We met Mathilda, the co-founder of the Parisian parties Possession. We asked her some questions about her Possession’s debut, as well as her opinion about the Parisian scene, her journey at Trax and the closing of Concrete.
Possession define the unmissable parties of the French capital. Warehouse, techno and freedom are the synonyms. How Possession imposed itself and became that important?
Possession was created four and a half years ago. Our concept is about queer and libertarian parties. It means that we accept everyone, but we put a lot of importance on keeping the queer tendency in mind because it is the identity of our team. We are two organizers, tree with our resident DJ « Parfait ». In that team, we all are lesbian girls. Our party concept is one: we have always loved gay parties but we noticed that those were missing a real line up and participation of international artists.
That’s why our security is appropriate, they are still open while handling everything right because we need to stay in a safe zone. People are free to be naked or topless. Girls can be topless without being annoyed. Our concept was created because of these reasons and because of the envy of open minded parties.
Now that we know Possession better, we would like to know you ; your impressive path in the Parisian night, could you tell us more? What was before Possession?
I really love electronic music, it has been a deep part of me since the beginning. Maybe it is “cliché” but my father was listening to a lot of « euro-dance » music like Gala, Technotronic, etc. I love it since I am a little girl. I was watching « MTV The Grind », a TV show with dancers and DJ’s, like Boiler Room nowadays. The DJ’s were David Morales, Eric Morrillo, etc. It always has fascinated me.
I studied cultural outreach. At first, I wanted to study for the movie production. I needed to choose between music and movie production, I ended up choosing music. I have specialized in music communication. Which gave me the opportunity to do an internship. During that internship, I have been able to participate in the organization of a festival among other internships in various clubs. That’s when I knew I wanted to do that.
When I was working for my last internship at Villa Schweppes, I’ve been discovered soon at the age of 19/20 and when I finished my studies, I got hired by TRAX Magazine, a French electronic music media. I worked for them for two years and a half, then I organized parties and worked in clubs. Anne-Claire was also organizing parties called Flash Cocotte and that’s where we met. Quickly, she asked me to organize something with her, I directly agreed.
Possession is a strong name that tells us a lot. Why did you choose that name?
I was in the apartment of Anne-Claire and Parfait. We didn’t know what to use as name and we started to check in books and vinyl’s and found the movie « Possession » with Isabelle Adjani. It is a dark theme with devil allusions. At that time in Paris, techno was seen as dark music. It could fit and we did the appropriate communication. We took people in pictures and put white in their eyes as if they were possessed. We made a big campaign with 50 pictures. It came from there.
So, we met during the Voltage Festival where Possession was Stage Host of one of the stage. It was the first time that Possession left Paris, from where was born the collaboration with the Voltage Festival?
Yes, indeed, it is our first time at a festival and our first time out of France. I followed the previous edition of the festival, but with the videos of the stages. It was fun because we booked exactly the same artists and those artists told us that the Voltage Festival was trying to contact us. It seemed perfect for the first time because there is a lot of Belgian and Dutch coming to see us in Paris. It was our turn to give it back.
Do you have other projects abroad with Possession?
Yes, we would like to spread it through Europe with the artists and collectives that we like. With already have some upcoming date confirmed in Milan, Zurich, Istanbul et Bordeaux. We have also some nice other projects, with Boiler Room and so on. The aim is to introduce the Paris « hangar » and « warehouse » techno. Boiler Room already did a lot of events in France but never really in that theme.
With Possession, you have become a major actress in the Parisian techno scene. What do you feel in front of the actual scene?
We have nothing to envy to Berlin or London, which were the references before. Paris is now also a reference in European techno scene. A lot of DJ’s are coming to live in Paris and the public is coming from all across Europe.
There is also a lot of French artists coming through the international scene right now, which artists do you think we should keep an eye on?
I would start with Shaun, Shlomo. We were the first to make him play in warehouse. He was amazing in his productions as much as in his mixes. And also, Anetha, I Hate Models, Hadone, Trym and Nico Moreno. They are more or less young, like Trym who is 20. They make the techno shine in the whole Europe and worldwide.
We talked a lot about the closing of Concrete, you worked with them. You were one of the rare collective to be invited?
We did two or three Possession on Wednesday and two parties on Saturday night. Concrete was a model for Paris. It is a club which had the authorisation for the 48 hours and it made Paris shine at the international level. The Parisian techno will never be the same without Concrete.
Does this closing seem like a renewal or like a real loss according to you?
For the Parisian scene it is a loss, but I know they are coming back brand as new, probably with a new club. They are going to make new stuff for a new public. We shouldn’t be crying about that. Better take it as a lesson and make it better.
What are the plans for the next few months and also personally, do you have ideas for Possession?
I am also Communication Manager for clubs. They are all pretty cool. For Possession, we launched new parties called « Transgenik ». We would like to combine the contemporary artists in the Trance, Fast Techno scene (and much more). That style is slowly coming in Europe, but not enough in France. Our first edition was the 14th of September.
For the rest, there is our next Boiler Room in August and we are going to continue on our path: doing quality line up with beloved artists to whom we try to give more visibility. We want to keep the spirit of our parties, like a big family. There are even people from our public who ended up by working for us… Personally, my dream would be to open a club. In Paris, we are cruelly missing queer places, where we can find each other safely. Possession is taking a lot of my time but one day, I will achieve that idea.
Picture by Mariana Vásquez Matamoros English translation by Fanny Seligmann