“Being a DJ is a serious thing”: in Hérault and the Thau basin, Cassou mixes sounds and generations

“Being a DJ is a serious thing”: in Hérault and the Thau basin, Cassou mixes sounds and generations

Cassou en concert, lors d’une soirée infirmière. – Loïc Molina

Depuis plus de 20 ans, le DJ héraultais Cassou fait danser le bassin de Thau, et bien au-delà. Rencontre avec ce passeur de sons qui réunit toutes les générations.

We expected to come across a slightly fanciful guy, a pure product of the Sète nightlife of the 1990s. From the outset, Cassou sets the tone: "The middle of the night wasn't really my thing." Strange assertion for this iconic DJ of the region, who has been making the Thau basin, and even the whole of Hérault, dance for years. So, Sylvain Casses, his real name, justifies himself: "My goal is to make people dance without falling into the trap of the DJ". Understanding drugs, which we know are sometimes present in this environment, and which this PE teacher in a vocational high school has always left far from him.

“Being a DJ is a serious thing”: in Hérault and the Thau basin, Cassou mixes sounds and generations

Cassou at work on his turntables.

"Being a DJ is a serious thing", asserts Cassou. Like his journey, a faultless one, which took him from village festivals and local fairs to the biggest Parisian clubs in the 2000s (La Loco, the ;Élysée Montmartre…). The "Extravaganza" it’s him, as are the "Shows light and sound" or the "Energy" festivals, which today bring together thousands of people, from Gigean to Poussan via Mèze. All managed from CProd, his company based in Frontignan which employs, among others, around fifteen DJs.

Fishermen in a nightclub

Originally from Lunel and arrived in Sète at the age of seven, Sylvain Casses discovered music during his time at Paul-Valery high school. With his friends, he started the group Madox with which he hosted high school parties. We are in the middle of the 1990s and, on the singular island, "the’atmosphere is festive" , remembers the musician. "In the nightclubs, you could come across resting sinners and jousters. It’s atmosphere was both very local and warm." The temples of Sète nightlife are called Le Must and Simp’son. It is in the latter that Sylvain Casses becomes Cassou, resident DJ of the establishment. He was only 19 years old at the time.

Today, Cassou is 47 and, by his own admission, he is not about to stop mixing. His most beautiful memory, he owes it to a flashmob during a certain Saint-Louis in 2012. "More than 3 000 people on the Royal Cadre took over our choreography, it was fantastic!" Today, he continues to travel to electro festivals to keep up to date with the latest musical trends."I am a chameleon, he says, I am able to adapt to all kinds of scenes: I play as much for teenagers as for their parents or even their grandparents". The DJ fully embraces his general public, even family side. "I make quality general music, I try not to fall into the easy stuff, like a camping party.&quot ;

"The discotheque format is no longer popular"

Popular while remaining demanding, Cassou is also a generous artist well aware that he shapes, at his modest level, the musical tastes of the youth who listen to him. "I’try to make them hear things that don't necessarily come across on Skyrock. In my sets, there is no urban music." As a keen observer of the festival for years, he draws up a fairly eloquent observation of the evolution of practices. "At first, when I was mixing, people could stay on the same song for five minutes, today they get bored after just one." In the same way, he notes the end of the discotheque model, "a format that no longer pleases", analyzes those who nevertheless refuse to say that "it’was better before".

This Saturday evening, the DJ will perform at Dancing de Sète. A date which kicks off a busy season for him and his team. To prepare physically, Cassou decided to climb the Tourmalet by bike. When we tell you it’s serious.

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