We catch up with the French producer as anticipation builds for a London festival gig next month
Whether you want to call it hip-house, ghetto house or G-house, there's always been a place in the house music canon for the pairing of 4/4 beats with phat bass and cut-up rap vox. The G-house explosion of couple of years ago may have calmed down slightly, but its leading proponents continue to build successful, long-term careers. People like Amine Edge & DANCE, for instance, or Sleazy G boss Rob Made... or French producer Sirus Hood.
Sirus's first exposure to dance music came via older friends' mixtapes when he was but a wee nipper. Suitably inspired, he was DJing in the underground clubs of Paris as soon as he was old enough to be allowed in, and over the past two or three years his star has been firmly in the ascendent, with residencies at Sankeys Ibiza in 2014 and 2015, sets at Coachella and Burning Man, shows on Ministry of Sound radio and Rinse FM, and releases on such esteemed labels as Dirtybird, Sleazy G and CUFF.
As we write this, the Parisian is coming to the end of a US tour in the company of Italian DJ and fellow Dirtybird artist Sacha Robotti, and looking forward to a set at Ceremony Festival in Shoreditch on 29 April. Before that, though, we thought we'd pester him with some questions. Cos that's how we roll, innit?
Let's start with your current US tour… how's that been going?
"So far, so good! Every city is truly unique. I had every type of gig, and it was such a blast whether it was small and intimate like La Cave in Orange County, or huge like Webster Hall, NYC. Furthermore, I developed a true friendship with Sacha, and private jokes that only our Instagram and Snapchat followers understand."
How did you and Sacha come to be touring together - was it through the Dirtybird connection or do the two of you go back further than that?
"It was initially through Dirtybird - my American agent Chad recommended that we do something together, due to this connection. We're now great friends and I would do the tour all over again with him."
You played several US festivals in 2016 as well. Do you think mainstream US crowds who first discovered dance music through EDM are finally finding their way to 'proper' house and techno, as some have suggested?
"House music was born in the US, but after this birth the Americans kind of abandoned this music. It was born in the late 80s. EDM was born in Europe beginning of the next millennium, however another part of Europeans kept, developed and cherished the American underground heritage. Thanks to music hubs like Ibiza, and thanks to many underground European DJs who are playing in the US, the comeback of house music and techno is casted in waves these days.
"I am honoured to be friends with DJs from Chicago and Detroit, and these house legends thank me for bringing their music back. They also thank me for the respect and gratitude that I have towards them. So what is funny is to make these young Americans discover their own heritage. Of course there are American artists that have house music in their veins, like The Martinez Brothers - I'm a huge fan, so shout out to them!"
Your name's also associated with CUFF, who you did two Ibiza seasons for. How was that experience?
"Ibiza was the most amazing experience. Playing at Sankeys thanks to Amine Edge & DANCE was a dream come true, and to be able to be a resident there with CUFF was unreal. Ibiza is my favourite place in the world, I feel alive there. I'll be there in 2017, starting in June, with another residency that I just signed but can't talk about yet as it isn't announced. But my plane tickets are booked and I'm very excited!"
Urban Soul legend Roland Clark features on your track I'm House… how did that come about? And, given that you're such a fan of classic US house, was that a bit of a 'moment' for you?
"I've been a fan of Roland Clark for a long time, and I loved being able to work with his voice in my track. He's a house legend indeed, and I'm so honoured. One of my managers knows him, and that's how it all came together."
With all the travelling you've been doing of late, how do you think the Paris scene you came up in compares to other countries?
"There is an incredible scene in Paris nowadays - I love playing in my hood! We have one of the best crowds in the world. And the clubs close after 6am, which is something that is unbelievable for Americans where the clubs close usually at 2am. The hottest clubs in Paris are Zig Zag, Faust, Rex, Concrete, YoYo and Nuba rooftop in summer."
What have you got coming up release-wise? And what else is going on for you right now that iDJ readers need to know about?
"I will be touring all around the world this year: Brazil, South Africa, Australia and the whole of Europe. And on 20 March I will release a massive track called Under No Illusion on Ki Creighton's label - I can't wait for everyone to discover it, I'm very proud of this one. I will also be releasing a great EP at the end of April on Criminal Hype, and many other projects are still in progress. Stay tuned!"
Words: Russell Deeks Pic: Justin Prinz
Sirus Hood plays at Ceremony Festival in Haggerston Park, London on 29 April - for details, see the festival's Facebook page