[INTERVIEW] Habstrakt Gives Insight Into His 'Heritage' LP, EDC LV Performances, + More

Habstrakt, Heritage, EDC Las Vegas
| May 29, 2023

Renowned French producer-DJ and artist Habstrakt has acquired and maintained his successful music career for over a decade, continuously reinventing his sound and aesthetics throughout his boisterous discography. From high-octane club anthems such as “Chicken Soup” to ambient long-form projects including his recently released Heritage LP, Habstrakt sustains an air of authenticity about his craft from end to end. iEDM had the privilege of meeting with Habstrakt at EDC Las Vegas to discuss his new album, festival performances, and outlook on the dance music industry.


Check out iEDM’s exclusive interview with Habstrakt at EDC LV below.

Habstrakt, Heritage, EDC Las Vegas

iEDM: You built a modular synthesizer for your recently dropped LP, Heritage. Can you describe the process behind that? What peaked your interest in using a modular synthesizer to create an album?

Habstrakt: After so many years of making music on computers, I was very nervous and had a lot of writers’ block. I found that I could build something bigger and start just having fun making music again. I built a machine that allows me to jam and be creative with entire beats or melodies and sounds. That made me interested in the process again.

iEDM: Along with the release of an album that deviates from your previous discography, you are playing EDC for the sixth time. Should we expect your set to also deviate from your previous EDC appearances?

Habstrakt: With the typical festival energy, the [music] selection is always my own. So, you should expect something in the same vein as what I always do, but also something that is brand new and fresh, because I have lots of new music, remixes, and edits. Habstrakt on stage has not changed too much; the energy is always as high as I can bring it.

My album definitely has some very low, quiet moments, but that is stuff I do not really want to bring on stage because I come from clubs and the rave – pretty heavy dancefloor-oriented music. I have learned that you can produce music not made for the club and not bring it onstage. You should expect crazier versions of the quieter songs on the album because I try to go as crazy as possible on stage.




Habstrakt, Heritage, EDC Las Vegas

iEDM: Heritage references both your French and American backgrounds. How does the dance music scene differ between France and the USA? How does this dichotomy show itself within the project?

Habstrakt: I think America is the rave culture, the colors, this crazy mess that is very inspiring to me because it really allowed me to expand as much as I wanted and get as crazy as I wanted. The French influence comes from very strict rules about what we make because we are very serious about art.

If it is all sparkly and colorful with no artistic integrity, it is all for nothing. I carry the French mentality that artists are serious about what we do, and the tight standards. Moving to America allowed me to expand my vision and really assume a lot of the ideas I had while still keeping a strict standard about what I do.


iEDM: In addition to producing music, you also create visual art. What do you hope your listeners visualize when they experience your new LP?

Habstrakt: I usually do something and deal with it later instead of questioning it during the process. I keep my artistic integrity awake through a lot of automatic writing. At the end of the day, I think things tend to connect naturally in my writing because I am at the center of what I create.

I think when people listen to the music and see the visuals, they connect the dots and get an insight into my universe. I try not to question it too much, because if I question what I am doing, I start to feel like I am not doing it for the right reasons. Furthermore, I never force myself into things, but I am very curious about learning new things at the same time.


iEDM: Which artists and outside influences have inspired and helped lead you to your signature style? Which genres outside of EDM do you feel are embedded in your music?

Habstrakt: In the EDM world, obviously Skrillex has been massive for me, and French pioneers such as Justice and Daft Punk. There were icons in electronic music since I was a kid in the mid-90’s and early 2000s.

Most of the music I listen to is outside of EDM. I know many DJs at EDC personally, but could not name one of their songs… mostly because I try to preserve what I make and avoid comparing myself to others. Most of my outside music sources come from 90s punk, punk rock, and grunge that I found when I was a kid. I also listen to lots of British synth-wave and movie soundtracks.

Habstrakt, Heritage, EDC Las Vegas

iEDM: As an artist with a wide range of experience and discography, some releases may quickly blow up, while others may not perform as well as anticipated. How do these scenarios affect your creativity and work flow? Does perceived success ever play into your productions?

