- 23 Aug 18
That Loving Feline: No one has more passion for dance music than Felix Da Housecat who'll be doing his legendary house thing in Casa Bacardi at Electric Picnic
Ever since 2001, the same year Kittenz and Thee Glitz dropped, self-described Virgo-workaholic Felix Da Housecat has been touring like a demon. He emerged from a brief three-day hotel-respite with his girlfriend to talk with Hot Press about his wild ride as DJ.
“I think the longest I’ve had off, since 2001, was about three weeks,” he admits with a sigh. ‘I think my girlfriend and production partners can attest, I love my sleep. I think I’m recharged now.
“People don’t see the other side of that life, it’s hilarious. When you look at your peers doing it you’re like, ‘Damn, well if I ain’t sleeping, they ain’t sleeping either,’” Felix adds with a chuckle, “so it’s not just me, all of us just don’t sleep!”
Most recently he performed at the Music On Festival Ibiza alongside longtime friend DJ Marco Carola and the Cool Italians.
“It’s always a great honour to play for those guys,” he enthuses, “I’ve known Marco forever. It’s so crazy, when I was working with Puff in 2003, he said his favorite DJs were me, Carola and Guy Gerber.
“When I went to see him and Guy Gerber play, I couldn’t see what Puff saw in him. This was in Brazil, back in 2004. Later, I understood what he saw and the style he was so into. Soon after I started supporting Carola too.”
However, not all of Felix’s journeys to Brazil have been as enjoyable. He recalled a particularly unpleasant journey for a show that’s scarred him ever since.
“Man, I don’t even know where to start,” he says with a laugh. “I had to drive two hours into these sand dunes and a jungle. When we finally got to the hotel it was probably the size of a bathroom with an open shower. I had to share the room with my muscle-bound security guard, my manager and all the mosquitos. This was the easy part.”
All hell broke loose when he was shipped out to the island where he was set to perform. When workers realised that no one had been paid, the boat company went on strike, stranding everyone on the island.
“It was like every man for himself, it was armageddon!” he exclaims. “People were raiding the owner of the island’s house - it was crazy! I’m just like, ‘I gotta get off this island’
I was still waiting on my money, so I never got paid. You had all of these big dudes saying, ‘You’re gonna play’ and I’m like, ‘No I’m not’,” Felix asserts. “ There was this boat running back and forth from the island every hour, but they were extorting cash off of people. I’m like, ‘Shit I’ll give them whatever they want. Get me out of here!’”
Needless to say he hasn’t been back since.
At the age of 46, Felix tends to avoid involving himself in such craziness anymore. He prefers to go to the gym and get his seven hour cat-nap when he can. The Chicago DJ mentioned that his nine lives have finally kicked in. Is it an ironic joke, or symbolic of his stage name?
“I always joke about my name because I’m afraid of cats, I don’t like them,’ he admits. “My Dad’s name is Felix, and Felix is my birth name, kids used to tease me for my fear in high school. When I started making tracks I chose ‘Housecat’ because I was tired of getting picked on.
“When I went to England in ‘91 they were like ‘give me a name,’ and I thought of the alias ‘Felix Da Housecat.’ They thought I was Pierre under an alias, which helped my popularity. When I put this track out called ‘The Dawn’, it got a lot of hype because they thought it was him. Then Pierre was like, ‘Nah, he’s an actual dude,’ and I decided to roll with it . The rest is nine-lives history.”
In the most recent installment of the nine-lives saga, Felix’s summer tour schedule has been hectic. He traveled from Hard Fest in California, to Skybar in hometown Chicago and a day party in New York. He’s anticipating a Greek show and a release party for his collaborative track with Berlin producer Kristin Velvet, ‘It’s Hot’.
“The music she’s putting out is really incredible. She’s like the new chick to watch,” Felix declares. “ I was playing one of her tracks and I think she saw me dancing to it. So she messaged me and wanted to collaborate. Then she was trying to tell me what kind of songs I should make. So I left her a two minute rant explaining to her I didn’t want to make a song about Pierre and she took the rant and put it in the song.
“I thought that was brilliant. She ended up getting what she wanted out of it and I love it, now it’s got a little buzz on it.”
Almost as an afterthought he remembered he has his birthday coming up in a few weeks. Oddly, enough it ties into his upcoming appearance at Electric Picnic. What can party people expect at the Casa Bacardí stage?
“I always read the crowd," he tells us. "As much as I try to plan it, it’s good to vibe off the people. I love the Irish people, they know how to party. The last time I was there it was rockin.’”
Felix Da Housecat will perform at Electric Picnic’s Casa Bacardí stage on Saturday September 1st.