Interview: Citizen Kain

Up next in our interview series we have Citizen Kain. Prolific author, either compulsive, he takes on every techno genders smoothly with an experienced technique: he combines a rhythm efficiency, an undisputed go with a varied melodious sensibility. He refines all the themes he uses in his music, conserving the very essential, the few notes and sounds that reveal its power. He pushes his effort toward the public, craving for its immediate pleasures. He builds each of his sets with the same and constant preoccupation: get the audience involved with his music, unanimously clasped by its twisted energy and surrounded by the mere and heavy emotion resulting.

Find out more about Citizen Kain’s career and his brand new track ‘Ghosts and Shadows’ in the answers below!


Hey Citizen Kain, thanks for speaking to us! For those readers who aren’t familiar with you, can you tell us who Citizen Kain is, and what your sound is like in a sentence or two?

Hi Only Techno, I am a DJ and producer from France, I live along the sea in Montpellier. My music is a crossover between Techno, Melodic Techno and House Music, it’s modern, always very groovy, most of the time minimalist but melodic, fat and very powerful. I’m following the trends but with my own identity.

You’re very much a DJ’s DJ, your tracks often the secret weapons in the sets of the electronic elite. You’ve been working hard behind the scenes. Do you remember the first time you heard of (or even witnessed) one of your favourite artists playing your tracks and realised that your music was cutting through?  

Yes sure, it’s something to remember and a so exciting moment. The first artist I was a fan of and so happy he played my music was Richie Hawtin, it would have been around 2007, the track was named ‘Kiss Me Kill Me’ and has been released on vinyl on a Spanish label called Regular. More recently, when I discovered that Tale Of Us was playing a lot of my tracks particularly ‘Soundwagon’ and ‘Indigo’ that they played in the biggest festivals, I was like a child!

You’ve got a new release coming out on Artbat’s Upperground label – ‘Ghosts and Shadows’. Can you tell us a little about how you put this track together? It is such an epic powerful builder!  

I composed this track during the COVID period, I spent a lot of time in the studio because a lot of my gigs had been cancelled and it was a period that allowed me to take time to experience new ways, I was searching for something different to what I was usually doing  and ‘Ghosts & Shadows’ was born. I wanted to compose something ultra powerful for ‘after covid’ able to make the crowd totally crazy.

At what point in your sets do you like to unleash this? (What time of night for example). You’re touring pretty heavily around the world, is there a specific moment you remember from testing this track out at a gig where you were like – ‘yep, this is a killer, it’s ready for release!’

I play it in most of my sets since a long time ago now, it worked immediately, the crowd reacted strongly to this track but I also took a lot of time to find how to improve it and make it stronger. Initially I thought to keep it for my own label UNSEEN but when I sent it to Artbat and they told me they wanted to release it, I was super happy to work closer with them so I preferred to let them release it.

We saw you’re playing Afterlife in Ibiza on August 24th, we can’t wait for that. Where else are you heading this summer?

I too can’t wait for Afterlife Ibiza. I will also tour all over Europe, Brazil, India and Dubai and many other places.


Citizen Kain ‘Ghosts and Shadows’ is out now on UPPERGROUND. Get it here!