Born to French-German parents and raised in Italy to a soundtrack of rock and roll, pop, jazz, and classical, it's no surprise that Jean Claude Ades creates music that clearly draws inspiration from myriad genres and cultures. Having been receptive to new sounds and ideas since an early age, the precocious producer has been releasing since the early 1990s and now flits between Ibiza and Mykonos as a sprightly veteran of the decks.
The Mykonos and Ibiza mainstay Jean Claude Ades reflects on his musical beginnings, shifting artistic identities, and next steps.
How do you push yourself forward?
I am someone that always looks ahead. I am always interested in new things and new styles of music and I get bored very fast.
You’ve been DJing at some top electronic music destinations around the world for a number of years. Do you ever find the expectations of a destination restrictive?
Over the last decade of intense touring, I’ve discovered my favorite destinations and the types of places I like to play, so I feel like myself and the crowds are already on the same wavelength when I turn up to perform.
Do you think the geography of an island makes a difference to people’s mindsets when entering a club? Does it make a difference to your mindset as a performer or producer?
I think that Mykonos has a big enough reputation that most people come in a certain mood. Also, people are more open to new sounds when they are on vacation and not in their weekly routine. Open-air venues are also not as intense as night clubs so I do play more happy and melodic stuff when I‘m on a beach, for example.
What do you do when not working or travelling?
I try to rest my body, mind and soul. I spend most of my time in nature and with good friends.
How do you listen to music at home?
I listen to classical and jazz mostly in the morning, but during the rest of the day I love the silence — except when I work in the studio.
In your opinion, what was the golden age of music?
For me the “Golden Age“ was the 80s. There were bands like Depeche Mode, Pink Floyd, New Order, and producers like Trevor Horn and William Orbit who were mixing classical with pop and electronica… such an experimental time. They were really making such an effort with recording unique sounds and with how they were arranging music. It was a sophisticated time.
How has your French-German identity shaped your music? Does one’s roots become less relevant the more one travels or lives abroad?
I have a French father and a German mother and I grew up in Italy until was 14 years old. My father was a painter, musician, and collector of jazz and classical music. My mother was also a huge fan of The Beatles, Queen, and The Rolling Stones so I grew up listening to a wide range of sounds. That‘s why I like to combine classical and pop into my music. Also travelling and performing in different countries over the years has always inspired me to look to different genres and open up my mind to new things.
Will you ever change direction? Is music for life?
Yes because music has no limits.
Will you ever reinvent yourself?
I try to do that all the time! I released my first record back in 1994 on Virgin Records and since then, I feel like I have reinvented myself multiple times. That’s what keeps me alive.