Producer and DJ from Lyon, Desire puts all her energy into creating a sunny music in a mix of progressive trance, rave influences and eurodance sounds. The latest proof is her second EP, An Ode to Our Night, released last year by Molécule. A few months before her appearance on the Treesome stage, she talks to us about the creation of her collective, her upcoming projects and the place of trans identities on the electro scene.
How did you launch With Us?
The collective was launched in May 2022. It was originally a personal initiative, although my girlfriend always supports me when it comes to a project. At first, it was just interviews and mixes of trans artists I liked. It wasn’t necessarily to get them visibility, I wasn’t famous enough for that, but it was more about sharing and exchanging about trans-identity.
I managed to get three episodes at the beginning so I was quite happy. But the queer community is a bit burnt out so I slowed it down a bit. In the meantime, I started to get closer to the team of à la folie in La Villette (Paris), and they suggested that I organize some parties. I already had this idea in mind with my girlfriend and some friends so it was perfect. We wanted to create a queer night by pushing certain concepts.
What do you want to defend through the collective?
There are militant queer parties but less so in the clubs. It’s really this side that we wanted to bring. We try to do everything to make people who come to the party feel safe. Before each event, the security guards and bar staff are briefed. The collective’s team is made up of non-cisgender and cisgender people, but on stage I mainly highlight trans identities. At the moment we’re doing it madly, but we want to hear all this in other clubs. People are happy to have a space where they feel comfortable and safe, with a caring staff. It feels like a little cocoon.
And outside of With Us, how are things going for you at the moment?
I’m going 100 km/h with the music, my head is buzzing all day (laughs). I’m working on the side as a supervisor in a college, but I still have a lot of time to work on music. I’m involved in several projects throughout the year, my collective and, of course, Treesome which is coming this summer.
Is this a line-up that you find yourself in?
I love it! There are a lot of artists that you don’t see very often in France who come together at the same festival. There’s a bit of an intermingling of artists in the line-up at the moment, with artists that we always find but who has little musical news during the year. It’s also great to have a predominantly female line-up, it’s a real pleasure.
We also wanted to give space to transgender artists. Do you think the trans community has the place it deserves on the electronic scene?
The trans community is present through associations, but not enough on the electro scene. The queer community is there for sure, but the trans community is really more difficult to identify. That’s also why we launched With Us: we wanted it to be a kind of repertoire for people who want to discover trans artists. But I have the impression that for some time now, artists such as Sam Smith have been beginning to define their identity. We feel that something is emerging around gender affirmation.
Do you think it is more difficult for the LGBTQIA+ community to assert itself on these scenes (rap, pop, rock…) than on the electro scene?
We are lucky in electronic music. Before, I was on the rock scene and I know that I could never have asserted myself as I do now. For example, Sam Smith, who shot a video in a dress, was insulted. But in the electro world, it’s an aesthetic that’s been around for a long time, there’s more of an androgynous aspect. And techno was originally a style created by the LGBT+ community. That’s also why it’s important for clubs to remain committed in their programming. There are a lot of queer techno parties but you don’t see them or very few in rap or rock.
But doesn’t all this remain confined to the Parisian scene?
It’s true that there’s a Parisian entre-soi in the queer scene. This can put a bit of pressure on you when you come from another region. Besides, we would like to export With Us: I have a lot of contacts in Lyon. I think that Nantes is also a great city to set up all this, there is also the Macadam which has a great program. I really want to develop all that.
To follow Desire’s news, it’s here:
Some artists to follow closely according to Desire:
And some collectives :
The artists are here!
- Dancehall & Afrobeat No chance to miss the rhythms of this afrofuturist bubble nestled in the trees initiated by Maraboutage, the brats from Marseille, who know the magic recipe to bewitch the dancefloors.
- House A sunny and joyful enclave of the event, the meeting place for diggers and other demanding ears, between disco, house and funky rhythms. Something to fill up with good vibes until the sun comes up.
- Techno Drops of sweat, vigorous kicks, a few ecstatic eyes and tapping feet: the nervous core of the festival, with the best signatures of the techno scene, from confirmed to young talents.