Belgian DJ Simon LeSaint took us to his favourite record store in Brussels to have a chat before his set at Velvet Wednesdays this week. Check out what happened at Arlequin below!
Airplane Mode: Could you introduce yourself in a few words?
Simon LeSaint: My name is Simon LeSaint. I’m a DJ, musician, drummer, I play keyboards… I’ve been DJing since I was 15 years old, so that’s a long time.
A.M: You were a drummer with Stromae, have you got any other dream collaborations?
SLS: Well actually that wasn’t one to start with, I didn’t want to do it. I’m very happy I did and I changed my mind because I made a great friend and I went all over the world. But at first when they contacted me I didn’t want to go.
A.M: How did you meet him?
SLS: They contacted me. They were looking for a musician. They couldn’t find anybody because they had two kinds of musicians: they had electronic musicians that couldn’t play classical music properly, and they had classical musicians who couldn’t play electro properly. It was very hard for them to find somebody who was familiar with both worlds.
For my dream collaboration… there’s a million… I don’t know… Daft Punk!
A.M: What or who inspires you in your day to day life?
SLS: Food. It’s very important. It’s pretty much all I think about.
A.M: Healthy food or junk food?
SLS: Fat food.
A.M: What’s your favourite fast food chain?
SLS: It’s very Brussels so maybe people won’t know about it… but ‘Hector Chicken‘.
A.M: So, keyboards, drums… any other hidden talents?
SLS: I eat very well! And other stuff but I can’t mention it.
A.M: Ah, so Simon the Saint or not quite the Saint?
SLS: Not quite the Saint. Well it depends. I’m totally drug free, I don’t drink much but I do enjoy life a lot…
A.M: Being drug free in the music business…
SLS: It’s not that hard. It’s just a personal choice. If you’re not interested, you’re not interested. I’m not interested when I’m sober and I’m not interested at night when I’m drunk either, it’s the same me. But, I’m not against drugs, people do whatever they like, I just really don’t like coke heads, but other drugs sometimes they can be pretty cool and some people manage it. Most don’t… but very few people manage it and it’s not a problem. I just don’t do it.
A.M: What’s your favourite club in the world, any time and place?
SLS: Very easy. Paradise Garage in New York.
A.M: Have you been?
SLS: No! It’s been closed for twenty years… (Laughing)
A.M: What’s your favourite club to go to now?
SLS: Bloody Louis is pretty lit. I like it. In the world… I don’t know. I don’t club much, I DJ so much that when I have the day off I like to stay home and do music in the studio.
A.M: What’s the best night in?
SLS: Studio time.
A.M: Best night out?
SLS: A Prince concert.
A.M: What’s your drink of choice?
SLS: Very easy. Mezcal. It’s the only drink in the world you know… there’s no reason to drink anything but water and mezcal (Laughing). You go home crawling, and you wake up in the morning fresh as the early bird, ready to go to the gym.
A.M: Talking of mezcal, you told us you were born in Mexico. Does Mexico influence you in your music?
SLS: Well apart from cumbia electronica which is very cool, mostly people still listen to music from the revolution days.
A.M: Yeah, and Reggaeton…
SLS: I used to be very much into reggaeton when it came out first like, 15 years ago. There’s this guy I really like, Tego Calderón. I liked Tego a lot back then.
A.M: What’s your favourite city in the world?
SLS: The food! The good life. No, many reasons actually. The food is the main one, but Naples is a place out of time. They’re still in the 50s. No McDonald’s, no commercials, it’s like going back in time.
A.M: Not gentrified yet?
SLS: No, hell no.
A.M: What’s the last gift you gave and to whom?
SLS: I don’t remember… probably my daughter. She’s 11.
A.M: Is she musical too?
SLS: No not at all! She reads a lot though, a real bookworm.
A.M: Does your daughter inspire you?
SLS: Inspiration is very weird. I think you get inspired mostly by pain. My daughter is nothing but joy to me so I don’t know if she’s such a great inspiration. She’s a great inspiration to be a nice person!
A.M: We are called Airplane Mode in reference to switching off and disconnecting from the world. When you do you switch to airplane mode?
SLS: It’s a great idea. I do it all the time. When I sleep. When I go to bed I switch my phone off… there’s nobody calling me when I’m sleeping, forget it! People sleep with their phones on it’s crazy!
I was on holiday for ten days with my daughter and it was no phones for ten days. We had a deal. We actually bought two old school cameras, with films and shit, and all the pictures we took were with actual cameras. It was fun because you have like 20 photos so you gotta save them. Can’t fuck them up. With your phone you can take pictures of everything. Your phone is your memory, people don’t look at stuff anymore. We had a game going on, we had to take two pictures at the same time so we had to think carefully before taking the pictures. Like what angles would be good… I always tried to get her in the picture. She would take a picture of something and I would take the picture of the picture mostly.
A.M: Is photography one of your hobbies?
SLS: No, it was the first time we did it. We had fun, she loved it.
A.M: Funny question, if I gave you an elephant, where would you hide it?
SLS: My stomach! (Laughing) No no I’m kidding. I love elephants, I really do, they are one of my favourite things in the world. I would probably try to bring it back to Africa so it could be happy.
A.M: You’re on death row, what’s your last meal?
SLS: Ahh… just fried chicken. Pollo! (Laughing)
A.M: Your mum is musical too, does she help you out sometimes?
SLS: Yeah, with lyrics a lot because she speaks fluent English and I don’t. So she helps me with that.
A.M: Have you got any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
SLS: Yes! I have a new single coming out in January. It’s called “It’s quite alright” and it features the very talented singer called Shingai Shoniwa, the singer from The Noisettes. I’ve been a fan for a long time, I asked and she said yes! She’s amazing. I know she’s also working with Baloji.
A.M: That’s a wrap! Thank you so much for speaking with us.
SLS: My pleasure! Thank you!
By Flavie and Eloïse