An Interview with Bellaire

Taking Youtube by storm, Parisian producer Bellaire first gained recognition for his musical talents by featuring on channel, Houseum. Invited to play at the notorious Paris club, Concrete, alongside DJ Seinfeld, the 20 year old Bellaire has gone on to forge the solid foundations for a career as a DJ. With an aptitude for all things Jazz and Groove related, his productions emit feelings of warmth and joy to listeners.

With the recent release of his Framework EP on AOC Records just behind him, we caught up with him to find out just what makes this new talent tick; his past, his future and everything in between.

First off, can you tell us about where your relationship with music began? What were your early experiences with music and how has this shaped the artist you are today?

Hi Sophie ! It started really young as my parents loved music. They made me go to music school, to have music theory classes and learn the clarinet. I loved it so much back then!

I think the best thing from that is I’ve listened to so many different genres, from classical music to jazz, so it kind of ‘trained’ my ears. All of this helped me to make my own stuff!!

You started out with Hip-Hop productions. Can you tell us a bit about your Hip-Hop influences/inspirations?

Yes, I’d say that’s because of my older brothers that loved Hip-Hop; they got me in to it. I just loved the art of sampling and reworking tracks you love to make your own ones! I’d say my biggest influence in Hip-Hop would be DJ Premier. He was my hero when I was 15 or so! What a musician he is!

I really like the tracks “Ghetto Dance” and “Brooklyn” from your first EP Saint Amour – Did Hip-Hop influence these tracks? What’s the story behind that EP?

Thank you so much! Yes, during that time I was still making a lot of Hip-Hop beats and also started making some House, so that’s probably where that sound for those tracks came from.

I wouldn’t say it’s a real ‘EP’ that I worked really hard on. It was more a compilation we wanted to release, for people to discover my universe! We weren’t working very seriously at the time.

A lot of artists get into House music after toying with a variety of genres beforehand, often House draws these genres together in many ways. What inspired you to start producing House music?

It just kind of, came suddenly, I never really thought about it. When I made my first House track, I had only listened to maybe two or three House tunes that just blew my mind! (Chesus – Special for example) Like you’re saying, I just loved the way it combines all genres and makes people dance.

Your SoundCloud bio “I like to groove, come groove w/ me :)” – tell us about your relationship with grooving, why do you love it so much?

It’s my way of escaping all the problems in my life. I think it’s also the same thing for a lot of people! When people dance they don’t think about anything bad, it’s all about joy and love! <3

You have gained fame for your music at a young age – 19 years old! Can you tell us a little bit about your daily life – do you do music full time or do you do another job?

It’s very, very recent that I’ve taken the decision to just make music full-time! I was (and still am) at a Law University but it’s just not for me. I want to make music, full stop. I’m really excited to have taken that decision, it feels like freedom now!

How have you dealt with bursting into the spotlight so quickly? Can you tell us about any challenges you have faced?

What I love about the House scene, is that it’s not all about the fame and all that stuff (like in EDM for example). It’s mostly about the music you make and give to people, so my life hasn’t really changed that much. I’m just able to do what I love more and share beautiful moments with people!

You first broke out with your EP Paris City Jazz. To me it seems like you take big leaps forward in the music that you produce for this EP, in comparison to the previous EP Saint Amour. Would you agree?

Yes, let’s say it was the first EP I worked seriously on! When I first produced Paris City Jazz, my mates and I knew we could make a project around it, so that’s how it came about. It was a time I was really discovering a lot of jazzy House music, that inspired me so much at the time. I wanted to make my own jazz stuff! I think I composed all of the tracks in two weeks or so. I was very inspired!

Can you tell us about your relationship with the Parisian, Youtube channel-come-label, Houseum? How has the relationship developed alongside your career and can you shed any light on the upcoming release “Oh”?

It’s a cool story. We (me and my label mates) messaged him a year ago when he only had like 1k subscribers. Now we just keep working together because I love the way he is so passionate about music, sharing it, helping other artists to be heard!

‘Oh’ was a really special tune I wanted to make for his label. It’s not the usual stuff I would put out; way more melancholic! Since it was a really special one for me, I just wanted to give it to him!! Kind of a thank you gift.

Your latest EP Framework is out on AOC Records. What can you tell us anything about this EP?

After making the first EP, I realised that I never played the tracks from it when I played in clubs (except Paris City Jazz Club). I think it was more of an EP to listen to at home. It made me want to make more of a ‘Club EP’ that I can play in clubs and that DJ’s could also play! I tried to still keep the jazz vibes, but tried to make it a bit more raw!

We have spoken a lot about the stories and inspirations behind your tracks and EPs. Overall, when you are producing, where do you start? Do you have a certain process that you follow?

Every track is different. I never have a typical process. I just listen to music all day. Any inspiration will make me want to make a new track!

You played the Woodfloor at the famous Parisian club, Concrete, last year alongside DJ Seinfeld. Surely this was quite a big deal for you. How was the experience and how have you adapted to playing to bigger crowds?

It’s so funny because it was my first gig ever. I had never played a DJ set in front of people before. Let’s say it was an exciting but very frightening experience! I was so stressed but it all went very well. Gig after gig I started to feel more comfortable and today I’m just so excited every time I play!

You have begun travelling and DJing more around Europe. Can you tell us about your most interesting experience whilst travelling to date?

I will always have this image in mind that happened in Dublin a few weeks ago. A 60 year old guy was just dancing like crazy all night. That made me so happy. I think about it everyday so I’d say this was the best moment I’ve had so far. This is House music!

As I’m sure you’re aware, Bellaire is a city in Texas, USA. Can you tell us why you chose to call yourself Bellaire? What is the story behind this?

Yes, that’s also why I can’t be called ‘Bellaire’ on Facebook. I have to be ‘Bellaire Music’ because Facebook says I’m a city haha! I just had no name and when I was hanging out with friends, we typed “streets of Paris” on google and found “Bel Air”. I just loved the sound of it!

What is the future looking like for Bellaire? Do you have any other alias’/musical projects that you are working on?

Making more and more music. Trying to meet new musicians that will inspire me for my future works! A lot of things are being prepared and I just can’t wait. I’m also working on a lot of other music projects that aren’t House related. That makes me happy! I’m always trying to deliver happiness through my music. 🙂

Bellaire’s Framework EP is out now on AOC Records.