The Queen of the « Queen club » : Diva Avari originally from Boston: why did you move to the romantic & fashion city Paris ?
I used to model and work in the atelier for Boston Designer Geoffrey B. Small……I would come do the defile in Paris and each time it was harder too leave….
Boston is similar to Paris as it being a large city with a small village of people on the move; so I decided to pack my things and jump into the bigger pond. I also felt at home as if I knew Paris the first day I set foot….maybe in another incarnation?
Is it true that you start your singer and dancer career officially at Palace with David & Cathy Guetta parties?
Yes, I was actually a go-go dancer when I first arrived….it wasn’t till I started to speak french that I could tell them I sing as well…..I did quite a few parties with the Guetta’s at Palace & Les Bains Douches….I have many fond memories of that period of Parisian nightlife
1997 is officially the year of your first successful production“Lady Marmelade“ (Patty Labelle cover)
What has been your most successful songs/ releases since then ?
I would say 2006- Don’t Go was my first real commercial success……then 2017- was a very good year with Purple Music with Your Love, Rhythm is a dancer, and Live your Life. The dark horse has been Fuckin Bitch…..this song has been played over the world for the last 17 years and is the reason I’m so popular in Eastern Europe and Russia
A typical Sunday for Diva Avari is……..
Sunday is my day off to rest/recover from the weekend(if I go out) and also the day I take to make an occasional mix for my Soundcloud… I like to share different kinds of music with people.
Do you still like the nightlife in Paris ? which are your favourite place to go out?
Nightlife has changed so much in the last 23 years…….people aren’t as open and fun anymore. Young people seem sad and/or aggressive sitting in groups texting on their phones. I want to shake them and say lighten up, put the phone down and enjoy your youth while you can. There are thankfully a few places where you can actually enjoy music and dance. I only go out for special occasions and two different parties form time-to-time; MONA , a house party with a disco floor and house floor with fierce voguing…….then there’s Madame Klaude a special disco ball. Both have all ages and a public that appreciates good music & vibes
Have you got any « life motto » ?
Actually have two!
1) Live Your Life in the moment
2) Be yourself because it’s too tiring trying to be something you’re not
We have released three great songs from you together with producer Samy K & The French House Mafia how did u start your collaboration with him/them ?
We were introduced in 2004 by 2 separate friends at Banana Cafe where he used to Dj and at Club News Records where he worked…..I had recorded Fuckin Bitch in Estonia with Dj Raul Saaremets in 2001 and had been trying to get it signed with Tony Humphries but it took so long to find time to actually make it happen so fate brought me Samy. While recording our first track ” Feel the Chocho”…. I let him listen to it to see if he’d want to re-do it with me. Fourteen years later we’re still going strong!
If you could live in another place of the world where would it be and why ?
Good question……Paris is my home …..I’m too old to start over with another language lol.
But If I had to got back to the States…..I’d probably move to Chicago… I really like that city it’s got a-lot of different cultural ethnicities and the nightlife is the bomb> I actually got to see Frankie Knuckles before he passed>>>it was a pure night of musical delight
where are you performing at the moment?
I perform all over the world… I just got back from 2 concerts New Years Night in Riga, Latvia.
what are your next projects?
Today, I’m in the studio with Samy for our next track. Next week, I’ll be recording a commercial dance track with DJ Axel Bampton.
Coming soon The French House Mafia will produce a duet with myself and disco diva Carol Jiani…..excited for that!
- When did u start your dj carrer?
In 1995, my career started as resident DJ “Tricasse” a nightbar in the center of the city of Troyes, France. I played imported Deep & Soulful House vinyls, that I went to buy every month in Paris (Discoparnasse shop) or Auxerre (Attitude shop) more than 100 km from my home. At this time we had to move to buy music.
- which were the most famous clubs where you have played?
In Paris, at Queen, Elysée Montmartre, Nouveau Casino, Folie’s Pigalle, Gibus, Bains Douches, L’Enfer, Studio 287… In Moscow, at La Fabrique and Le Casino Europe, Twist Club in Miami , Patipa in Kiev, Séduction Discothèque in Tallinn, In Poland (Roentgen, Kokon club, Lemadame), In Tunisia (Calypso, Odéon), in Switzerland (VIP Club, Velvet), in Portugal (Living Opera)…
- why /when did you decide to become a producer?
