Laurent Garnier on DJing 30+ Years Later: “It’s My Vitamin”

Touring as a artist isn’t easy – hopping from country to country, dealing with time zones, jet lag, lack of sleep and overall exhaustion from playing at venues night after night. The dedication required to pack up and prepare to travel and perform on what is oftentimes a tight timeline is immense. There have been numerous conversations around artists that find themselves quitting touring as a result.

But more often than not, DJs and producers who keep touring year after year have goals, passions and routines that keep them on their toes and keep the clubs filled everywhere they go. For 52-year-old French DJ Laurent Garnier – known as one of the original tastemakers of French electronic music – his reason for continuing on through his historic career is simple. To him, DJing is what keeps him pushing on.

In an interview with South China Morning Post ahead of Sónar Hong Kong, he explains:

“I need to play a DJ set because, for me, it’s my vitamin,” he says. “DJing is like my drug. I need to DJ to feel good and want to carry on. I like making people dance. I like seeing people in front of me. I like having this relationship with people when I play music and I like to see their reaction.”

Garnier explains that he still finds that “thrill of playing to a club crowd that gets him most fired up, more than 30 years after playing his first record at a nightclub.”

It is truly admirable to see that such a simple, joyful concept drives an artist who has played such a pioneering role in shaping what the electronic music world has evolved into today. To this day, Garnier focuses on looking forward, digging for new sounds and constantly finding new ways to break down musical boundaries. For up-and-coming artists, long-in-the-game producers and DJs of all kinds, it’s an inspiration across the board.