Sydney born but of Mauritian stock, Jean-Paul has been DJing since the early noughties. House was, and remains, his inspiration. Suckling on the soulful flavours of Frankie Knuckles, Julie McKnight, MAW, Todd Terry, David Penn, Shapeshifters and Copyright spurred the teenager to build a formidable vinyl collection. Others, such as Laurent Garnier, gave the youngster varied yin to his pure house yan.
Developing a sound akin to his influences, yet with a distinct next-generation feel, Jean-Paul’s sets showcased an original vibe in Melbourne through the mid-noughties. While others flocked to electro-house (and then it’s myriad of off-shoots), Jean-Paul was rapidly building a profile with a forward thinking sound: Two parts house, one part tech, all parts sexy. The warm and organic feel to a JP set stood him apart from his ubiquitous electro contemporaries.
Jean-Paul’s seamless DJ skills did not go unnoticed, with the jock quietly notching up an enviable list of gigs. Residencies at iconic Melbourne venues such as Future’s superclub Famous, Room 680, Roxanne and Brown Alley, were topped up by regular interstate spots at The Bedroom and The Met (QLD), and Shape in Perth. Festival appearances followed at Summadayze, Kiss My Grass, Future Music Festival, Winter Sound System, Global Gathering Australia and Armin Only; as well as coveted, personally selected support sets for Nervo and Calvin Harris. It wasn’t long before the international market came knocking, with Jean-Paul’s south-east Asian tour of ’08 highlighted by gigs at Embassy in Jakarta and Cocoon in Bali.
Having ticked so many boxes behind the decks, entering the studio was the next logical step for the globe-trotting DJ. For his DJ sets JP has made a habit of melding his influences together to create a totally unique sound that simultaneously nods homage to the masters whilst stepping ahead of the game. One would be correct in assuming his work in the studio would follow this same trend.
His remix of Mad Live’s Rainbow Light has been an online revelation, garnering the talented DJ-producer worldwide props. The deep house joint, with micro/minimal leanings, maintains a soulful core despite it’s underground aesthetic. With many more originals and remixes cued up and ready to roll, Jean-Paul’s journey is unfolding just nicely. The humble Mauritian-Australian aims not to sell millions, but to become a respected name on the worldwide house scene and make “a timeless track, one that I could play 20 years from now”. On evidence so far though, the millions might very well follow.
© Russ Macumber 2011