Like every DJ, I dreamed about producing a vinyl and making a full club of people dance to my own music. I really had a passion for House Music and all my mentors in this genre of underground music, were both DJ & Producer themselves. So to me it was evident that I should follow their example… I released my first EP : Samy K – “Party Time” in 2000.
- When did you start your collaboration with Diva Avari?
My first collaboration with Diva Avari was in 2005 with a track I produced with Jean-Phi Sanchez for Banana Café (Paris) : “Feel The Chocho”. When I recorded Diva, she made a so sexy vocal just in front of me that I stayed under the shock : so impressed with her amazing voice.
But I really discovered her potential and who she was…once I began to play with her for live shows in clubs; on stage she is the Queen!
- What about Purple Music?
I saw and heard Jamie Lewis for the first time in Ibiza in 2003, during an outdoor party he made with DJ Pippi. That crazy night, he played his amazing hit “The Light” Feat Michelle Weeks… Ever since, I am a big fan of him so I support (buy/play) his music in my DJ Sets.
Since 2016, we’re very happy to be part of the Purple Family : “Your Love”, “Rhythm Is A Dancer”, “Live Your Life”… Our music is being played by DJ’s all over the world (even in South Corea) so we are really proud of it
It’s also an opportunity for us to make some great musical collaborations with other Purple Artists like Jamie Lewis, Selva Basaran, Rob Hayes…
We wish to have a long collaboration with Purple Music
- what inspires you for a new production?
DISCO FUNK & HOUSE all around me
New production starts with a good hook that inspires me, a loop groovy enough that I can see in my mind a gogo dancing on the podium; which means there is something I can do with this. Ideas can really come from anywhere. Our approach is to make old school music using the most recent technology.
And for sure, Diva Avari’s voice is very inspiring by itself. She’s also able to write lyrics, find melodies and record her own backing vocals. Which are all real avantages for building good accapellas…
- Are you a part of the French House Mafia team?
Yes, I am the Dj half of the team. Since 2008 : I make the beats, research sounds, do vocal editing, arrangement of the track.
The other half of French House Mafia is my music partner, since the beginning, Lutz Volcano. He is a multi-task man : guitarist, bassist, composer, sound engineer but also an excellent artistic director. We do all production together.
But neither he nor I are singers…that’s why we launched in 2016 the band : “Diva Avari & The French House Mafia”
We also collaborate with other french artists like Francesco Soares, Tommy Glasses… We all share the same passion for House Music
- If you would win the lottery what will you do?
I love France but I think I’d move to Ibiza to live, staying there most of the time. I am in love with this crazy island. I would buy a nice villa with swimming pool to receive my friends and for sure an amazing studio for working on my music.
- Which are your favorite places in Paris to go out for clubbing?
Djoon : it is not a big place but the music there is one of the best in Paris, if you like Deep & Soulful like me. They recently received artists like Sandy Rivera, Little Louis Vega …
But to be honest, I go clubbing in Paris less and less, mostly from lack of time.
- What are you music plans for the 2018?
In the beginning of this year, we plan to finish 2 new, very exciting productions for “Diva Avari & The French House Mafia” : which are well on their way…
There’s also another project we’ve had in mind for several months now…
We’re preparing a new special Purple Liveshow for clubs: 1 Singer (DIVA AVARI) + 1 DJ (SAMY K) + 1 Guitarist (LUTZ VOLCANO) : 100% Live playing their Purple tracks
We are very excited about it !
- EXACTLY ONE YEAR AGO YOU HAVE BEEN NOMINATED AT THE GRAMMY MUSIC AWARD IN L.A.!!HOW ABOUT THIS YEAR?
Last year . my studio Partner Ben Mühlethaler and I have been nominated for PRINCE best engineered Album “HIT N RUN PHASE TWO” .I ‘m so thankful to PRINCE for the great collaboration and the unique opportunity he gave me .David Bowie Album got the price but for me being there was an AMAZING experience especially when Bruno Mars gave his tribute to PRINCE it was a big emotion for all people there!! This year I got the invitation to participate in New York: USA see u soon!!
- YOUR RECORD LABEL PURPLE MUSIC CELEBRATES 21 YEAR NOW WHAT HAVE BEEN THE RECENT HIGHLIGHTS?
