Interview: The Magician
Belgian DJ Stephen Fasano first ascended to fame as one-half of disco-revival outfit Aeroplane with Vito De Luca. But after these two pilots experienced a bit of turbulence in the cockpit, Fasano flew the coop and started his own venture under the mystical name The Magician. Since then, he’s remixed Lykke Li’s I Follow Rivers (which has chalked up an impressive 11 million YouTube views), joined French label-du-jour Kitsuné and worked with electro DJ Yuksek in a collaboration affectionately titled Peter & The Magician (Yuksek’s real name is Pierre). Ahead of his first-ever Hong Kong gig at The Mira, we chat with The Magician and try to get him to reveal some of his tricks.
[Spoiler – he doesn’t].
Hey Stephen! Can you tell us more about your Peter & The Magician collaboration with Yuksek?
We’ve known each other for three years. We met in 2010 at Calvi On The Rocks – a festival on the beach in Corsica. We decided to try something together. We were in the studio for a week and we made three tracks. It worked so well, so we continued to work together. We made new tracks recently. It’s gonna be released this year, before the summer, but we’re not exactly sure when. We’re happy to work together.
Does the way you work change a lot when you have to consider someone else in the studio?
For sure it changes. It’s actually quicker sometimes. It depends. When it works well with someone else, it can be quicker. But when it’s not… when it’s a different relationship, it can be worse. So, in this case, with Yuksek, it works so quick together. Really quick.
I guess that ‘previous collaboration’ was with Aeroplane?
Exactly, yeah [laughs].
Do you have any regrets about what happened with Aeroplane?
I don’t have any regrets. I think we made the right decision. I think it was worth it for both of us in the end. It was for the better.
I hear a lot of 80s influence in your work. Everyone’s calling this kind of music ‘nu disco’.
I don’t call it nu disco. Maybe the press call it like that. Nu disco for me… it can be pop or electronic. They call it ‘nu disco’ maybe because there is electronic music in it and real instruments as well.
How might you describe your music, then?
I call it indie-dance or dream pop or … [laughs] I don’t know. It’s maybe nicer to put it like that. Nu disco is a little too rough. It’s become a little bit ‘has been’ as well. Nu disco was a hyped-up term for music with instruments five or seven years ago. And back then everybody was ‘nu disco’ too. When you hear that song Barbra Streisand – it’s a disco song produced with the sound of 2011.
We hear you’re into fashion too.
Yes. I’ve been exploring fashion through my girlfriend – she designs my costumes.
You have... costumes?
So when you perform your gigs…
I play in a costume, yeah. In an outfit.
What does the outfit look like?
It’s kind of a magician’s costume. Very trendy… more like a dandy French guy [laughs]. It’s quite cool.
Do you feel like, when you’ve got a gig, that you’re playing a role? Like you’re dressing up and turning yourself into a magician?
Not really. I’m not playing a magician. I’m just playing records with a lot of enthusiasm but I’m not making tricks when I’m playing. [Quickly] I mean I’m making tricks with music! But not tricks with bunnies or anything like that.
Interview: Andrea Yu
The Magician plays a set at Vibes at The Mira on March 24. Tickets: $180 adv, $200 door, firstname.lastname@example.org