Habstrakt: It used to be really bad for me. I sometimes say that having a hit record is the worst thing that can happen to you as an artist, because now you have to top that. I made a song with Skrillex and it was a massive hit, but after that I felt that my next record had to be bigger and better. It is the best way to enter writers’ block and hate everything else you are going to make.

That is one of the reasons I wanted to take a risk and make this album full of songs not made for the club. I made it for myself. In order to preserve your creativity you need to separate yourself from the feedback and the numbers. It is important to make commercial music and hit records so you can keep playing shows, but you cannot let the numbers affect you. Once I distanced myself from the performance of my music, I started to like making music again.


iEDM: Are there any smaller artists or new acts that have caught your eye recently? If so, what about them stands out to you?

Habstrakt: I have been following Imanu and Nitepunk for a while, who recently blew up and they really deserve it. There are also a lot of really exciting things coming out of France, and French artists keep a really tight eye on each other.

ELMYX has really raw energy and the craziest mindset and is really innovative. He is pure and has not been corrupted by having to play shows or the numbers, so he is just making pure, good, banging tunes.

Additionally, there is a French drum & bass producer called Bacon who is making excellent DnB tunes, and is just a couple hits away from being in the eyes of lots of big DJs.

The first thing I notice about the music is something that makes me disconnect from everything and not think about the production or numbers. I just want to be absorbed by a piece of music, and feel that the artist had fun making it.


iEDM: During your sets, you frequently display your ability to flawlessly transition between genres, which has recently become much more common among other DJs. Has this become the new industry standard? Are sets inherently more exciting when more variety is included, or is there a time when homogeneity will be more well-received? 

Habstrakt: What makes a good DJ set is the flow. You can play 15 different genres and have no flow and it feels chaotic, or you can just play one genre and transition flawlessly throughout the whole thing. I do see a trend with people playing a lot of different genres; some people do it well, some people do not. At the end of the day, a good flow and telling a good story is what matters most. What comes from the heart is always going to win.

Habstrakt, Heritage, EDC Las Vegas

iEDM: What has been your most memorable interaction with a fan and why do you think this specific encounter comes to mind?

Habstrakt: What strikes me the most is when someone travels across the country to catch a set of mine. I am always like, “you came for me?”. This one guy has always been at every show possible and hyping up the music. After talking on Instagram for a couple of years, I met him at my show in Denver. I asked him “So you're from Denver?”, and he replied “No, I’m from New York”.

I asked him why he was all the way in Denver and he said, “for you”. I was stunned that he flew all the way to Denver to see a smaller club show, because I was just in New York 3 weeks ago. He said he was at my New York show too! My mind could not compute the idea that this kid flew to the other side of the country to come see my show.

It fills my heart with so much incredible joy to think that all the time I spent in my bedroom making music led to people connecting to it in such a powerful way. It’s still surreal for me to experience something like that. So Eric, if you hear this, shoutout my guy.


iEDM: Whether inside or outside of music, what are your primary goals for the remainder of 2023?

Habstrakt: I want to release a bunch of remixes I have been getting for the album, including a remix album that should be released soon. I want to start implementing the modular stuff into my live shows, with video as well. Tonight I am debuting analog/VHS visuals I made myself, which is a rabbit hole I fell into a month ago. I also want to bring my studio equipment onstage and mingle the two together.

Check out Habstrakt HERE!

Photos courtesy of Habstrakt


Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!


Check out iEDM's Review of EDC Las Vegas 2023 HERE!   

Paije Kantor


Native to Long Beach, California, Paije has been in love with dance music since childhood, which blossomed into a love for its community and events later on. Over time, she has become a dedicated fan of all EDM subgenres, with a special affinity for industrial and melodic techno, dubstep and riddim, electro house and trance, and DnB.

Paije recently graduated with a B.S. in geology and paleontology and spends her free time searching for new additions to her collection of playlists, watching history documentaries, researching obscure topics, and attempting to keep up with her husky’s energy.

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