Name: Jade de Lavareille aka Deer Jade
Occupation: DJ, producer
If you enjoyed this interview with Deer Jade and would like to find out more about her, visit her on Instagram, and Soundcloud.
Tell me about your first DJ gigs, please. How did you approach them and how do you look back on them with hindsight?
I was probably as incredibly excited to finally get to play as I was nervous. I had been digging and collecting music for years so had so much to share but was terrified of not being able to make proper transitions and telling the story the way I wanted to tell it. But you have to jump off the cliff to realize it’s only a bed of roses waiting for you at the bottom!
It was so incredibly fun that I knew deep down I had discovered my biggest passion in the universe. Looking back now I would tell myself (and I'm still telling this myself now) to just relax more and not put so much pressure on myself, because that always ends up being counterproductive.
The most fun we come to have in the moment the most fun we can convey to the people!
What were some of the artists, technologies and clubs/events that changed your perspective on what DJing could be?
Pacha and Circoloco at DC10 in Ibiza - The highest energy, mind blowing sound systems, it is where I had the most profound musical and life experiences, where I truly became one with the music as the entire material world disappeared, all that was left were pure ecstatic vibrations …
The Gardens of Babylon events - a true sense of community and celebration of love, all around the world with truly passionate music lovers and dancers! Listening and dancing to the extra-ordinary and ever-changing live set of BØRÅ, the only artist I know who can literally play for 8 hours of live set non-stop in full improvisation, playing all the instruments, singing, dancing, never playing twice the same thing while always keeping the energy at the peak! A true master of the craft and massive inspiration.
The never-ending sets at after parties in Ibiza, dancing to the beats of Solomun, Dixon, Bedouin, Ame … realizing how much we can express through music, how many different profound feelings we can convey how we can uplift each other through dance.
How would you personally rate the potential for expressing yourself with DJing compared to producing? What can be expressed through these two different disciplines?
I love to DJ so incredibly much as it gives an extraordinary chance to tell an entire story. 1h30 is the general minimum for a set but I believe it should really be at least 3 hours minimum to be able to tell the most profound adventure possible. To ride waves of totally different feelings, different scenes.
I see music as a cosmic connector, a spaceship that can transport us anywhere anytime. Basically, instant teleportation! Anything becomes possible behind the decks, and as we are playing tracks from many different artists, I feel it brings great depth, while also enabling us to explore surprising and unexpected dimensions, without getting too attached to one sound in particular. Renewing ourselves completely with every set.
On the other hand, producing tracks gives us a chance to express our deepest heart, to share our own pure vibration with the world. It’s quite mystical really. Very intimate also, it feels like getting out there completely naked. It’s like drawing our own portrait, writing our autobiography. Making music leaves something behind that can become timeless, it’s an energy expressed, painted out, not leaving a single detail unsupervised.
Both DJing and producing are so incredibly fun and different that I feel like I can express myself just as much in both, just in totally different ways, one couldn’t go without the other! What a blessing it is we have these two media!!!
DJing has always – at least partially – been about presenting exciting music. In a club, however, people are dancing and in a community with other guests while they're listening rather than sitting at home or listening on earbuds while travelling. How does this change our perception of the music, do you feel? What makes the club experience unique?
Having the chance to listen to music in a club on a great sound system is a physical and social experience that cannot be compared to anything else.
When our entire body is vibrating so profoundly, sound can touch us at such a deeper level. It can literally heal us, reprogram us for the better. When everybody is dancing in rhythm all together, with heartbeats in sync, in all peace and communion, realizing our supreme connection, our divine unity; that is the whole purpose of music, of coming together and gathering around music.
I feel like that’s truly the most beautiful thing we can experience on a human level. A pure celebration of Life.
Composers and songwriters combine notes and sounds. DJs combine entire songs. Can you tell me a bit about how your work as a DJ has influenced your view of music, your way of listening and perhaps also, if applicable, your work as a producer?
Before I was DJing, I remember so vividly being on the dancefloor, taken on incredible cosmic journeys wondering all the time “How on earth is it possible to do that?? To blend all these sounds so seamlessly??” It felt like rocket science at the time, but eventually I felt the call stronger than ever that I should absolutely dive into it and learn all that I could.
Once you start getting into it everything makes so much sense that it isn’t so difficult, it’s just about practice and training the ear. I barely knew any of the musical vocabulary at the time, everything seemed like one continuous song, made of God knows what. (laughs) Step by step you listen to everything more in depth, you learn what is what, you understand better what’s actually happening in the mix, what part of the track is coming at what moment etc. Until eventually you wonder “how on earth is it possible to make such beautiful music like this??”
Getting into production is like starting to read the most fun and playful book ever, which no one ever finishes to read as there will always be more things to learn and discover. Production gives us truly infinite possibilities of creation, changing forever the way we listen and analyse the music we then come to hear. It’s an endless road of discovery, which makes it the most exciting journey ever, to me at least. Each song will always have new secrets to reveal to us, if only we have the ears to perceive it.
What role does digging for music still play for your work as a DJ? Tell me a bit about where and how you're looking for music that excites you and music that will work in a set?
Digging is my greatest addiction. I dig pretty much every single day as it’s simply a part of my daily routine. It’s pure happiness every time to explore and discover all these different sonic universes from the comfort of my home, or even at the airport or wherever I can be!
I always open Soundcloud to listen to what’s fresh, to discover new artists or labels. I listen to every single promo I receive by email (thanks’ to all of you who have been sending amazing music, it’s literally the best gift in the universe!!!) Every Friday I also listen to all the new releases on Beatport of all the artists and labels that I follow. I really love Bandcamp to purchase music as well as it feels like they are paying artists fairly and is always full of hidden unknown gems.
When I discover a new track that I love I check all the previous music of the artist, and also go over the label and the other tracks that may be recommended along. It’s quite mystical how sometimes for days and days I don’t find anything in particular, and then one day suddenly I can find couple tracks I completely fall in love with.
It really comes by waves; I try to never force anything and only add a track to my library when I’m absolutely convinced by it.