Behind the DJ Booth: LEBARON
After an exam break, I’m back this week covering Montreal’s François Lebaron, a.k.a. LEBARON, who kicked off his DJ career in 1996 by hosting a rave when he was just 17.
Now, he DJs, produces and owns a record label.
He started his first label in the late ‘90s, Trigger Recording under Warner Music Canada.
Influenced by Tiga’s working approach, who Lebaron gives credit to for bringing electronic music to Montreal and all over Canada, he’s recorded with various local and international artists like DJ Pfreud and swedish “trickster” Håkan Lidbo. He’s taken up residence over the years at several Montreal clubs, including Stereo, Unity2, Circus and Velvet, to name a few.
In 2008 and 2009, Lebaron was the artistic director of Montreal’s Black and Blue Festival, the dance-party utopia that happens every Thanksgiving weekend. Last year, he released eight songs and remixes with Mile End Records and Pronto Musique, and he’s currently working on a full-length album. He released a new single in April entitled “Someone Else,” mixing an electronic bass with disco-meets-indie melody. If you’re looking for a summer song to battle Daft Punk’s new release, this may be it.
Currently, Lebaron has monthly gigs at Stereo and Salon Daomé, and is launching into a monthly residency at Joverse, a new supper club in the Old Port—in addition to his work as a promoter and the work he does managing various shows for production companies.
Lebaron’s advice to aspiring DJs: “Do it the right way, the purist way.”
“Being a DJ and involved in dance culture means you must entertain,” Lebaron said. “[The] positive energy [must be given to the crowd] as soon as you step into the booth. And you must have a unique musical selection.
“If you want to be a DJ, buy two turntables and 20 vinyls,” he said. “You’ll be the best in the world with those 20 vinyls.” You won’t ever be the DJ in a silent dance hall because of a computer glitch or mis-matched beats, he adds.