Aside from your work as Regularfantasy, you’re also part of Plush Managements with D. Tiffany. Collaboration seems to come up a lot in your work. What do you like about it?
I like bouncing ideas off of people and taking risks. Obviously, working by yourself is great too, but I’ve done it so much and it’s nice to work with other people to stay motivated. When you’re an adult, there are less and less fun things to do, so I find it’s also a social thing to hang out with someone and also work with them creatively.
I also find I take more risks than I would making music on my own. Some of the things we’ve put out as Plush Managements have been the biggest jokes and we never thought that they would be taken seriously. For example, the track we did, ‘How RU Plush’, was us being silly, but it’s probably one of our most popular songs. I probably wouldn’t have recorded that on my own either.
Collaboration is also useful when you’re using software. Everyone has their own little tricks and things that they do so it’s definitely way easier to work with another person who knows what they’re doing. It’s nice to keep the ball rolling with other people and you can also learn stuff.
A lot of the edits you make as Plush Management’s are sampling nineties and noughties pop songs. What is it about this era of pop music that inspires you to make those edits?
I was a child of the ’90s and there was a lot of pop music and R&B on the radio that was pretty nasty stuff. It was pretty horny and I wouldn’t necessarily want to play those songs now, but I also want to remember my childhood fondly and listen to a bit of those songs. It’s fun to take the things that you want to remember and put them into something more fun. Then you can take that into your future and make new memories with it. I also love UKG and filter house. Those tracks that have female vocals pitched up. In UKG there’s a lot of remixing and I like the way they take vocal R&B songs and make them into this fun, clubby thing. The pitched up vocals and the skippiness of those tracks really just does it for me.
When I first started DJing, I would play a lot of pop remixes. I would always find these tracks in the dollar bin, but sometimes I would listen to them and they just weren’t right or they were a little off, so I would edit out a breakdown or things that no one would notice. I guess I have a somewhat discerning taste when it comes to that, but also seemingly not a very discerning taste when it comes to pop music overall and cheesy stuff haha. You always have to try and challenge people’s taste, even in myself too.
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Canada actually has a bit of a history of crossover pop-dance acts, for example, Love Inc. What music inspired you when you were growing up? Did those kinds of acts inspire you at all?
Yeah, that Love Inc song that came out, ‘Broken Bones’, all that stuff that came out when I was a very impressionable, young child. We had all that stuff on repeat. In Canada the radios have to play a certain percentage of Canadian content so there was tons of music on repeat which was kind of for children but also had adult content.
There was also this TV channel, MuchMusic, that I always had on and it had VJs and music videos that were super influential. In Toronto there was also this thing called Electric Circus, which was a dance night where they would have acts like Aqua playing and they hired dancers. This was for children and they would broadcast it to all of Canada. When I was seven, I would see this and I feel like “This is what it means to grow up, this is what teenagers and adults do, they go to this type of thing.” I was definitely impressioned by that in some way, subconsciously.
At the beginning of our conversation, you mentioned that you put on events. You also run an artist space in Montreal called Le Chateau. Community is clearly important to you. How does it help you as an artist?
Music scenes, in general, are something that a lot of people gravitate to for meaning. I honestly truly believe in the power of dance music and the healing properties of music. In terms of culture and as a service to the world, that’s the thing that I’m most passionate about, how it can lift people up. It’s not just about me expressing myself and putting on parties so people can get fucked up. I want people to find music and make themselves feel better through it. I also try to contribute because people bring me places and I really admire them for that because it’s definitely not easy. I think it’s important for partygoers to realise that the best parties are usually within that underground space, where people aren’t making a tonne of money and there’s a lot of work that goes into it.
With the artist space, I wanted it to be this HQ where creative people can come together. A place for ideas to come about, where people can do projects, collaborate and basically take control of their life, including myself. Beforehand I felt like I didn’t have space to do all the things I wanted to do. Now I can DJ, record mixes and make music. I can have parties, put on shows and do photoshoots. As an artist, you need to be able to do all these things. It’s also very satisfying to bring people together and see them working on things. Unfortunately, we’re living in a world where these DIY spaces are being slowly eroded, especially here in Canada, when something’s gone it doesn’t really get replaced. I believe it’s super important to have places for artists to work and perform and I find it so fucked that it’s not something that’s considered in the development of cities.
Finally, what’s next for you after this EP? Might we have a Regularfantasy album at some point?
For sure. Kristian and I have a project called Rendezvous, so we’re going to work on an EP and some new Regularfantasy songs. There’s also talk of a live band version of Reguarfantasy. Cecile and I are going to work on a collab for Plush Records this year too. I basically want to make more music that I would want to DJ. I feel like ‘New Glow’ was a really good step for me, but I’m still not fully there. I want to expand on this whole theme of lyrics and dance music that’s highly produced. Soon I also have a Plush record coming out. I’m doing a European tour in the spring and probably another little one next summer. I’m also possibly going to Australia this winter but I don’t know yet. I’ll be going around. I’m excited to get back to life, as it were.
Regularfantasy’s ‘New Glow’ EP is out now via Specials, get it here
Sophie McNulty is a freelance writer, follow her on Twitter
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Written by: Tim Hopkins