The Music Box

{10 December, 2009}   Interview with Space Cowboy

Thank you so, so much to Space Cowboy, as well as Martin and Andrea for setting this up, and to Chantelle Paige of course.

Space Cowboy is a DJ, producer and singer born in France and raised in the UK. He began his career using the name DJ Supreme, and has had multiple top tracks and remixes in Europe, the US and Japan. In 2008, Space Cowboy became Lady Gaga’s personal DJ, and worked with her on a number of songs. His latest album Digital Rock Star was released October 26, 2009, and he’s currently part of LMFAO’s Party Rock Tour.

Space Cowboy Official Website
Space Cowboy MySpace

01. Have you seen any major notable differences between the British and American electronic/dance scene? Do you feel as though you had to significantly adapt your own style in the crossover?
the first thing i noticed when i began touring in the US with Lady Gaga at the beginning was that David Guetta and the Kid Cudi remix day and night and Timbaland the way i are¬†were the first songs i heard that were electronic, in the top40 clubs and gradually that began to change, as Gaga got more and more popular and then exploded, and i think her Just Dance and Pokerface blew the doors open for that sound, in no small part assisted by Swedish style producer Red One, so i dont feel i’ve had to adapt, as i’ve been sooper lucky to be part of the movement.

02. How do you approach remixing a song? What do you think makes a “good” remix?
a good song in the first place helps, having said that, sometimes a remix is better than the original, but that is rare.a good song is a good song.

03. Do you prefer DJing in clubs or singing/performing onstage?
spinning and performing are from the same animal, rocking the crowd is the idea, so i like them both, though im more experienced in spinning, its second nature, and performing is about crowd interaction and more dramatic, whereas spinning you just have to set the mood right

04. How do you feel when other artists mix your own songs? Do you usually like the remixes?
usually, i like to be blown away though by fresh plug ins, up to date or beyond he up to date, im a dj, so i am constantly listening to fresh productions, looking on the blogs etc, so i expect nothing but the freshest.

05. If you could work with one artist you haven’t had the chance to work with yet, who would it be?
Lil Wayne, Kings Of Leon, The Killers,and please somebody wake Amy Winehouse up!!!!!

06. How did you like being a part of the Party Rock Tour? Do you prefer large collaborative tours?
Love it, its a biiig party animal family and everyone is very respectful of each others art, and every night im watching each artists’ show, everyone has their own swag and way of performing, its a joy and a lesson all in one to watch!

07. I know you were both on Cherrytree / Interscope at the time, but how did you wind up meeting and linking up with Lady Gaga?
Through Martin Kierszenbaum, head of Cherrytree and Cherry Cherry Boom Boom!he was talking crazy about this girl he was working with from NYC and said we haaad to meet as he knew we would get along…we met in LA and Boooom!

08. Clubs can be pretty insane: what’s the craziest thing you’ve seen someone do out on the floor while you were spinning? How did you react? Where (country or city or club) have you had the craziest experiences?
its always going off!i love to party, and love party animals!!ive seen some crazy stuff,but its all in good spirits and fun!obviously your talking girls and boys or girls who like girls who like boys etc etc, so all manner of japes happen on the floor!wna as long as its all safe, why not!

09. Your style has evolved so much over the past several years: do you have any long term plans in regards to your music/career?
to keep producing and writing and doing what i love fro as long as God or whoever has givien me my passion for music, its a bleeing to be able to do what you love.its a blessing to be working actually in the current climate, but you know, got to keep it moving!

10. What’s your first vivid memory of music in your life?
Watching graffiti ad Hip Hop for the first time, i didnt even like music until i was 9 years old, and i was at a friends house after school and his brother had these turnatables and all of a sudden i heard his scratching and this crazy American guys talking over 808s and i was like hooooold on!!what the hell is this music, and after that i fell in love with Hip Hop, like a total light bulb lit up over my head!!


I wanted to start by giving a huge “thank you” to Martin Kierszenbaum for letting me send him questions.

You all probably at least know of Martin from his work with t.A.T.u as well as his diligent work with all of the artists on Cherrytree Records. He is also head of A&R at Interscope Records, and has worked with Sting, Keane, Feist, Ai, Colby O’Donis, and many other artists internationally. He is Cherry Cherry Boom Boom.

He is incredibly accessible, always on Cherrytree’s Twitter, and often popping into the chatroom over on Cherrytree’s website.

And enough of me babbling: his name is all over if you want to learn more on your own. On to the questions:

1. What are your earliest memories of music in your life, and how early did it become such a major component of who you are?

I’ve loved music for as long as I can remember. I started taking piano lessons at 8 years old and became very interested in writing music and what I call the language of music theory. I was pretty much obsessed with the process of making music and began spending more and more time on it to the point where it probably kept me out of a lot of trouble in high school and college. To this day, making music, talking about music and listening to music is when I’m the happiest.

2. You’ve seen so many people walk through the Cherrytree and Interscope doors: do you see any major differences – personality, attitude, anything – between young artists that started out when you first came into the business and the artists we see today?