We are proud and happy of our great Artists, singers and producers we count over 500 releases now and between BIGS & ICONS like PRINCE(R.i.p.) Cerrone, Giorgio Moroder, Pino d Angio’ ,Jocelyn Brown,India, we have released many of the most famous and greatest artists of the international House & underground music scene such as, Kraze, Sandy Rivera, Bob Sinclar, Dimitri from Paris, David Penn, Djaimin, Seb Skalski,Yass, Michelle Weeks, Michael Watford, Ann Nesby, Lt Brown,Natasha Watts,Kim Cooper,Keith Thompson, Darryl D Bonneau, Dr Feelx(R.i.p.) just to name a few ones. Few months ago we finally launched a new branch PURPLE DISCO RECORDS : I’ m very happy about it because we came from the disco music and we are releasing very nice songs also originals.it’s amazing how disco music still works good and is something completely new for the new generation !We had really a big impact with the first releases by DIVA AVARI FRENCH HOUSE MAFIA, DISCOROCKS, WALTERINO(11 weeks in the top 5 @Nudiscotop100 Traxsource) and the new one by MATT D & CLAUDIO DEEPER We signed new talents for Purple Music and we are excited about the forthcoming projects
- WHERE ARE YOU PLAYING MOST AT THE MOMENT?
I ‘m travelling constantly mostly in Europe at the moment , mostly Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Spain., Portugal,Albania
- JAMIE LEWIS AND THE SOCIAL NETWORKS
I ‘m using a lot Facebook and twitter and got recently an account on INSTAGRAM: It’ s funny with only 1 photo I got thousands of followers….I think nowadays is important to be present on the majority of socials as things have changed so you must be very fast and smart using them!
- WHAT IS THE NEXT MUSIC FESTIVAL/MEETINGS WHERE WE GONNA MEET YOU AND PURPLE MUSIC?
We will be in MIAMI for the WMC as always with our own party and for sure at ADE in Amsterdam where we have recently celebrated our 10th year s anniversary Party !!We have also some work in progress projects for Ibiza… I will let u know soon!!
- HOW MUCH TIME YOU INVEST IN THE STUDIO SESSION?
I don’t’ have a regularly studio session time…sometime I ‘m working on 3 projects at the same time it depends: sometime I ‘m also more inspired and I spend day and night in the studio
- PURPLE MUSIC DID A SPECIAL PARTY WEEK WITH COSTA CROCIERE LAST JUNE: WHAT CAN U TELL US ABOUT THIS SPECIAL EVENT?
It was amazing. We had a great time djing on the deck or in the club of the boat, we invited Dj Meme from Brazil, Selva Basaran from Istanbul, the Italian Alex G and Kim Cooper performed live our songs “Mo Butter”,”So Sexy”,”Obsession”…The route was to the Greek islands…we had really a fabulous time not only with parties but we made also interesting excursion in all islands…we look forward to the next one!!
- CAN U TELL US ABOUT YOUR NEXT RELEASES?
For Purple Music I ‘m finishing the new Cookys 11, and 3 new productions almost funky disco & deep
- ONE OF YOUR FAVOURITE CLASSIC SONG?
They are a lots but for sure a big classic for me is “Ain’t no mountain high enough”
- AFTER ALMOST 28 YEARS AS PROFESSIONAL DJ, DO YOU THINK THAT THE DJ LIFE IS STILL EXCITING AS BEFORE? Absolutely. (especially if you are in the right club )Of course we get older and the clubbers are younger but it’s always nice to make people happy with music and I love to see people dancing with my music
- Nikos where are you from?
I was born in a small town called Egio. The last 20 years I live in Athens.
- When or why did you choose to become a dj?
Late 80s, I was working as a teacher in Yamaha music school but my need to express myself was not completed. Having already a pretty big record collection, instead of spending my free time djing at home, I thought of giving it a try professionally. It was the time that house scene was born and I became a fan from the very first tune.
- You do top re-mixes, but you also produce new stuff: where do you express more yourself?
Both ways. In my remixes, I use the basic idea from the original but I work on it under a different prospect and at the end it is like I compose a new track.
- You have released for us a new single Marimba & Drums & a great Remix of « Rescue me » by Tee Jay Walton that will be released soon : we think this is one of the best remix we have ever heard : what has inspired you?
