Jickow, an artist originally from France who now lives and breathes the music in Belgium speaks to Sweet Music on the eve of his DHB release titled ‘Broken Mind’ a two-tracker which delves deep into a healing process he’s had to encounter. We spoke to him on that, lockdown and more.

Purchase: https://www.beatport.com/release/broken-mind/2944788

How have you been coping during lockdown, what’s been the highlight and what’s been the hardest part?

I’ve been as good as it was possible during the lockdown, despite the up and down of such situation. I can’t lie, the first weeks was great, I took time to work on myself, meditate and do all the things I always complain to have not time to do.  In the same time, I’ve been lucky enough to keep my day job and work remotely.

The hardest part was the lack of social contacts, not seeing my family or my friends as nearly everyone during the lockdown.

Your upcoming release on DHB is titled ‘Broken Mind’ can you give us an insight behind the meaning?

Broken Mind because it’s a mix of the two tracks from the release: “Can’t Get You Off My Mind” and “Space of a Broken Heart”. As you can guess, these tracks were written after I broke up with my ex-girlfriend and the recovery process was really tough and Broken Mind can be the right word to describe how you can feel when you lose your special one. Producing those music healing me and today, I look at those tracks with a proud eye.

What was the production process like, and in general, how do you sit down to write a track?

Tough question. I do not have any specific process, as I can spend weeks without opening Logic pro and do not miss producing tracks, then, one day, I will spend the next two weeks days and night on it. To be honest, I feel more like a DJ who plays as a producer than a producer being also a DJ.

One of the only things I can say about the production process is that when I start to work on some beats, I always finish the track from A to Z. I struggle so hard to finish things; I always stop at 90/95% of every project in my life that I don’t want to do that with music.

What music are you currently listening to and what artists do you recommend?

I’m a true music lover, from classic, to hip-hop, to rock and of course electronic music, so difficult to pick-up a genre but I will talk about the last albums I recently bought except in electronic music:

  • Pone – Kate & Me (he’s a French hip-hop producer who’s in very serious health condition because of SLA, producing and mixing this whole album with his eyes).
  • Jul – La Machine. (Yes, Jul is my guilty pleasure and I totally assume it, he produces French hip-hop bangers in a very happy mood, we come nearly from the same neighborhood).
  • I’m also digging into the whole Serge Gainsbourg discography and being a bit compulsive on Gainsbourg’s vinyls buying.

And artists I liked their stuff recently on electronic music: Criss Source, Timid Boy (they both did a brilliant remix for me that come out soon), Deciduous, Tribu, Madben, Juliane Wolf, Voltaire, Mezerg, Delon, Stan Kolev,

You’ve promoted and hosted parties at Fuse in Brussels, what makes the club so special?

Well, this club is a landmark on the Belgium nightlife and one of the greatest clubs in Europe for sure. But being iconic is not the only asset of Fuse of course; the team is great, the are pioneer is a lot of fields and the atmosphere is very special here. When you arrive in the club, you can feel that everything can happen there and that’s one of the things I like the most with this club.

We worked together for a year and a half and made some nice parties for Hedonism Party Crew hosting guys from Oxia, Pleasurekraft, Oliver Huntemann, Timid Boy, Matt Sassari or Marc Houle.

If you could perform a b2b set alongside any artist in the world, who would it be and why?

I’ll name three sorry for not playing that game fairly:

  • Laurent Garnier because I think he’s the father of all electronic French artists, I’ve played once for his warm-up.
  • Seth Troxler at the Terrassa at DC10 for his versatility when he plays there.
  • Solomun at any after in Ibiza, just because of the meme from TWTMEGP.

You have a strong history as a booker/promoter, what things stand out to you the most when looking to book artists?

Yes, I’ve worked from 2009 to 2014 then a bit from 2017 to 2019 as booker and promoter. Those jobs are very different.

As a booker, I tried to tie connections and try to create a family spirit as, I think for me, is the most important when you collaborate with an artist. This universe is tough enough and the booker must protect artists and act like a second mother.

I was very young when I use to start as a booker and promoters and did some mistakes, but I still am very proud of what I could achieve back in the days.

As a promoter, you must deal with local club culture, peoples wish, your own wishes, artist popularity, poor location choices, and the list goes on. Thus, it can be a nightmare to find the right idea at the right moment without jeopardize your money. But it always pleasant to help discover artists to peoples and help the local scene to grow up.

Hopefully we can head back out to the clubs and events soon, what’s the thing you are most looking forward to when things are back to ’normal’?

As a DJ, mixing in front of people but I’m a bit of lucky as I already have a bunch of gigs in Paris confirmed, the first one is the Thursday 9th of July for a kind of rooftop and I’m impatient. For clubs’ gigs, we will have to wait for September if everything goes well until there. We are doing that to connect with peoples, to enjoy and share pure moment of joy and happiness.

But, for our culture, I hope it will not go back to “normal”. Because of the COVID, we must rethink the nightlife, having more cooperation between politics and the night owners, promoters and all person who work in the night culture. I see everyone from our culture being ignored, struggling to survive and politics don’t care. They don’t see all the benefits from our culture in normal time.

The other thing is to continue to push more and more the local scene. “Support your local DJ’s” is the perfect claim for that.