ITW : LEA OCCHI [SPECTRUM]

Léa Occhi is a French Techno DJ based in Berlin, co-founder and resident of the Spectrum in Paris. Inspired by the Berliner culture and the LGBT community, Léa definitely know how to make the people dance. Her music always oscillates between rhythmic techno and deep bass lines. 

You are dj and co-founder of Parisian events called « Spectrum ». How it all started with you? When did you start your journey in electronic music?
My interest for electronic music started during a Christmas dinner, I was maybe 16 years old, when my German uncle put on his favorite techno records.

& After years of experiencing Parisian & Berliner parties, my fascination for techno culture grew up & I came to the conclusion that Paris was sorely lacking of proper techno parties! With my friend & partner David, we founded Spectrum in 2017 to share our own vision of techno: freedom, respect & tolerance with good mental & rhythmic techno, of course. From this moment, Djing became serious to me.

How would you describe « your » sound?
It’s always hard to describe its style but I would say rhythmic / mental / spiral techno with strong grooves.

Are you inspired by other genres than techno?
Oui! I listen everyday to French songs like Barbara, Serge Gainsbourg or Jacques Brel. Perfect to disconnect! I like jazz too. Eta James, Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles. Guilty pleasure: Psy-Trance.

How would you define a good DJ?
Stay true, humble, take risks & surprise, work hard, always adapt to the mood/atmosphere & make the people dance! Some great examples for me: Luke Slater, Blazej Malinowski, Freddy K, DVS1, Adriana Lopez, Ellen Allien.

What have been your best gig experiences from the past year, and what is your dream venue?
I had the chance to play for very great crews & parties the past year. But I would say TRESOR for New Faces. Playing in this legendary club was a pure joy. About Blank for NYE or Griessmuehle as well. But I really enjoyed every gigs. As soon as I play, it’s always a pleasure. 

My dream venue? Definitely Fusion Festival, one of the most intense experience I had as a client. Whole Festival, a queer festival that share my values.

& Saüle of course, on a Thursday.

Taking the step from DJing to producing seems to be a natural progression, have you considered this?
Natural & necessary for me. I feel this desire to create; I have so many ideas in my mind. But I don’t have any pressure about that. I’m aware that it takes a lot of time/years to have a proper level & its own identity. I’m working on it since last year, I’m motivated!

Can you tell us more about your concept « Spectrum » ?
Spectrum is a LGBT++ monthly rendezvous at La Station Gare des Mines, one of the best spot in Paris.   

Simple concept: To invite great artists still unknown in Paris. To respect the gender parity in our line-ups. A mental techno we are not used to have in Paris/France. With strong values: respect, tolerance, open-mindedness, share, freedom – to be, to do, of the body, of expression – A safe space where all kind of people can have fun.

We are also very engaged in donating a part of our benefits to different causes that are dear to our hearts, like assistance to migrants and refugees, LGBTQIA+ associations or fight against AIDS.

What can we expect next from you?
Release a first EP will be my priority this year, and when everything will be back to normal, continue to play in great clubs/parties.

Alongside this interview, you have recorded a podcast for InDepth. How did you prepare it and what was the idea you wanted to convey through it?
I really confided myself through this podcast. I played tracks I love for a long time with recent discoveries. From 128 to 142 BPM! A very punchy, trippy selection with a little surprise at the end! Ahah. Actually the first time I dare for a podcast.

Hoping this 1h13 story could make you forget this very stressful quarantine period.
With love, take care & stay home.

Léa.

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