SERGE DEVANT – MUSICAL EVOLUTION

Serge Devant has a stand-out reputation that has blazed from Ibiza and across the globe. From regular appearances for Circoloco at DC-10 to his music turning the heads of Jamie
Jones, Lee Foss and Damian Lazarus, his talent is relentless. In 1994, an adolescent Serge moved to New York City. Tasting club culture for the very first time, his regular visits to NYC’s best underground clubs put him in the epicenter of a musical evolution. He saw house groundbreakers Danny Tenaglia, Sasha and John Digweed explode and so began his obsession with music. In the early-2000s, he was a resident at Crobar NYC, securing billings alongside Carl Cox and Tiesto that thrusted his career into full throttle. Jamie Jones and Lee Foss, label heads of Emerald City, scouted Serge’s ‘Fearing Love’ featuring Camille Safiya and released it as the opening shot on the label in 2015. The same year, Damian Lazarus featured demos ‘This Moment’ and ‘Always On My Mind’ on his BBC 1 Radio Essential Mix igniting a long history of releases on Lazarus’ imprints Crosstown Rebels
and Rebellion. Doors opened to opportunities with the very best in the industry, leading to releases Yousef’s Circus Recordings and Hot Since 82’s Knee Deep In Sound. His productions captivated the likes of Archie Hamilton, Reboot, Art Department, Alan Fitzpatrik, Audiofly and Nu as remixing artists. In 2019, Serge owned #1 spot on Beatport’s Deep House Chart for two consecutive months with his remix of ‘Yini’ by Fabio Aurea and Toshi. Serge has toured with some of the best event brands in the industry including Music On, Circoloco, Black Coffee, Paradise, Day Zero, Get Lost and Saga. There is no stopping the music machine that is Serge. His unapologetically emotive and deep sound will forever dominate dancefloors.

What originally got you into the electronic dance music?

After moving to New York I dove head first into the club scene that was blooming in the mid 90’s. There were tons of mega clubs and many choices. There were almost too many DJs to see. It was very inspiring.

So what kind of inspirations would you take from the 90s, what kind of big names were you looking to at that time?

You know; first I was into drum machines, heavy synth based stuff, that kind of trance. You know, like Depeche Mode who were big at the time in Russia as well. I was looking at Sasha and John Digweed, Paul Van Dyk. Just a nice mish-mash of all this music.

Well they say trance music is really on the way back in with people like Nina Kraviz and Sven Vath really plugging it at the moment.

Yeah it’ll be interesting to see. But I really grew up on trance you know. That was my entry-level music. For some people its EDM now, but at that time it was trance. You know, I came to the states and listened to Paul van Dyk, and was like what is this music. It was melodic, it was full of energy and just easy to listen to you know. As a fifteen year old you want to feel the energy you know.

But your music now seems to be taking a more deep-house route. So you feel like you’ve moved away from that genre?

Yeah I think that’s fair to say. For me it’s all about the groove, a little tech-house and deep house. Its really hard for me to say, oh yeah, this is deep house, because a record kind of changes with what I’m doing at the moment.

What does your DJ setup consist of?

Its simple. I only bring my music files with me. Everything else is standard: CDJs, Allen & Heath, etc.

You have the lead remix of “Feedback Loop” on Crosstown Rebels. What’s it been like working with Damian over the years?

It’s been really great; we have a really great relationship and now friendship. His label is a perfect home for me that lets me explore my creative sides and not be pigeonholed into one style. I love that. Additionally, Crosstown Rebels is a very well respected and a great platform. Everyone on that team works hard, with passion, and you feel it.

How did the collaboration come about on “Feedback Loop”?

Damian found me through our mutual friend who sent him some of my music. He contacted me and we hit it off instantly. It’s been around 3 years now since we began collaborating, and it’s been going really well with many more plans together in the future.

What can you tell us about the production process behind it White Groove on Crosstown Rebels?

Thanks for inviting me. ‘White Groove’ definitely started with the bassline that got dressed up for a few weeks. It wasn’t until I played the lead chords that it’s got its character and became a little trippy rather than just a groove without identity. I then added a few vocal samples one of which said words “white groove”. My approach with making records is usually to find a solid groove and bassline and then dress it up with something that gives it character. I feel this makes it stand out and live longer. It could be a weird sample or a melody line or a vocal sample, something that gives it that spark of identity.

https://soundcloud.com/sergedevant/serge-devant-say-no-more-mix

This is not your first release on Crosstown Rebels. How did the relationship with them begin?

Well it was about 3-4 years ago, a friend of mine who was close to Damian was at the after party I hosted in my house and I played her a few tracks I was working on at the time. She said that it sounded just trippy and weird enough for the likes of Damian Lazarus. I asked her why she didn’t send it to him and gave her a Dropbox link, she messaged him right on the spot and next morning he was calling me on Skype to find out who I was. Later that year I had release on Rebellion which is a sub-label of Crosstown. You usually have to release first on Rebellion and work your way up to Crosstown. Since then I was a part of the Crosstown family

The EP has a remix by Archie Hamilton. How did this come together?

I was brainstorming who would be a great producer to remix and I have been following Archie for a bit and really love his style, it is fun, groovy and very dancefloor friendly. I suggested to Damian to ask him for a remix and Archie gladly accepted. I’m super happy with how this package turned out.

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