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Interview with Jean-Michel Jarre: Electronic dance music pioneer (Includes interview)

On May 20, Jarre will be headlining the iconic Radio City Music Hall in New York City, as part of his North America “Electronica” tour. “When I was 19 years old, I went to New York for the first time, and I walked in front of Radio City. I hoped to someday perform at Radio City, and next month, I will be fulfilling the dream that I had as a teenager,” he said. “It is a very special moment and I am looking forward to it. This project is quite unique for me. I wanted to do a concert where I would mix some of my classics and big hits with some new tracks from 2017.”

Jarre continued, “Beyond this, I wanted to conceive a stage design and to be able to express myself what I have always been interested in writing music: to create an architecture of sounds and to create some perspectives like they do in paintings and in movies. I wanted to create a technical 3D, but a 3D without glasses. Doing the first rehearsals, we were all blown away by the results. This is what I want to present and to share with the New York audience at Radio City Music Hall. I have a fantastic team working with me.”

This year, with Electronica 1: The Time Machine, Jarre was nominated for the Grammy award for “Best Dance/Electronic Album.” “That was obviously fantastic news, since I have been nominated in many different countries, France included for their equivalent of the Grammy, and to be nominated among all the albums released each year is a big honor in itself,” he said. “It was great for all the artists that were involved in my project as well.”

For Jarre, music is “medicine,” and he has done music primarily as a labor of love as opposed for a means of obtaining fame, recognition and money. “It’s really because I don’t imagine doing anything else. I could have been an architect or an astrophysicist but every morning I have this fresh desire of dealing with sounds. Making music is like cooking in a rather organic, tactile way. It’s like a mirage in the desert,” the living music legend said.

The French composer had nothing but kind remarks about the country of Greece. “I played at the Acropolis,” he recalled. “It’s a country I really love. I am planning to do other concerts later this year in Greece, especially with what is happening in Greece these days, we have to support the country. I have lots of fans over there, and I want to be involved. Greece is the origin of democracy. We should never forget that Greece created that concept 2000 years ago.”

Throughout his illustrious career in the music scene, Jarre has sold over 80 million albums and he has Guinness World Records for “Largest Concert Attendance,” which included the celebration of the 850th anniversary of Moscow with his largest concert ever in front of 3.5 million people. “That was really fantastic. I remember the Mayor of Moscow had announced that we were going to do a concert for 30,000 people, but 3.5 million came along. It was amazing and it was one of the strongest recollections of my life,” he said, graciously.

Regarding the key to longevity in the music industry, he said, “Do not be obsessed with being the trend of the week. My advice for young artists is to do what they feel, and they should not be influenced by the outside world. Stay yourselves, which is the most difficult thing to do due to technology and the Internet.”

For his New York fans, Jarred concluded, “Playing Radio City is a unique opportunity. I’m preparing lots of surprises for the concert. I’m looking forward to meeting with all my fans from New York and different parts of the world, since I know that people are coming from all over for this gig. This project has to be experienced live, so come and join me.”

To learn more about electronic music pioneer Jean-Michel Jarre, his music and touring schedule, check out his official website.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 20,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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