains. “This is why I’m organising a big charity event in Belgium next year from which all profits will go to the construction of schools and sanitary infrastructure in the Ivory Coast. If any of the other Top 100 DJs are willing to help, please get in touch.”
Do you submit your DJ setlists to the relevant royalties collecting society?
“Yes, this is part of my management’s responsibilities.”
What more can we do to combat the mental health crisis in our scene?
“Starting the debate is a great thing if we can get people in need to seek help. Even the biggest stars have ups and downs. The most important thing is not to be alone.”
Are you personally doing anything to improve the gender balance of line-ups?
“There’s a serious gender balance problem in the industry. There are a lot of very talented female DJs that do not get the attention they deserve. I’m glad that things are starting to change though, and I’m so proud of my compatriot Charlotte de Witte for initiating that change.”
What changes have you made this year to be more environmentally friendly?
“It starts with changing little daily habits. For instance, I bought reusable drinking bottles for my team so that we could ban the use of plastic bottles on tour, and I traded my old car for much more environmentally friendly Volvo Hybrid. We’re also trying to favour trains over plane, but since it’s not always possible, we started the discussion with an association on how to calculate and compensate totally my CO2 footprint.”
What was your favourite toy when you were a kid?
“When I was little, I had a Lego fortified castle! I spent hours and hours creating stories, each more crazy than the previous one!”
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Video games! It helps my creativity between studio sessions, because it allows me to reduce the pressure and focus on something else before starting fresh.”