Miss Kittin is the feline electronic DJ and vocalist taking 300 adoring fans on an eight-hour odyssey this weekend, playing according to her heart not her brain.
Eight hours is a long time by anyone’s standards – the length of a working day for most jobs. Eight hours at a desk is quite manageable, you can take a break here and there, get up, walk around, have lunch, go to the loo… but imagine eight hours behind a set of decks, trying to keep a crowd of 200 people or more entertained. That’s the task set by the ever-popular A Night With… event, which allows one world-renowned DJ to take the helm every month. This month is the infamous Miss Kittin, who follows in the footsteps of house and techno luminaries such as Steve Bug, Magda, Derrick Carter and Heidi. She’ll bring her own brand of party. Here, Miss Kittin takes some time out to talk about the forthcoming night and her colourful history!
What delights do you have in store for us? How will you treat playing over the eight hours vs a two-hour set? I always try to play more than 2h anyway. I haven’t played as much as my colleagues do for a few years now. I’m not worried about playing so long, I have enough goodies in my bag. I won’t plan exactly what I will throw on the decks, I usually play in the moment. I’m not scared of breaking a DJ set with Arctic Monkeys or Queens of the Stone Age for example, if I feel like it. I go up and down, I need to surprise myself and surely not be bored or tired to keep the audience focus. It’s quite like a movie: a beginning, some intrigue, good characters, slow moments, action, and a nice end so everybody can go to sleep happy.
Are you looking forward to playing to an intimate crowd of only 300 all night long who have intentionally come to see you and only you? Do you feel more pressure to perform because of that? The amount doesn’t really count. The intensity does. In every situation you have to create a certain intimacy, we all have to feel we are part of something precious in this period of time. Of course if I have to play 2h in a festival for a 10,000 capacity tent, I don’t have so much time to develop the story, you go straight to the point but the intention is the same. Playing for 300 people can be more intense because you’re closer to the people and they are closer to you. Any DJ will enjoy this challenge. The only pressure I always have is to play with my heart, not with my brain.
How do you feel about performing in a potentially filthy warehouse/ car park? Have you any special requests to make it a bit more glamorous? Ha! I love to play in filthy places, I always have, it reminds me of my first DJ sets in illegal raves in South of France, Spiral Tribe parties in our area, police chasing us. I never forget that time, it changed my life! I was thinking, how can I fit in society after that? Even though I never imagined I’d be a professional DJ, I worked hard, to be free, I took every chance I had to live the life I wanted. I’ve found myself many times in so called “glamorous” places but believe me, playing in a warehouse can be much more glamorous ‘cos we know how to have fun. No artifice.
Tell us why you released your recent EP ‘All You Need’ on Mobilee Records as opposed to your own label Nobody’s Bizzness… It’s one of the first club tracks I wrote on my own. I thought about Mobilee right away, because I know Anja Schneider from her radio show more than 10 years ago. When she started to DJ and opened her label, I thought, “Wow, that’s brave!” All her artists are happy, there’s no tension, great artistic taste, so if she likes my track, it can’t be that bad! I was anxious of her reaction, but she was as surprised as me. That’s the way I like to work. It motivates me a lot, never take anything for granted.
Is there a big difference between Miss Kittin and Caroline Herve? Miss Kittin is the public side of me, my work. People who don’t know me think I am tough and strong, I even heard the word “difficult”. Just because I made my way as a woman, I must be difficult! But all people who break through are not necessarily sharks! You can succeed being kind. To me there’s no difference, Caroline is Miss Kittin, but I prefer to keep a distance between work and private life in the outside eye.
A Night With Miss Kittin takes place on Saturday 3rd September at a secret east London location.
Text: Marcus Barnes