This Montreal-based DJ mixes together the diverse genres he grew up listening to
From blasting the hottest EDM hits in some of the most popular clubs in Côte d’Azur and around the French Riviera to pumping new energy into the Montreal and Toronto circuits, Vincent LaRoche is no stranger to the electronic music scene.
Melding his French heritage with his Canadian roots, 26-year-old LaRoche knows how to play to his strengths. “I prefer doing French house, but every country has its own style preference,” LaRoche said. “In North America, I’m conscious of the strong appreciation for Top 40 and hip-hop, so coupled with my love and upbringing, all those genres play into my sets.”
Growing up with diverse musical influences, LaRoche knew from a very young age that music was his passion.
“When I was young, my father was big on Michael Jackson, so his music was playing constantly at home,” he said. As a teenager, he also got into genres like classic rock, metal and punk, and later began appreciating jazz and Latin music. “I’d say that all my musical influences [got mixed] together through the years and created my musical identity. [Each influence] seeps in one way or another into my music.”
LaRoche knew he wanted to be a DJ from a young age. “During the later years of high school, I saw a few of my uncle’s shows back home in the south of France. I used to stand behind him in the DJ booth and just watch him work,” he said. “My uncle started DJing very young, at the height of the vinyl craze in Europe, with classic house hits. He had such grace and moved the crowd in such a way that captivated me.”
This captivation inspired a young LaRoche to purchase his first CDJ and mixer and begin practicing on his own. With the technology offered today for DJs, LaRoche isn’t just spinning discs like his uncle, he’s also an audio engineer and producer. He feels strongly about the integration of live instrumentation into his sets.
“I try to get as much live instrumentation translated into my recordings—any sounds I can do myself with guitars and basses that I have at the studio, or through friends and colleagues who can collaborate for live instrumentation on drums or other instruments and vocals. There is no comparing digital to live playing and recording feel and quality.”
Opening for established Canadian acts like Karl Wolf and Glenn Morrison, the up-and-coming LaRoche says that Bob Sinclar is his biggest DJ/Producer influence. “I discovered House right before his Western Dream album came out, so I remember going out dancing to “Love Generation” and “World, Hold On (Children of the Sky)” back in France, way before I was old enough to get into the clubs.” For any aspiring DJs looking to get started, LaRoche had some advice: “I’d say be ready for a lot of hard work—lots of competition and rejection, but also lots of rewards when something finally goes your way,” he said.
“It’s not an easy industry and you have to fight to further yourself and build your name up. Putting together a good team to work with is a huge help; networking and collaborating is the best way to explore and expand your art.”
Catch LaRoche at B Side Bar on April 18 from 8 p.m. to midnight, no cover.