When Protocol Recordings announced that they were going to be hosting their own party during Miami Music Week, there were no words that could describe how excited we were that we were going to attend this madhouse full force. Not only was the lineup KILLER, it was also at one of Miami’s premiere nightclubs, Mansion. The excitement kept building when we were offered an interview with 28 year old French DJ/producer Arno Cost. Coming straight from Paris, France, this talented and young (yes Arno, you ARE young- don’t even deny it!) DJ made his mark in the dance music industry when his hit “Magenta”, produced alongside Arias, scored him overnight fame. He went from bedroom booty-shaking hit maker to all time superstar producer.
Spending some time with Cost was valuable, and not just because we’re trying a play on words. The guy has got it going on, and in more ways than one! He has a lot in store for us this festival season and is scheduled to release a few new tracks. I’m going to quit while I’m ahead before I give too much away...
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: When did you first come to Miami?
Actually, the very first time I went to Miami I was 21, but I had the chance to come down here when I was 20. I wasn’t going to be able to get into the clubs and play so I said “why not wait one year”. It’s been seven years already. I am old now!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Was that the first year that you ever performed at Miami Music Week?
Yeah, I came down here to play different shows. I remember I played at Set Nightclub and had some other shows at night clubs. It was a pretty busy year for me, it was great!
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How different is Miami Music Week seven years later?
The biggest change is that it is so busy now. Seven years ago, it was really busy, but now it is insane. Every club, every pool party, and Ultra are all full. Its crazy! The vibe is different too. Now, you can hear different kinds of music, but back then it was only house music. It is a great change and Miami is doing better every year.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: You were at Redlight last night? What type of venue do you prefer?
Do you prefer underground nightclubs, something like this that’s more popular, or pool parties? Yesterday was very small, dirty underground. Even if it is only 200 people, it’s great- the atmosphere, the vibes, it is insane. I love these kind of places too. Of course, also playing festivals which are amazing but are very different. I like both actually. And for pool parties, I like those too but people are more chill- people are drinking mojitos and it’s more than just about the music.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Festival season is coming up so, how does a festival compare to something like this?
It is an experience that you have to live. For every artist, playing for such a large amount of people in front of you and sending you some love, it gives you goosebumps. It makes you feel like “okay, I haven’t worked that much for nothing”. I take it as a reward.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Whether it be a nightclub or a festival, how much planning goes into your set? Or do you just wing it?
It depends on the party. Sometimes I say “this is going to be the lineup with so many DJs, so I’m not going to be able to play their tracks”. You have to be careful, you cannot just come into clubs and say “I’m going to play this or that”. I am trying to prepare a little bit, but I like to feel the vibe of the club. Sometimes, you realize that you are going in a way that people are not really liking, so you have to adjust your music. Maybe you’re going to play more tech house, maybe you’ll play more progressive-so I don’t like to prepare too much.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: In a multi-DJ showcase like this, what type of elements do you put in your set to make you stand out?
I think you have to play exclusive stuff, every new release you’re going to have that people haven’t heard before. But also making some edits that people can recognize with very famous vocals- crossover type stuff. You can play underground, but this is the type of venue and event where people want to recognize songs and be lost in your new music. But, if you only play new tracks, they’re going to want something they can recognize and sing to- it’s very important. I am going to play some new stuff that people don’t know and will discover. It’s important for me to use this as promotional material at this event, but also make some edits that people are going to like.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Do you have any new stuff in store for us this festival season?
Yeah, we have a busy schedule for releases. We have a new track going out on Interscope Records soon with Norman Doray, and I have an original of my own. All of these new tracks are going to be released before the end of August.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I like when DJ’s really start their own tracks because that is what you can identify with. What do you want to be remembered for?
If I have to pick one thing, I want my music to speak for me as a person. It’s all about marketing and branding, but sometimes I just want my music to speak. If people have to remember me by my tracks when I am 80, it is going to be one of my biggest tracks ever, “Magenta” from 2006.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: That was what put you on the map. How has your life been different since that track was released?
Before that, I used to make music in my bedroom. We actually made that track with Arias in two days. Literally our life changed; Pete Tong took it and played it on BBC Radio 1, and Axwell & Eric Prydz did a bootleg with it. I had so many booking requests, it was crazy! Back in the day, you had less competition- it was like “this is the NEW French guy.”
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: Thats a big deal that Pete Tong took your track. How did that feel?
To be honest, I didn’t even know him. They called me and told me “Oh my gosh! Pete Tong played your track”, and I said “Who’s Pete Tong?” Then I realized this guy was one of the biggest DJs in the UK and one of the biggest influencers in the market. I was not aware of that, I had no pressure- we just made it. I knew all of the French DJs, and of course my influence was Daft Punk, so I wasn’t really aware of the UK market and even less of the US market.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How do these markets compare? How is the European market different from the American market?
It is very different, here in Europe, they are not big at all. My profile is bigger in Europe and we are trying to get something started here. The future is here in the US. I still love playing in Europe, it’s my roots and there are so many great clubs, but for the US, it is just the beginning. We used to listen to house 20 years ago in Europe and in the US, it is new for you guys. It is great and very exciting.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: How do you think the clubs compare?
It is just different- the people are different, the vibes are different and it depends on every city. I think you can’t take one city and compare it against another one. You can’t just compare US with Europe, it depends. Some of my favorite cities in the US are LA and Miami.
EPIC PRODUCTIONS: I always like to find out DJ’s musical inspirations… anyone who has inspired you to start making music in your bedroom haha?!
Yeah, before I started making house music, I liked to produce some down-tempo stuff like Moby back in the day. When he released the album Play, I was like “WOW!”- it was something special to me. A new life was beginning in music. Before that, I liked Muse and Radiohead as well. And when Daft Punk went with their “One More Time” track, I said “I want to do this, I want to do this French-Dutch music.”
Thank you Arno for this amazing interview. You absolutely killed it at Mansion Nightclub and we are wishing we could relive all of the madness from that night! Tune into Arno Cost’s Radio Show each week called “When in Paris”!
AUTHOR CREDIT: AINSLEY ASHTON