Serge Devant was exposed to electronic music at an early age. Influenced by the seminal sounds of Jean Michel Jarre, Depeche Mode, and many others. Equipped with classical music education, the teenage Devant moved to New York City in the 90s with his family and instantly fell in love with his new home. Developing an insatiable taste for music and 24-hour nightlife, he frequented local haunts like the legendary Sound Factory, Twilo, and Tunnel when he was just 16, before trawling through the city’s record stores in search of the music he was hearing in the clubs. Taking to the decks, he soon garnered the attention of several local promoters. Ultimately leading to his first gig at Tunnel soon after.
After a stint as an artist on Ultra Records, a serious back injury from a snowboarding accident left him recovering for a whole year. Serge took time to reflect and reform his musical style. Having tapped into a new source of inspiration, he produced his seminal track, ‘Fearing Love’. The pulsating number caught the attention of Lee Foss and Jamie Jones, who promptly informed Serge of their plans for Emerald City, a new vocal-led sub-label for Hot Creations. ‘Fearing Love’ became that label’s inaugural release in April 2015. Serge’s comeback, a groove-laden club-oriented track drew immediate plaudits from the music scene.
As a teenager your family moved to New York City in the early 90s, how much did this have an influence on your taste and style of music?
It completely flipped it to electronic dance music which I wasn’t exposed to before at all when I lived behind the iron curtain haha (the Soviet Union that is). I started going out to clubs like Twilo Tunnel Palladium, Sound Factory etc and got completely immersed in the scene.
Early on in your career, you suffered a serious back injury from a snowboarding accident, which left you recovering for a whole year. How did this impact you in terms of how it would affect your career? And did it give you time to reflect on how you wanted things to go?
Yes absolutely, the downtime is always a blessing in disguise, to think and reset. It really gave me time to think of the next step without pressure or the outside world. Kind of like where we are now with this pandemic. So everyone can probably relate to this now.
You have released on many acclaimed labels, Rebellion, Crosstown Rebels and Emerald City to name just a few. What advice would you give to someone looking to get their tracks signed?
Believe in your music, don’t focus so much on the labels to try to fit their format, make tracks that you really want to play yourself in every set. Keep testing it and testing, don’t rush to release. When the time is right the track will find the right label that would be suitable for it.
What has been the lowest point of your career so far? And how did you overcome it?
Well, it was my back injury where I pretty much had a reset, which was the best thing that ever happened. Without the lows, there are no new highs.
You have played all around the world, is there a particular city which stands out the most to you from playing there and why?
Every city has its own vibe, picking your favourite one is hard. There are few clubs where the atmosphere is next level, club space in Miami is one of those places. Ibiza of course / Berlin / Amsterdam I can go on and on.
When producing many producers stumble across a creative block, how do you best overcome this problem when it occurs?
Take a break, smoke a joint, try again.
Finally, if you could produce a track with any artist past or present who would it be and why?