There isn’t necessarily a major difference in the level of quality, determination or passion. Those elements are quite constant with truly talented folks no matter the era. Where I do see a difference is in the access to and availability of information. Thanks to the interconnectivity of today’s world, talented artists can be more empowered, informed and aware. Modern technology also allows more talented artists to be exposed, no matter where they come from. I see that as a beautiful thing.

3. Do you have a favorite music or artist-related story to tell?

I’m fortunate enough to have worked with many very special and talented artists. It would be hard to pinpoint just one experience. Someone extraordinary from whom I’ve had the privilege to learn tons is Sting. He’s been like a big brother to me in his kindness and support. I do remember meeting him for the first time many years ago. I was doing international publicity for his Soul Cages project and had traveled to Atlanta to supervise an interview with a Dutch publication. I was in the glorious Fox Theater in Atlanta thinking about having started work for A&M records only the week before. I went backstage to greet Sting and take him to the interview room backstage. We both got in the elevator there – an old one where you have to open the screen door manually when you arrive at your floor. In the elevator, Sting was holding a plate, trying to squeeze in his supper before doing the interview and playing the show. When we got to the floor and the elevator stopped, I spaced and didn’t open the screen (And, Sting couldn’t do it because his hands were holding the plate). So, the elevator automatically went back down to our original floor. Sting looked at me and uttered the first words he ever said to me: “you f’cked up.” I’ll never forget it; quite an auspicious first impression really. 18 years and lots of adventures together later, I’m proud to say that Sting now records on my imprint.

4. How do you think the heavy digitization of music and voice is affecting the technique and technical skill of young artists today, if at all? Where do you think it will take music?

There have always been technological advancements in making music. Did the piano forte affect the technique and output at the time? Surely. I think that making great music requires musical talent, originality and skill. That hasn’t changed. It’s not easier to make great music. It’s just different.

5. You’ve met so many amazing, influential people, have you ever been starstruck? With whom?

I’m still very impressed when I meet a musician that I really admire. I mean, for me, great musicians are heroes. Music is important to me so, yes, I get excited. It’s not to the point where it interferes with doing my job, but I embrace that feeling of excitement. It’s fun and brings me joy.

6. Which artist that you’ve worked with has been, in your opinion, the hardest to market to the American scene, regardless of musical skill? What do you think made it so hard to get people to catch on?

Anybody making maverick music and pushing the creative envelope is going to be met with some resistance at first. I’d say I may have made it a little harder for myself when I started trying to break artists across borders just because it wasn’t that prevalent a concept at the time. But, as with anything that’s unique and of great quality, it will eventually succeed and reach its audience. Growing up, my dad always told me “cream rises to the top.” That idea continues to inspire me to this day – even in the face of the toughest obstacles.

7. What do you think is your “most played” song of all time?

You mean my favorite song? Or a song with which I’ve been involved? It’s tough to pick a favorite song but my top 10 list would probably include “Do You Know the Way to San Jose” by Dionne Warwick, “Appetite” by Prefab Sprout and “1999” by Prince. In terms of my own songs, I’m proud of having co-written “All the Things She Said” by t.A.T.u. which was no. 1 for 4 weeks in a row in the UK. I think “Happy Birthday” by Flipsyde was special and I really like “Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)” by Lady Gaga which recently reached no. 2 in Sweden.

8. Cherrytree seems to have such an international assortment of artists – was that your intention from the beginning and why, or how did it come about?

My intention is to not let geographic location limit us. I moved all over the world when I grew up – lived in 3 continents. The prospect of seeking out talented artists across borders and cultures isn’t daunting to me at all. Doing so widens my net in terms of finding exciting artists. It’s not that I purposely search for international acts. It’s just that I don’t have an aversion to getting up at 3am to make a call or traveling 18 hours in search of great music. I’m excited to find talented people and help them get their music exposed no matter where they are in the world.

9. You must get approached by and exposed to so many great bands that would love to work for Cherrytree every day: what’s the process for sorting through to find new talent for the label?

This is the hardest thing to articulate because so much of it is based on particular taste and instinct. Cherrytree looks for unique and trend-setting artists within the tradition of pop music. I’m drawn to unique voices, great songwriting and compelling points-of-view.

10. What professional or musical accomplishment to date are you most proud of?

At Cherrytree Records, we’re privileged to work with really innovative artists such as Feist, Tokio Hotel, Sting, Lady Gaga and Robyn, just to name a few. That’s a real source of pride for me: to be involved with artists whose music is pushing creative boundaries as well as touching people’s emotions. In addition, I’m really proud of the connection that the team at Cherrytree has been able forge with the music-loving folks that form what I call our “pop alternative” community. I think that people can feel the family vibe that exists here at the label across the site and the other Cherrytree destinations including the Cherrytree chat,, and The Cherrytree House TV program. I think people can feel that we love our staff, our artists and their music. I consider it an honor to be able to work with the team at Cherrytree and its amazing roster of artists. I’m also grateful to all of the Cherrytreerec’ers – our supporters who feedback to us and egg us on every day.

et cetera