Florian Picasso knows precisely where to find his inspiration. This music producer and DJ has earned success through collaborations with legends of electronic dance music such as Martin Garrix, Nicky Romero and Steve Aoki.
And no, Picasso is not just a stage name. This thirty-year-old French of Viet- namese origin is the great-grandson of Pablo Picasso himself. Vamp magazine managed to find out what occupies Florian Picasso’s mind and where he get’s his inspiration.
On February 20th Florian Picasso played an exclusive 90-minute DJ set live from Pablo Picasso’s atelier in his Villa Californie in Cannes. ‘Live from Pablo’s Atelier’ – that was the name of the show. I wondered; how does it feel like to be Picasso?
To carry on this famous and legendary last name? “I knew I was from a unique background, and I knew I had to start my own creative journey. Carrying a big name comes with big responsibilities”, answered Florian.
Organisers of the live stream from Pablo’s Atelier’ recreated the atelier as it was when Pablo lived and worked in it with all of his paintings and ce- ramic works. “It was an extraordinary way to show how Pablo’s house was back in the days with a modern touch, with the music and everything that goes around it.
Pablo is very inspiring. I think how he worked, you know, how he tried new things and was not afraid of it, this is very inspiring!”, shares Florian with excitement.
As a child, the musician wandered around the Villa Californie , carefully analysing the
works of his great-grandfather. He says that he was trying to find meaning in how a partic- ular painting could make him feel. Here his great-grandfather created a vast collection of ceramics, portraits ‘erotique’, and most importantly the famous “Les femmes d’Alger” – a series of 15 paintings, where the last one is estimated at 180 million dollars!
The artist then confessed to his biographer Pierre Dais that he “thought so much about ‘Les femmes d’Alger’ that he bought La Californie”.
Besides being raised in this house, there Florian founded his music studio – in the work- shop of his great-grandfather. “I believe in energy”, says Picasso.
The show “Live from Pablo’s atelier” couldn’t have happened without an exceptional guest – French graffiti artist Cyril Kongo, well- known for his collaborations with Chanel and Hermes fashion houses.
Both artists – Flo- rian and Cyril, are of Vietnamese origin and creates a very strong connection between them. Throughout the stream, Kongo paint- ed a unique custom art piece, which will be auctioned off to buyers during the TENco x Global Gift Gala, organised by actresses Ma- ria Bravo and Eva Longoria.
All proceeds will be directed to Vietnam’s Quang Chau Foun- dation Orphanage. ‘I decided that all funds will go to an orphanage in Vietnam’- said Picasso. And no wonder why.
Florian was three months old when Marina Picasso, Pablo’s granddaughter, adopted him from the Ho Chi Minh orphanage. Vietnamese by birth, Florian dedicates to his country
of origin a fair amount of his music. On June 21st, 2020, Florian played the show ‘From Vietnam With Love’. The musician teamed up with a VR company and performed the first half of the live stream on the river banks of the Mekong and the second half in the city of Saigon.
Picasso’s performance was viewed by over two million people. Vietnam, obviously, is one of the biggest inspirations for the musician.
Asian influences can be heard and seen in almost all of his music and music videos, especially in his’ Final Call’, ‘Hikari’ and ‘Hanabi”’. Florian says that back in the nineties, it was not very common for somebody to be adopted.
And even less common for somebody who’s Asian. “You know, I want to put myself out there and spend time as a volunteer somewhere”, shares the musician.
“I actively support animal charities. I adopted two dogs, Tchikita from Mexico and Taco from a Los Angeles shelter”. Also, Florian adopted one more dog from the same LA animal shel- ter. But unfortunately, the pet passed away due to old age.
Honesty and absolute sincerity that’s how I can describe Florian. This guy, without any hesitation, shares everything that is on his mind.
“You know if not music, I would continue spending my family’s money. I am in this position where I am privileged because financially I don’t need to survive like many other DJ’s…”, he confesses. “And you have to know, that only 5% of DJ’s do this because of real passion. The rest of them do it for the money”
Florian’s money became a severe obstacle for him at the beginning of his career. Most of the big record labels re- jected him in his initial days in the music industry. “It was like there’s no point in investing in your talent because you can do it by yourself, you can finance yourself”, Flo- rian explained.
Despite the obstacles, he managed to sign his first con- tract with Protocol Recordings, the label that also be- longs to Dutch DJ Nicky Romero. With them, he releases his first single, ‘Origami, ‘ which officially gave the start to his career as a music producer. You can now find Florian
playing on major music festivals like Ultra or Tomorrow- land and Martin Garrix, and his good friend, Steve Aoki.
I asked Florian, if the music brings a purpose to his life. “Yeah… yeah”, he responds. And then adds, “It was not just for passion in the beginning, you know. I was very attracted by big crowds, where everyone is giving you attention.
And those were the wrong reasons. As soon as you change your mindset, your personality, it opens doors for you. I mean, maybe you won’t succeed profes- sionally. But at least personally I feel like I’m a better person now, you know?”.