JM#213 – Mona Blanchard

One of our newest residents and the DJ behind our newest Tuesday concept, Mona Blanchard puts the “M” in M.A.D. She is part of the new generation of DJs and club music specialists breathing new life into Oslo’s nightlife post pandemic alongside the likes of Axel FU and Dara Woo.

A French/Norwegian, Mona moved to Oslo 6 years ago, and for the last few years, she’s been carving a path through Oslo’s DJ circuit at the forefront of a new wave of DJs breaking down the barriers between genre, styles and tempos on the dance floor. 

For her first recorded mix, ever – yes, she’s never recorded a mix before – Mona Blanchard brings some of the eclecticism to the Jaeger Mix. Thriving in the lower tempos and riding a perpetual groove this mix showcases another side to Mona Blanchard, one that finds her going deeper than what she’s usually inclined to do on a Tuesday. 

After our in depth interview with the entire M.A.D crew, we turn the focus exclusively on Mona as we listen back to her Jaeger Mix. 

Hey Mona. We just interviewed you for MAD, but we didn’t go into your personal history much. What is your earliest memory of a piece of music?

We had this keyboard at home where you can play demos, and one of the songs was 1ere Arabesque by Debussy. I remember pushing this demo button and started crying because of how beautiful this piece of music is. Some years later I learned how to play it, and it is still one of my favourite songs to this day.

Were you DJing before moving to Norway?

No. I always thought it was impossible to “become a dj”. You know these kinds of dream jobs that are out of reach? I just remember being made fun of at parties ‘cause I always wanted to play these house music tracks I just discovered on YouTube, while my friends just wanted to listen to french rap. At that time they called me DJ one button. 

Going from France to Norway, how have these two regions influenced you differently in terms of  music?

Yes I think so, a lot of french old school tracks have introduced me to electronic music and opened some doors for what I listen to now. (Such as “Air” but also Bellaire and many others..)

Then coming to Norway and clubbing much more, I got introduced to these new trendy types of techno. Faster BPM, higher tones, with a nostalgic hint of 2000’ pop music!

Going from those early influences to today, how do you think your taste in music has evolved in the context of Djing?

Because my music range is so wide; I started playing classical music at the age of 3, piano first, then a bit of violin (and I still play the piano to this day), went to a lot of operas, orchestras… then my personal evolution was searching for unknown tracks on YouTube etc… 

I think my “need” to have a melody line in the tracks I play comes from there. I can enjoy minimal techno with a stable bassline and not too much melody, but my taste in music has always evolved towards melody and different instruments and voices. 

Let’s get stuck into this mix. What did you have planned for this one?

Since it’s my first time ever recording a mix, I wanted to “surf” between all types of tracks that represent me. So planning a bit of the mix I entered different boxes of what I love, and tried to tie it together even tho there are a lot of different genres in it :)

It appears to be somewhat slower and deeper, compared to what you might play on a Tuesday. How was this approach different to what you might do on a regular night?

On a Tuesday I play a lot of groovy sounds, because it’s Jaeger and it’s a Tuesday, people want to have fun and escape the week’s stress I guess. My approach to a Tuesday set is a lot different from what I would do playing on a weekend. Therefore the deeper parts in the mix can be surprising compared to the Tuesdays, but not too much compared to what I usually play… 

What are the key ingredients here that make this a Mona Blnachard mix? 

The eclecticness. 

What do you usually look for in music to play out and how is it different from what you listen to at home?

What I play out is what I listen to at home. That’s what I thought myself from the first time I DJed, I’m only playing my favourite songs. 

We know you spend a lot of time out on the dance floor. What do you think of the evolution of music at the moment, and where do you see it going?

I still notice this nostalgia for 2000’s hits but instead of the pop ones I see it going more in the trance direction maybe? Not so sure where it’s going but it’s definitely interesting!

Are you still happy just DJing or are there plans in place to make music too?

I really don’t have a plan in terms of DJing, everything happened kind of spontaneously so I have just let it flow until now. Although I would love to make music just to try, I don’t have a big plan of releasing anything. But several mixes would be fun!

What else is on the horizon for Mona Blanchard?

Playing music, playing with the music and connecting people ;)