There’s a new name in the dance music world: emerging from Switzerland with a strong international outlook, Balthazard understands the relationship between groove and style. Not everyone does: it’s easy to craft a dance track, but it’s hard to make it sounds cool and vibey. The young newcomer manages to do exactly that with his debut effort, ‘Once I’ve Been There’, a soulful, retro-infused house banger that’s set to burn every dancefloor in instants.
Stylistically, one can observe deep-house and classic-house influences, supercharged by the disco and jazzy samples so proudly championed on the record. That’s what we meant earlier, by ‘style’ – nothing cliché or obvious, instead pure, unfiltered dancing goodness.
On the rise, Balthazard is a name we’ll get used to hearing often in the Dj and production world. Writing internationally with a plethora of fellow creatives, we are confident we’ll see him jumping onto bigger stages soon.
Intrigued by his artistry, we caught up with the Swiss talent to find out more about his artistry and future goals… Interview below!
Hey Balthazard, how is it going? some of our readers might not be familiar with your project, how would you describe yourself, in a few words?
Hi everyone, I’m a London-based musician, producer and DJ originally from Switzerland. My music is heavily influenced by what my parents raised me to, mostly Soul, Disco, Jazz and Funk music.
Your current work is the result of a long journey; What first drew you to making music?
I have been making music since I was a kid, first as a drummer, playing for a few jazz, soul and rock bands. Then later my dad gifted me a Korg Volca sampler when I was about 16 years old and that is when I started producing. Since then, I have been producing and recording a wide range of artists, having my first placements in Switzerland in 2020 and then moved to London where I produce, write and record for a lot artists, a few Hip Hop artists but also Soul, RnB and Pop artists from the city. DJing was a natural progression for me given the Disco, House and Dance influences of my solo project.
If you had the opportunity to pick any artists in the world for a collaboration, who would be your first choice? (and second choice, perhaps?)
Tough question! There are many amazing artists from very different genres that I would love to work with. If I think about the best music that could come out of that collaboration, I would have to say Anderson.Paak and JMSN. I love how they capture such eclectic influences while finding their sound and making it evolve.
You have just released a groovy and soulful gem, ‘Once I’ve Been There’. We love the retro feel in it. What was the inspiration for it?
Some early 2000s artists, such as Room 5 or Modjo. The track also has a stronger groove and drums, making it more modern and fitting in the current era of Disco and House. Bringing the soulfulness of these nostalgic tracks back into the clubs was also a goal of mine with this song and my artist project as a whole.
Do you feel more confident writing music alone, or within a team?
Probably alone for the instrumental composition. I love working late at night, trying to connect with my feelings and express something authentic free from the pressure of studio time. Since I don’t put my own vocals on songs, I work with some amazing songwriters and recording artists to complete instrumentals or start some new ideas.
Being this your official release, it’s exciting to see you starting so strong. Can we expect the same style of dance music from you in the future? Or are you exploring more eclectic territories?
Thank you! It is very exciting and also helps me to set high standards in terms of the songs that I release. The house influence behind “Once I’ve Been There” is something that will always be part of my musical DNA, but future releases are going to explore my early influences, featuring original songs with amazing artists.
Artistically speaking, what challenges have the last two years presented you with?
It has been crazy! Moving to London in September 2021 and trying to kickstart my career as a producer and as a DJ while building a network and finding my rhythm in this city full of opportunities. We also founded our own record label “Bain des Dames”, so the challenges of running a company come on top of the musical aspects of our career. The biggest challenge has probably been the quest for my musical identity as an artist, since there is so much music I love working on. I realised that finding myself first as a human being and getting closer to my identity has helped with creating music that feels authentic.
What are the next steps for your project? Anything exciting on the horizon?
The future of my project is hard to predict with everything going on; the releases under my record label, the drums, the DJ sets and studio sessions. My goal is to bring everything together and not having to choose one career over the other. The live project is going to come together hopefully very soon, where great music is going to be played, kind of like a DJ set, but with guest musicians and the ability for me to switch to a drum set on stage. This is a long-term goal but it would be the ultimate stage of my career, being able to bring back live instruments in a DJ set, while playing some of my original songs. Coming soon!