Thank you! Both tracks give a sense of summer and summer in Greece is an inspiration itself!
- Where are you playing more ?
I am playing mainly all over Greece. My gigs abroad are not so many yet but I make my moves for a stronger presence soon.
- This year has been probably the worst in the Greek economy : but despite it we know it was a great year for you, how did you do it ?
My country is facing a very difficult financial crisis as a part of a global crisis and I wish for the best. For me, the last 5 years are really creative and efficient and I think this is a cause of hard work in combination with the fact that I am very consistent on the music I create and the music I play. I do not follow every music flow and this is something that people like and support.
- The most beautiful woman is :
- You are one of the few Greek house music producers known internationally :what’s the reason why there are not a lot of greek producers in the music scene ?
Electronic music is still an infant in Greece. I am one of the lucky ones who got involved with it very soon. For the last 5-6 years many new house producers have appeared and I am sure some of them will be known soon. After all, Ilias Tzikas, Dousk, G. Pal, Alex Dimou, Dj Angelo, Thodoris Triantafyllou, H@K, Cj Jeff, Chris Deepak, Mihalis Safras are some of the greek names who live in Greece, but with a strong international presence. You see, we are not so few compared to our population..:-)
- What do you have in the pipeline ?
I have multiple projects running, originals and remixes. One of my priorities this year is to build my profile abroad.
- If you would win a one year trip where would you go ?
Wherever I will be able to find beautiful beaches, nice food and two good speakers!
- ALEX we have just released « LOVE RESPECT» your new production along with our friend and artist DR FEELX who unexpected passed away(R.I.P) how is this project born ?
The idea of « LOVE RESPECT» has been taken from same vocals that Felix and I didn’t use for another project, a pretty old school track ,so i thought to use them on the new music project to see the effect and Felix loved it as soon as he heard it he added a refrain text and proposed it to Purple Music
- Did you collaborate a lot with Dr Feelx ?what can u tell us about him?How will u remember him ?
We start our collaboration in 2014 ,he liked my productions and i liked his voice, perfect for my music genre :we have been on the same wavelenght ,not only to work together but also we had a lot of character in common. Of Feelix I will always remember his availability not only to me but also to all those who he knew :he was like a volcano:we had not finished track that I received his phone call with a new idea that he would soon realize. If I had any doubts he was saying no worries “you are a master & you will definitely develop the production”. We have done 9 productions and some of them have still to be released We wanted to present this club house project we were working on for about two years, and just the day before he passed away, he told me that he had taken some contacts for summer 2017 in Ibiza, and he would have to call me after the weekend to talk about it and confirm everything
- You were born as a DJ or as a producer? Tell us something about yourself.
I was born as a musician 1990 it took over the passion of the DJ, then after 7 years I go back to the old musician origins and approach to the world of production continuing to djing.
- What are the best House clubs in your region?
Here in Tuscany we do not have many clubs for house music, the only one that comes to my mind is the Tenax in Florence, but up to 8-10 years ago we had many more’, to mention one where I played for some time “the Fitzcarraldo S. Giovanni Valdarno,” or another one where I live was the Kama Kama, and going back in time also “La Cicala”
- What are your future plans ?
My future plans are to continue to make music more on the house scene, I have several productions in the pipeline, things that could be suitable for Purple Music, but at the moment I cannot say more
- Do you play any instruments ?
Yes as I told you I was born as musician, my instrument is the keyboard (synth)…. I like especially the analogue, I’ m always looking for the old synths used in the 80’s, in my studio you can find the historians Roland, Korg, Yamaha, Akai,
- LOVE IS…
Love is born from an idea of Dr Feelx he wanted to do a song in the style of “Nerio’s Dubwork feat. Darryl Pandy – Sunshine & Happiness” and has as a reference the end sounds 70s early 80s, in my personal taste top club music time and not only It ‘was taken as the soundtrack of the movie “Teen star academy” directed by Cristian Scardigno and written by Francesco Malavenda with John Savage Blanca Blanco & Dr Feelx who plays the music teacher, filmed in Cannes coming out soon
- Your hobbyes?
My hobbyes are to train in the Gym with weights and go swimming
- The most important thing in life is?
Believing in what i do
- What is your favourite social and why ?
It’ s facebook e’ i think it’s hem ost complete to communicate with people for business and not only