When you listen to someone’s music you get an impression of what their personality will be. German producer Sebastien’s recent releases (“High on You,” “Music in You,” and “Gold”) have a chilled groove with emotional tones and heartfelt lyrics. Meeting him in person, he looks like Dillon Francis and shares a similarly goofy and vivacious vibe. The way he breaks the proverbial fourth wall throughout the interview is quite endearing. With over 15 million Spotify streams, Sebastien is breaking the walls into everyone’s playlists as he proudly shouts “F*ck the genres.”
RS: Sitting here with you, you look just like Dillon Francis.
Sebastien: But I am not Dillon Francis, I am DJ Hanzel, the German version! You are the first person, other than my mangers, to tell me that. They say the same thing, that I look a little bit like Dillon Francis, maybe I will have to do a collab with him.
RS: That would be good, go for it. So you are taking over the Armada Twitter today, if you could take over the whole twitterverse, what one thing would you change?
Sebastien: That is a good question, I would take the account from the Kardashians and Kanye West because they share so much stupid stuff. I would also do more with Dillon Francis on Twitter and add more videos, it would make the world a little bit better than it is right now.
RS: That would make the world a much better place.
Sebastien: I hope so.
RS: Your new song “Infinity” is going to make the world a better place, is it a cover of Guru Josh?
Sebastien: No, it is not.
RS: Thank you!
Sebastien: It is not the cover version or what you think of when you hear “Infinity.” It is a song that I made with Dave Thomas Jr, who also made some vocals for Don Diablo productions. He is an awesome singer and song writer. I had an instrumental idea and he had some ideas as well and after a week he sent me the vocals and they were perfect. It was perfect for the instrumental because it is not a normal Sebastien sound with the piano stuff. It is a little bit more electronic and it’s a little trap hard inside and the vocals from Dave are angelic. I am really excited to see when the release comes out.
RS: Congratulations, you broke 15 million Spotify streams with “High On You,” “Music In You,” and “Gold.” When you made those records, did you have any idea that they would get so big?
Sebastien: No and I think it’s the most important thing that you think about how the song is going. First of all, I make music for me. At the beginning of my music career, I was making music for club scenes and promoters but after 8 years, this was the first time that I made music for me and what I love to do. It is so amazing to see how it works for the people. “Music In You” had over 8 million streams and “High On You” had over 5 million. It is so crazy and so cool but the most important thing is that people like it and have a connection with it. Spotify plays and chart entries are always a great extra but the most important thing for me is that guys like you and I feel the song and understand what I mean by the song and can relate to the music.
RS: Yes, because everyone needs music.
Sebastien: I think music is one of the things that brings people together. Sometimes there are language barriers and we can’t understand a person but we can connect and understand each other through the music and through those moments in clubs or listening in cars. Especially at festivals with trance music because the emotion of trance is very high and at a festival when you are in the middle of a crowd with thousands of people and you have this moment. You look at the face of this dude you don’t know and have never met and you say “Bro, do you feel it?” He says, “Yes, I feel it.” You can connect with someone that you have never even met before. It is amazing that you can connect through the music and with your music to your listeners, it is the best thing ever.
RS: With "Everyone Needs Music" how do you chose your songs for it?
Sebastien: For my Spotify playlist it is just my favorite songs, it has nothing to do with the charts. It is just a list of songs that I like to hear like in my car, you may hear a trance song on it or a Chainsmokers track or one from Green Velvet or something else. It is a good selection from my favorite tunes, this is what I like to do with my playlist.
RS: I like it a lot, I listen to it.
Sebastien: Really? Thank you!
RS: You have remixed Tom Novy and Tom Novy has remixed you several times over the years. Is there any chance of you two working together on a collaboration?
Sebastien: Tom is an awesome guy, we played together at the Ocean Club in Spain and that was the first time that we met in person. We talked on Facebook and when you talk to someone over the internet, the ice is already broken before you have even meet and it feels like you’ve known them for years. That was the situation with Tom and we had a great time and talked about collaborations but he is so busy and so am I, so it’s hard. Tom, if you read this, I think we should do something together.
RS: How about with Emma Hewitt?
Sebastien: I love her voice, I had a show in Taiwan about a year ago and she was there as well. She is an amazing person and her voice is amazing! Emma, when you read, this let’s do something together!
RS: I saw this really cute picture of you with your son. How do you balance your personal life with your DJ/producer life?
Sebastien: It is quite hard, I have a 4-month-old daughter as well and my son is 5 years old. I have my studio at home, so when I work, I can also chill with the kids and do things with them. When I am on tour or have meetings, it is hard. When I am at the hotel, I have facetime and skype but I try to balance things. I don’t go on tour every weekend. Like every fourth weekend I set aside family tim. That is the most important because that is what brings you .
RS: We are going to get a little controversial, I loved your “f*ck genres, listen to music” post, please explain what you meant by that?
Sebastien: I don’t know how it is in the rest of the world but in Germany, we have a lot of dudes from specific genres that say they will only listen to techno or hard style or trance and that they won’t do tracks with people that make other genres. It is stupid. Music is the thing that connects everyone and it doesn’t matter what kind of music you make but rather the feeling that you get from the music. It is the same for me, when I hear a song that is a trap, pop or rap song it doesn’t matter what genre it is, it is music. A lot of people think that when I play a DJ set I only play deep melodic stuff but that is not true. I play some tech stuff, house stuff, some trap stuff and a lot of different kinds of music. We have a good time and that is the most important thing. Play music, love music, feel music and fuck genres, it is music.
RS: And let’s also fuck those SoundCloud monkeys!
Sebastien: Of course!
RS: Speaking of which, if you were a furry, what animal would you be?
Sebastien: Oh that is hard, I think a monkey.
RS: I see that, you have the energy. When they make the movie of your life, what actor is going to play you?
Sebastien: Michael Fassbender, because he is one of the best actors and I think he would play the part well. So Michael, if you read this maybe we can make a movie together!
RS: What would you like to say to all of your fans out there?
Sebastien: Thank you everybody for the amazing support that you have given me over the last year and the last month and for listening to my music and sharing it and putting it on your Spotify playlists. Thank you for the amazing support and for giving me the opportunity to make music and I hope that we see each other soon at a festival or club. Have fun, love music, and love the person next to you, like I love the person next to me. Have an amazing time, this is the most important thing!
Interview conducted October 2016.