Don’t expect to find French DJ Sub Zero sitting at a café on South Beach sipping red wine and eating a croissant on any given night of the week. He’s got way too many fans waiting for his legendary beats in the clubs. We recently caught up with Sub Zero to discuss his ice cold name, partying all over the world, and why he prefers the NBA over soccer.
You market yourself as not being the “typical French man”. Why do you find you connect more with American culture?
Well I still have a lot of French in me, but it is true that for a few things I knew I was made to come out here. I didn't watch too many soccer games, but I would wake up at 3 in the morning to watch the NBA Finals. Oh, yes it is true I hate wine, but I'll enjoy some good cheese! Music wise, I have been a hip hop and R&B fan since I was 12 years old and I would go to the import sections of record stores to have the newest music from the US - that was before the internet era.
How did you come up with your DJ name?
I always wanted to have the newest, the best, the freshest music and to be the first to play the new bangers. When I went to L.A. or Miami to visit my cousins, I noticed the Sub Zero fridges (we couldn't find this brand in France), and I would always choose to be Sub Zero in the Mortal Combat video game, so the name was perfect for me. I play the freshest music, I am the freshest DJ, and I kill the competition.
In 10 years of playing all over the world, what has been your favorite moment of your career?
I have some unreal crazy moments of people having the best of times, everywhere from Dubai, China, Israel, and Sweden. I've spun in 25 countries and in the greatest spots so it's hard for me to pick just one. About a year and a half ago while I was playing at SET in Miami, I felt a big hand on my shoulder and when I turned, it was my idol, Michael Jordan, telling me that he loved what I was playing and that he was having a good time. I was shaking and having a blast in my DJ booth. That [moment] was a God given gift.
You DJ at international events like the Cannes Film Festival and Paris Fashion Week all the time. What can locals expect of your sets in Miami?
I always want to make the crowd happy. And I try to do it in a classy way - meaning I don't want to play too much cheesy stuff even if some people will enjoy it. But I want to spin records that fit the place where I play. If it's a high-end, classy venue with bottles and models, I will mix up some good Kanye, Pharrell, Jay-Z, etc. with some good European electro like Daft Punk. I won't play too much hard core hip hop or hard techno if the place and people are not in that mood. It is important to me to be able to make the crowd go crazy, but also that the music matches the environment.
Tell us more about your first self-produced album and other plans for the future.
I plan to begin my first album. Of course I won't be a lead singer, maybe on some hooks here and there. I will try to reproduce the vibe that I like in the clubs. Some good up-tempo clubby electro songs, some bouncy hip hop tracks. I will try to recreate that "mash-up" vibe where styles meet, like rock singer on a rap track or a house beat, etc. I have a couple of songs that are ready, but a whole album is another story. I am looking for good songwriters to help me out with the work. I would love to have some of the Miami scene and others from every musical planet, from local indie rock bands to big shot rappers like Rick Ross. And as usual I will be travelling a lot this year so expect me in every major city in the world.
DJ Sub Zero