Swann Decamme on Curiosity Music, his artist agency and more | Soundspace

Swann Decamme on Curiosity Music, his artist agency and more

Interview: Swann Decamme

Frenchman Swann Decamme has put in the time and effort to hone his craft as a DJ, producer and promoter, and now heads up a label, a booking agency and a festival.

Now based in London, Decamme is ready to take on 2020 with a number of original EPs signed to different labels and a roster of artists that are making moves in multiple genres.

We spoke to him about the vision for his Curiosity Music imprint, and what we can expect on the label in the future, what he has going on with the agency and where we might see his own music drop soon. find the full discussion below.

Hey Swann, how’s thing in London right now? Feeling cold yet?

Thanks for the invitation. I moved to London last September. After four years in Paris and six months in the Caribbean Islands, it was time to put down my suitcase. I must say I like London a lot, it’s great, there is a really good energy, I feel at home. It starts to get cold but with a little brisk walking and a few layers under the coat you hardly feel it.

Let’s start off with your label, Curiosity Music, what’s the vision behind it?

I launched Curiosity Music in Paris in June, 2016. The idea sprouted in my head at the end of 2015, I believe in November. The vision was to promote the kind of music that I was composing at the time, the techno minimal style that I like, and artists whose production really deserves to be supported.

We organised a lot of Curiosity Music release parties staring many artists from the label in great Parisian and French clubs and even in Pacha Barcelona. We did a lot during our first two years and we had a really good time together. I believe that little by little we have become a reference in this kind of music, and we have reached the top in France. We have worked hard to achieve this beautiful project. And I feel so lucky to be surrounded by such a great team!

For a few months, we have completely reworked the labels image and reorganised our work to be even more effective. Then we decided to put events a little aside because the market is really hard for small independent organisers in Paris and because the label itself requires already lots of time and investment. There are some nice releases to come and I invite you to keep an eye open on Curiosity Music for 2020!

And you’ve released Joran Van Pol, Alexi Delano, Wigbert and more, what’s your process for signing a track?

Alexi Delano was the first artist to believe in the project, so we consider him our godfather. It is great to work with him; we have exchanged a lot and now I regard him as a friend. Generally, we try to make EPs with three or four original tracks and some remixes. So far, I managed to have almost all the artists I really wanted on board, which is great! We have also produced Joran Van Pol and Wigbert who had a great liveshow in Paris. With our background it is now easier to approach an artist. We try to make solid releases with good communication, promotion and press management.

What advice would you give someone that’s considering sending you a demo?

I would definitely advise this artist to send us his demo as we listen to everything we receive. If I have a favourite track or hesitation about a demo, I share it with the label’s team, and we decide together. Even if Curiosity Music may be considered as a techno and minimal label, we are quite open musically speaking. I think we prove it by signing some house nuggets or great melodic tracks. I invite the producers who wish to send their demos to listen to our full discography on Bandcamp.

You also have a booking agency, Tribes, how did you end up in that space?

In the continuity of Curiosity Music, with Jocelyn, one of my associates, I launched the Curiosity Agency which has now become Tribes Agency to distinguish more easily between the label and the agency. This is a family booking agency. There are only three artists: Quenum, Marcus Henriksson and I. Tribes also manages the press relations of some artists like the up-and-coming Djena, Marcus Henriksson from the Minilogue duo and Quenum. We prefer to work 100% for these people to get the best results than to take dozens of artists who are then lost in the roster. It is the vision we share, Jocelyn and I.

We heard you’re also involved in a festival now to?

Yes, with the bosses of Ti Sable, a superb beach club of the Martinique island, I launched L’Amour à La Plage in February of this year. It is an ephemeral moment where people gather to celebrate life, connected through music, art, games, good food and above all freedom, in breathtaking places. Our aim is to create emotional, spiritual and refreshing experiences to let the people go back home full of love, joy, peace and beautiful memories. We also stand for tolerance and inclusivity, which is very important for us.

We sold out the first edition that took place last May with my friend John Acquaviva, who honoured this project by opening the ball. It was simply magic! We all had a great time. I am so excited about this that we planned the next three editions, scheduled for December, February and May. For the December edition, we invite my friend Marwan Sabb, who already signed two excellent remixes to Curiosity Music. Quenum will be the headliner in February and Timid Boy will close the season with many other friends, DJs and producers. I can’t wait to go there again!

Did the festival’s title come from the Niagara song of the same name?

LOL, yes that’s exactly what it is. The words Amour and Plage are quite universal. It’s simple, it sticks to our values and it’s nice to say in French and in English! So, come to feel love on the beach!

You handle a lot of different projects, how do you find time to work on your own music?

The few years before settling in Paris, I was studying music courses and all my spare time was spent in the studio. I was composing music non-stop every day. It was so fun and crazy to make music on the go like that. Then I went to Paris to end my studies at a sound engineering school. At that period, I met some important people and after a complete summer immersed in this environment, I decided to create Curiosity Music.

Little by little everything just naturally linked together and I feel happy to work in all these different areas. Due to lack of time and by personal choice, I have decided to schedule four big studio sessions a year. I must say it gave me the opportunity to go further into the vision of my music. A few months without composing makes me a lot more creative when I get in the studio. I also love collaborating! We have a great match with my partner in crime Mark Howls. We have done a lot of music together. Moreover, a few EPs composed one or two years ago are coming in 2020. I am very happy that we have just signed them on great labels!

And what labels might we see you on in the coming months?

I have four EPs coming in 2020. Tom Pandzic (Balance Music), who launched a label in Melbourne called Dawn Till Dusk, chose four tracks composed with Mark Howls. I also have an EP with my track Elyxium recently released on the three year anniversary VA of the Miami based label, Magician On Duty.

There will be the original and an instrumental version accompanied by remixes. I also have another EP to be released on Earthly Delights, the label of Atalkingdrum & Timujin. Not to mention an EP made in collaboration with my friend Djena to be published on Timid Boy’s Parisian label Time Has Changed. Timid Boy should remix a track in person! So, there are some nice things to come for 2020, I can’t wait!

Let’s wrap things up with your favourite track from 2019 so far?

It’s complicated to choose only one. I really love the Russian producer Volen Sentir, so I would say ‘Armen Miran – Reborn (The Volen Sentir Sunset Mix)’ which is a groovy and emotional remix. I also created a playlist on Spotify with some tracks that I love. Don’t hesitate, just pick up some tracks there, listen and share what you like!

Swann Decamme’s Puzzling EP is out now on Curiosity Music.