Parisian born DJ Space Cowboy [Nick Dresti] is an equal opportunity kind of guy, as displayed in his remixes of tracks by such disparate artists as The Darkness and Sir Paul McCartney. While he considers himself a hip hop DJ, he gives equal amounts of love to house, indie rock, and ’80s pop, melding them together to make dance hits that have the kids shaking it all over Japan, where his debut album was one of the best selling electronic albums of 2004.

When DJing live, what do you think makes the "perfect" set?

The party people! If the crowd is with you, then they allow you to experiment and express yourself as a DJ.

What elements make a good artist?

It depends on the style of music, but I guess originality, consistency, and a passion for what they do, whether they are a singer, producer, or musician. I think if you love what you do, it shines through the music.

What elements make a good DJ?

For me, I like a bit of theater! I like it when a DJ is basically dancing with the crowd, but really it is down to the DJ and clubbers’ tastes – if they share the same feeling, it can be electric, like connecting with an artist or band onstage.

How important is record sleeve art to an album?

I think it can be an extension of the artist, a further expression, a way to communicate the artist’s ideas. Sometimes great album artwork can also be very iconic—some classic albums have amazing artwork. However, it is not as important as the music that is actually on the album!

How do you think your travels have affected or informed your DJing over the years?

Well, I think that for me, what is apparent is that around the world we all like a great party, and I think that music and dancing is a great form of release from the pressures of everyday life, so what better way to release than listening to music with your friends, making new friends, and partying like crazy?!

Do you have a favorite place to spin?

Well, every party or club is different, the crowds are different, but overall, largely because of the hot weather, which I love, I think Ibiza is a favorite. It is pretty wild for sure. Playing large venues like ageHa is an amazing place to play. Although the sound system, the people, and the size of the venue are very daunting, it’s also very special, especially when you know that some of the world’s best artists have performed there, like Madonna!

How have you seen the role of DJ change since you began?

I think it remains the same: to rock a party and have a good time, to be the conduit for a good night! I think the thing that has changed is the emphasis on track choice only, instead of technical ability. Song choice is kind of a skill in itself, but I think with Ableton Live etc., the technical ability is not so paramount.

Do you have a favorite artist? One who inspires your music, or your musical choices?

Hah hah! So many! I love Jay-Z, Daft Punk, The Killers, Klaxons, CSS, Kasabian, Just Blaze. I love new music and trying to discover new bands and producers in hip hop, house, indie, everything really. As long as it makes me want to dance and have a good time, I love it. I also like a bit of emotion in tracks, like My Chemical Romance’s “I’m Not OK” or The Killers’ “Mr. Brightside,” things like that, where the energy is still high but there is also a strong emotional pull in the songs.

Do you have a favorite record sleeve or artist that does record sleeves?

Well, when I “dig in the crates,” I love to find crazy album covers, girls with crazy outfits or guys with ridiculous haircuts from the ’60s or the ’80s! I love the idea of glamour and people’s individual ideas on that theme. I am a huge fan of graffiti, so whenever I see a tag style or artwork inspired by this, then it makes me happy. I think Banksy is doing some interesting, if a little controversial, stuff.

You’ve traveled a lot for music. What do you think is the most creative, coolest city right now?

I think that all cities have their own style, like London, Paris, and Tokyo as well as their different districts, like London’s Soho or Tokyo’s Shibuya, which are movements within the city, which is awesome. Berlin is pretty cool also; a lot of producers have moved there, like Ewan Pearson and Ritchie Hawtin, I believe, and I have heard other people mentioning the scene is hot out there at the moment. But like a good party, it all depends on the people at the party to make it a good one.

Space Cowboy