Interview: D’Julz talks New York, Detroit and WMC in Miami


When taking a look at our (not-so-intimate anymore) niche group of underground music, we can count hundreds of artists who have come and gone throughout the times, which is why our appreciation for long-standing French DJ/producer Julien Veniel, better known as D’Julz, is so great.

Halb Baked Showcase WMC 2013 His ability to stay relevant for more than 20 years in this ever-changing industry has resulted in releases on esteemed labels such as Ovum, 20:20 Vision, Dessous, Pokerflat, Safari, Real Tone, Get Physical, Mobilee, Rekids, Systematic and 100% Pure, as well as the birth of his own label, Bassculture.  And there is still plenty of fresh steam left in that engine. D’Julz recently released a new EP, Special Day, on Circus Company and is in the midst of gearing up for a few stacked events this Winter Music Conference in Miami. The seasoned artist sat down with mybeatFix to discuss the above and answer a few of our own personal inquiries.

You are one of the few “veterans” of the industry, having a musical career of 20+ years. How do you keep from becoming jaded in today’s heavily saturated market?
I’m still pasionate about what I do, that’s the key to last. It’s impossible to lie about that. However, today’s market is much more difficult compared to how it was when I started. Now you need to stay constantly in the forefront of things and promote yourself a lot — which isn’t something I’m a natural at. So I’m learning this and surounding myself with people who are very good at it.

LessIzMore v. Circus Company

Speaking of being a “vet,” your Bassculture party series at Rex Club is the longest consistently running party in dance history. Longevity is a hard thing to attain in this industry, so this is quite an accomplishment. How have you managed to keep the vibe going strong for so many years?
Again, I’m as excited today about this night than I was the first year. I try to keep it fresh , constantly searching for new talents to invite but also not forgetting to bring my old favorite djs , (trendy or not) regulary . I’m very picky . I dont compromise and I trust my gut. So far it has worked for the success of this night.

You recently released a new EP, Special Day, on fellow Parisian label, Circus Company. How does this EP compare to your earlier productions? How has your sound evolved?
It’s very hard to say, I don’t think it has evolved that much. I’ve always mixed all my different influences and different production techniques. Also, I go with my mood – sometimes the tracks are deeper , sometimes more uplifting or harder, but that’s been the case since I stared producing. I can’t repeat the same formula over and over. Sure my sound evolves and I hope improves too, but my style stays rooted in deep house and techno. In both or somewhere in between.

We spoke of the over-saturated market in terms of artists, but this affects the fan base as well. And it’s no secret that many of these new “fans” are oblivious to many of your musical contributions to the scene. How do you reintroduce yourself to these new audiences when playing?
I always do my thing. If the younger crowds likes it, it’s amazing and I feel very blessed to have a timeless sound, because lasting is the hardest thing to achieve in any artistic environment. But there is no secret nor master-plan behind it.

A few weeks ago you played at the new highly praised “underground” club in Brooklyn, Output. How did that gig differ/compare to your gigs in the early 90′s when you first ventured out into the NYC scene?
Nothing will be like the New-york of the 90′s. It was a unique period for the nightlife of this city. It was the world capital of House music. However, I feel there is a positive energy coming back to the New York scene. It’s the start of a new cycle, Output could be at the center of it. It’s the club NYC needed since Twilo or Arc closed.

We saw you play an amazing set at Old Miami in Detroit last year. How does the vibe differ at more “intimate” parties like Old Miami and Output, to the larger “big room house” parties which jump-started your career?
Thanks! That was a very fun party to play. I’m very grateful Seth and Ryan asked me to play. It was my first time ever in Detroit too, so that made it even more special. Every gig is different, I like to adapt to different environments every time, it’s a big part of the fun for me. Not only reading the crowd but feeling the room, the sound. I can have as much fun in a huge dark room or in a sunny garden party like that. When the vibe is right, the vibe is right.

One of our highlights from your set at Old Miami was when you dropped “Live From Dade County” by our good friend, Jesse Perez. It was really refreshing to see an artist of your caliber playing a track from a someone who, at the time, was still considered a breakthrough artist. Do you normally seek out tracks from up-incomers?
I play a lot of Jesse Perez’s tracks, perfect party tracks that never fail to burn the floor. Of course I always seek up and coming talents! That’s a big part of a real DJ work, no?

The Winter Music Conference in Miami is quickly approaching, can we expect to hear more “Miami-influenced” tracks, like Live From Dade County”, from you while there?
Maybe, but I never plan ahead my sets. Each party will be different, so my sets should be.

You are playing at Miami’s beloved Electric Pickle for the Gipsy Music Agency & Half-Baked Records WMC closing party, but for those that don’t want to wait til the end of conference, can we catch you anywhere else while in town?
Yes, so far I will also be playing the 21st for the Behrouz after party, the 23rd for Circus Compagny showcase at the Station and maybe for the Sunset boat party.