This photo is one of the few images from my childhood that have come down to me because our apartment burned down when I was younger. My Cameroonian family sent it to us. I can be seen there in Yaoundé, surrounded by my mother and my aunt, now deceased. I am less than 1 year old: on the back of the image, it says that the photo was taken in 1989. Being my mother’s first child, she had come to introduce me from France, where we lived, as the wants tradition.

“My parents were into soul, funk, especially James Brown. That’s why my brother’s name is James. »

We went there for five months. Before coming to France, my mother had been a secretary-shorthand typist at the Cameroon Ministry of Labor and, when she arrived, she trained as a seamstress, dreaming of joining Chanel – you can see in the photo her sense of elegance. However, the lack of diversity at the time meant that she never dared to apply, that she did not allow herself to do so: she started working as a personal assistant.

I don’t know what I was listening to, headphones on. My parents were fans of soul, funk, especially James Brown, that’s why my brother is called James. At home, music was omnipresent, so much so that I couldn’t say what my first musical memory is. We listened to it when we woke up on the radio, in the background, when we were cleaning… On the other hand, I remember the first time I asked, as a child, to make music. I practiced volleyball and the gymnasium was located behind the conservatory, in Rambouillet.

Every time we passed by, I asked my mother to play the piano, without knowing that the lessons were paying and that it required having a piano at home to practice. I insisted so much that one day we went in to find out. The lady at the reception immediately spoke about the prices. I saw how much my mother wanted to please me but that in terms of budget it was impossible. My parents had come to France to have access to a better education, for them and for us, and there we were reaching the limits. I felt that it did something to my mother… That day, I understood that we were poor.

When I was 7 or 8 years old, I had asked him with the same enthusiasm for the CD of Le Feu qui m’attise, by Ophélie Winter. I liked the rhythm and, above all, I felt that this woman was bigger than what people allowed her to be, that she had a stronger ambition than what people believed. My mother managed to tape it to me and I listened to it a lot. Since then, I have followed Ophélie Winter’s career: I like to incorporate an extract from her song Sache into my sets. I do the same with DJ, from Diam’s. These are songs that may seem funny or popular to some, but that I mix seriously because they are so well produced.

Making music, for my mother, was not easy: in my family, you had to do a master’s degree, become a doctor or a lawyer. She likes some of my songs, the more pop ones, but is unfamiliar with electronic music. Computer music? She finds it difficult to understand it, especially since Cameroon, a great nation of bassists, had no electro scene. But she comes to see me in set sometimes. She may be 66, but she goes to a club out of curiosity, at 3 a.m., to see what I’m doing.

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