DJ and producer Florian Picasso has been keeping busy even while the world of dance music—in its traditional sense, at least—is on a momentary hold. The great-grandson of Pablo Picasso, was born in Vietnam before being adopted into the legendary artist’s family. Growing up between France and Switzerland, he developed his style by mixing influences of hip hop and classic electro into his own hybrid, high-energy sound. Since then, Picasso has become no stranger to some of the biggest stages around the world through his solo sets and collaborations.
After recently signing on to Universal Recordings, Florian caught up with Bliss Saigon to talk live music in the time of COVID-19, connecting with Vietnam through music, and what lies ahead. He will perform a special live-streamed DJ set for his audience in Vietnam on June 21st—tune in on his Facebook page HERE.
Bliss Saigon: What has it been like to adapt your sets to live streams? Has anything surprised you about DJing online and connecting with fans from afar instead of at festivals or in clubs?
Florian Picasso: The biggest difference obviously is that there is no crowd physically present and the actual crowd is most likely not having a party when watching your live show so the music selection needs to be a bit different too. I also have a lot of new music that I love to test out on my shows which I can’t really do at the moment…
“I always try to think outside the bow with no boundaries”
BS: Talk a bit about your latest releases such as ‘Restart Your Heart’ with GRX – what
has been influencing your music lately?
FP: I always try to think outside the bow with no boundaries. When inspiration hits me I just kind of see where it takes me. Sometimes it turns into dance, like ‘Restart Your Heart’ with GRX and ‘Armageddon’ with Timmy Trumpet and other times it has more pop influences like ‘Like You Do’ with GASHI and Ally Brooke and a lot of the new records I am currently working on. With the quarantine I’ve had less on my mind which means I have more time to try new stuff in the studio and let my inspiration take over.
BS: You’ve had the chance to play live shows across Vietnam in the past. How did it feel
to perform here? Were there any especially memorable shows?
FP: It was amazing and I am really missing Vietnam a lot. Obviously I’ve lived in France and Switzerland most of my life but Vietnam will always be a big part of me. When I play in Vietnam it feels extra special and the connection I have with the crowd is really the best for me.
BS: What types of opportunities are you looking forward to after recently signing on with Universal Recordings?
I love making music and signing with Universal means that I can share my passion with as many people as possible and potentially outside of the dance world too. I think that’s what I like the most.
“I love to share ideas and visions with other artists”
BS: How has collaborating with other electronic artists, from Martin Garrix to Steve Aoki, helped you to evolve as a performer and producer?
In collaborations I always look to create something special and make sure that the styles and sounds of all artists are represented. Sometimes that results in the genre of the track becoming something totally different than what I’m used to. And I love to share ideas and visions with other artists, especially with Martin.
BS: Of course, both your background and name itself are synonymous with creativity. Have you channeled the family name into your own work?
FP: I think that the way and the environment in which I was raised by my mother have definitely played a part in my creativity but carrying such a name and legacy is more a challenge for me today.
BS: What upcoming projects are you most excited about?
FP: I have a lot of exciting projects coming up! And I have been working on coming back to Vietnam for a while and I am really looking forward to making this happen and be back to present everything we have been working on with my team for the last 2 years for Vietnam. I know it will be something very special and emotional for me.