nice to meet you
Meet Roosevelt, the German Musician Shaking Up Disco
This is Nice to Meet You, for all your need-to-know information on the need-to-get-to-know new voices in pop culture. Think of it as a blind date, if the date were cooler than anyone you’ll probably ever go out with. Allow us to break the ice; we promise you’ll fall in love.
Marius Lauber, known in the music industry and onstage as Roosevelt, is a producer, DJ, songwriter, and electronic musician hailing from Germany. The 30-year-old has a knack for music that calls people to the dance floor—though these days it’s more like reminiscing about the dance floor—taking cues from the masters of disco, like Nile Rodgers. With his third album Polydans, Lauber continues to create glittery synth-pop infused with nostalgia, exemplified nowhere better than on the infectious heartache anthem “See You Again.” Below, from his home in Cologne, Germany, Lauber talked to Interview about his latest project, the importance of dancing, and why Kylie Minogue is his dream collaborator.
On the meaning of Polydans: The 10 tracks are quite polyphonic songs. They have a lot of arpeggiators and harmonies. The dans—there’s a Norwegian disco scene with like Lindstrøm and Prins Thomas and Tartaglia, people like that, which really influenced me. They write dance with an S at the end and they write disco with S K in the disco. I just found that quite nice and quite colloquial, almost.
On his early 2000s musical obsession: I had a memory of my childhood to “Another Chance” by Roger Sanchez, an early 2000s classic. I remember it being a hit in Germany back then, or at least it was on MTV. I wasn’t aware of it at the time—I didn’t buy the CD or something, I just saw it everywhere, all over the place. But in retrospect, that was definitely the first dance song that I vividly remember.
On The Strokes: I saw The Strokes’s MTV concert, I think it was called Live at 2 Dollar Bill. I was 13 or so. I mean, I had piano lessons as a really small kid, but I remember seeing that concert, and I just wanted to be like them. I think it’s as simple as that. Even in my first band, I think everything we wanted was to be as cool as The Strokes. That was the main intention in the beginning.
On his teenage taste in EDM: I was deejaying terrible music back then. I had this image of electronic music because I was in indie rock bands, and I had this kind of perception of dance music that it was this completely other world and I found it really fascinating. I can’t really describe it better than just saying I had terrible taste in electronic music.
On Kylie Minogue: I’m a huge fan of her. She just went back into disco territory. She’s still, for me, the secret queen of disco.
On tension and release: I [have a] neck massager. I bought that in the album process because I had so much tension in my neck from sitting on the computer all day. That became like a ritual—going home, putting the thing on, and watching a movie, just to calm myself down.