Interview: 5 minutes with Borussia

Borussia is an incredibly talented producer, who proudly constructs his musical masterpieces using only digital tools (and a few billion samples). A digital pioneer, last year Borussia created a software-based synthesizer from only DJ Q-Bert scratch vinyls: he called it the “Q synth” and now uses it to form the basis of his innovative productions.

Hailing from Paris, Borussia aka Agent B releases his latest body of work, the Se Voui Ballare EP with an accompanying video for the lead single ‘Vuole Ballare feat. Malvina’. Directly translated to ‘If You Want To Dance’, the 4-track EP is a groovy, synthy body of work full of disco-infused dancefloor numbers.

We caught up with Borussia on precise schedules, hatred and getting out of your comfort zone:

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

I don’t know, I don’t remember wanting to do anything else. I wanted to be a Mangaka, then a movie director, then I realised music was an easier/quicker/funnier way to “do art”.

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

The sound, then the idea. I don’t need inspiration or bullshit like that to get to work, I just make music until something comes out. Sometimes it takes months, sometimes minutes, but something always comes out!

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Only one – on my latest EP, with Malvina. But to be honest, I asked her to do whatever she wanted, and it just so happened to fit very well with the music. Otherwise I’m absolutely impossible to work with!

What’s on your current playlist?

Giraffage – Do U Want Me
Juliette Armanet – A La Folie
MGMT – Little Dark Age
Knower – The Government Knows
New Order – Singularity (Erol Alkan Stripped Mix)

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I try my best not to keep my eyes on the decks too much and enjoy the party with them as much as possible. Sometimes I drop something a bit odd like an italo track in a ghetto-house set, or a cheesy FM hit just to make sure they’re still with me

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Sampling, all day, everyday – that’s what I love the most, infinite possibilities!

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

5am: Wake up, work out for 2 hours. 7am: Open Ableton Live 8.2.6, rearrange last night’s ideas for 5 hours. 12: Eat a milanese schnitzel at Sale y Pepe. 1pm: Make sure I forget to answer important emails and return urgent calls and record new ideas for the next 5 hours. 6pm: Go home. 7pm: Stop by Krishna Bhavan to take an Idli set and a Biryani to go. 8pm: record new ideas for the next 4 hours. Midnight: Go to bed, close my eyes, sleep, work on some new ideas in my dreams for the next day.

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

Not really a moment, but I remember saying to myself, “Okay this is it, I choose music, I’m not doing anything else I don’t care about.”

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

The least possible items. As I always forget something in the booth, either it’s my USB stick, my shirt or my dignity when things go wrong..

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Hatred against artists more successful than I am while making mediocre music. Hatred is an underrated feeling; tame it, cherish it, turn it into art and you’ll get the best art!

*Darth Vader’s theme starting in the distance*

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

I only work with Ableton Live 8.2.6, and a few billion samples, that’s all I need really. I also have a Micro Korg I don’t use, A talkbox I don’t use, and a microphone I don’t use.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

By accepting projects I didn’t want, or doing some remixes I didn’t want because I’m very bad at it… Yeah, sounds a bit cliché, but get out of your comfort zone sometimes – at worst you’ll learn new tricks.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

Weird interviews and dope music!

Stream or purchase Se Vuoi Ballare EP by Borussia

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