TFword In Conversation With Tez Cadey

We spoke to the French-American DJ who has been enchanting the world with his pop-infused grooves since his debut in 2015.

Since his debut in 2015, Malo Brisout de Barneville, aka Tez Cadey, has been on a mission to take his penchant for lush melodies and pave a unique path in house music. Growing up in Belgium, the US and France, Tez Cadey embraced the cultural elements of the countries and poured it into his music, displaying a refinement beyond his years.

The best example of his melodic and alluring music is his 2015 single ‘Seve,’ which has amassed over 5 billion streams so far, making him one of hottest properties in electronic music. The single also managed to breach the ever-difficult Chinese music market, which is usually hard to crack. Along with several charting singles, Tez Cadey also has an album under his belt which exemplifies the endless pit of influences that he works with, while consistently delivering forward-thinking music.

After yet another successful year full of great music, we had the opportunity to sit down with Tez Cadey to know more about his lush music, his influences, his love for organic samples; here is what he had to say.

Hey Tez, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. How are you?

Tez Cadey: Hey guys, thanks for having me. I’m doing great.

What was your gateway moment into electronic music?

Tez Cadey: I was 15 maybe at the time and really into rock music. I wasn’t a big fan of electro music at the time. I ended up in a party with a DJ playing beats and the party was pretty dull. So, I spent the whole night analyzing and trying to understand what he was doing. I was hooked!

How did the Tez Cadey project begin and how would you like to describe your artistic journey so far?

Tez Cadey: Tez Cadey began as a teenage bedroom project with the only objective being getting released on a label and seeing the song listed on Beatport. I succeeded with that first goal after two years of music producing. The track wasn’t that good, but I loved making records and carried on. Since then, it’s been a nice run with some ups and downs like every music career, I guess.

I signed to a label, got my first diamond record, released an album, multiple singles, EPs and remixes. It’s always been about the music and what I felt like producing at the moment and I think this is the reason why I’m still enjoying it today.

Your latest single, ‘Catch On Fire’ is an infectious number that is aimed straight at the dancefloor. How did you approach writing the tune with Jess Ball?

Tez Cadey: Jess already had the song laid out. The chords were there, and the vocal too. My work on this song was mainly producing it and bringing it to that fast past because it was really meant to be a downtempo ballad at first. That and a lot of arrangement, which is I think one of my favourite part of music making. I love creating interesting melodies, beats and grooves but structuring them, building them together and finding cool ways of making the song evolve is what I truly enjoy.

Do you think your moves to different parts of the world during your childhood influenced your music as well?

Tez Cadey: I’m sure it did. I never saw my music or myself as belonging to one nationality. Growing up I was lucky to live in many different parts of the world and so I just felt like belonging to one big global nation and vision. I see the changes in today’s world with people and countries closing up on each other and growing more and more apart and I find it so saddening.

We noticed your penchant for organic samples in your music; especially ‘Seve.’ Can you tell us a little more about it?

Tez Cadey: That penchant for organic samples actually came from a time where it was very hard for me to find and record singers. My only resort was then to go sample hunting. I also like when the music doesn’t feel too robotic and has that human touch to it and organic samples do just that. Even if that means a mistake here and there. It doesn’t feel good if it’s too perfect.

Your debut album ‘Lizard Days’ has explored a multitude of styles that have been used to perfection. How was the experience while writing the album?

Tez Cadey: It was a very long, painful but full-filling one to be honest. I was ambitious with it since it was my first album and wanted to create something very different from the usual dance album. It isn’t really a dance record but a blend of all the styles and genres that influenced me over the years. Going from psych rock, jazz to electronica and house music.

It was such a personal quest that it ended up being tough for me mentally as it was almost an introspection over the course of two years. I’m very proud of the final result and the record that came out of all that hard work, but I rarely listen back to it. I’m just happy to have gotten it out of my chest and seeing how people relate to it nowadays is a great feeling.

What is your favourite thing to do when you are not touring or making music?

Tez Cadey: I have two main hobbies today and they are fishing and video games. Best way for me to empty my head and enjoy the surrounding nature, or the screen of a computer once more.

What are the five tracks that you are feeling at the moment?

Tez Cadey: 1] Talking Head – “This Must Be the Place.”. Just a great classic
2] Miguel Campbell – “Something Special.” A not so new record I used to listen a lot a few years ago that suddenly popped back up in my head.
3] Jamie Jones – “My Paradise.” Everything Jamie Jones just grooves.
4] LAUREL – “Scream Drive Faster”. Best record to listen while cruising in the summer night.
5] PPJ – “Primavera”. It’s been my favourite song for nearly two years, and I can’t really explain why. It’s just a beautiful track that brings me a lot of joy, hope and nostalgia.

Catch Tez Cadey’s full discography here:

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