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5 minutes with: Kevin Saunderson

Debonair chats to the Detroit techno legend about his music, inspiration and style

I am a warrior but you’d never know it by meeting me, because I’m humble but passionate about everything I do.

What is the one thing you’d tell your 16-year-old self? 

Listen to your elders and learn from their mistakes and hopefully you’ll know better. But always keep your ears open to adapt to new ways. Listening to elders doesn’t mean you have to do what is expected of you. It’s your life and you have one chance to live it right. 

What are the three things you would save in a fire?

My wallet, (money, credit cards, money), hard drive (all my music and back ups) and water (because I don’t know where I’ll find it next).

If you could invite five people — living or dead — to the ultimate dinner party, who would they be and what would you serve? 

Prince, Halle Berry, James Brown, Mohammed Ali and American footballer Barry Sanders. I would serve, sushi as an appetiser, ramen noodles, chicken wings from Japan and some fried rice, and end with chocolate lava cake.

I am a warrior but you’d never know it by meeting me, because I’m humble but passionate about everything I do.

If you could wake up in someone else’s body for just one day, who would it be and why? 

Mohammed Ali. I want to know why he’s the greatest and what made him tick. I am intrigued by his lifestyle and everything he went through and how he became a champion. 

How would you describe your style? 

Laid back but fearless. I am a warrior but you’d never know it by meeting me, because I’m humble but passionate about everything I do. 

Where is your favourite place in the world and what makes it special? 

Sydney, Australia. Even though it’ so far away, there’s something about the city, the harbour, the food, animals and lot of different things. It’s warm and has a great vibe. It’s a tough choice, as I also love Cape Town, South Africa. Both cities are very similar in different ways and I’ll be torn to pick just one.

Do you have a guilty pleasure? 

I enjoy fishing, whenever there is an opportunity to get out and disconnect. Fishing is my gig. 

What’s currently the most-played song on your playlist? 

Good Life by Inner City; it’s my groove and I still play it today. I play it more than any other song in my life.

What’s the last song that touched you in some way? 

Moments of Love by Art of Noise. It’s a slow ballad and always hits me to the core. Oh man, what a tune! 

Where do you draw your musical inspiration from? 

Multiple people, including Larry Levan, who was a famous DJ when I started out; Ryan Hardy; great bands like Parliament-Funkadelic and Technology; and Prince. Put them all together and that’s a musical brew I enjoy and am inspired by. 

What song or album could be the soundtrack to your life and why? 

Supernature by Cerrone. It was very futuristic when it was made and takes different dimensions, and life is a dimension. 

Tell us about your latest project, Heavenly Revisited. What highlights and challenges did you experience making it? 

I think the only challenge was that it was it’s based on an original album and had to be revisited. Any time you have to go back and retouch your music yourself it can be very demotivating, because when you finish working on a song you think it’s perfect and should be perfect in your mind. But because of technology and the new generation I thought it would be good to update it in a tasteful way. I was able to do that, hence the title — Heavenly Revisited

If you could time travel to any gig or concert that has ever taken place, which would it be? 

A Prince concert, no doubt. I’ve seen him at least four or five times and all of them were badass and full of energy. I really wish time travel was an option… 

Tell us something that will surprise us? 

I met my best friend, Derrick May, in 7th grade, and I had to punch him before we became best friends. But since we discovered our common bond of music, we’ve been doing everything together. He also helped me put together Technolong

What gives a man sex appeal? 

A few things, I’d say — voice, body, the way you shave, your smell…  

Kevin Saunderson was in Dubai to play Analog Room’s season-closing gig.

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