French producer, Panthera prefers to remain secretive about his identity, but his music has plenty of people talking. It has come out on labels such as Bordello A Parigi, Polaris and Correspondant so far and contains a distinct, synth-heavy, euphoric sound.

Hi Panthera, Welcome to Music Is 4 Lovers. Your sound draws heavily on retro and Italo influences. How did you discover your love for these particular styles?

Probably on the radio, back in the day, at the back of my parent’s car. Or in front of a Hit Parade show on TV. I’ve been listening to a lot of music, but Italo Disco always seems to fit well into my life. Later, going to clubs was more like a selfish pleasure because, until recently, Italo Disco was not very well accepted, often compared to Euro Dance. You could definitely hear the influences in the production, but it had a mainstream image that took it away from the fashionable clubs.

What factors do you think contributed to the lasting appeal of Italo Disco throughout the decades?

The focus on melodies, the richness of the sound, minor modes, melancholy—probably the cheesiness, too! Everybody needs the warmth of cheesiness. In the beginning, Italo Disco was mainly studio music. It wasn’t considered a standard music act; that’s why it was probably more innovative. There were no career objectives, no concerts, barely any image just the music. And I don’t think it’s a retro thing. It’s a timeless sound. You can feel it with just a simple Jupiter note: it brings you to some other place!

Your latest EP, ‘Hustle’, just came out on Melodize. What can you tell us about this release and the remix artists you collaborated with?

Both the label and I were very interested in having Endrik do a remix. The first time I heard “Take Off” and “Second Breath,” I was stuck because this guy had checked all the boxes of what I love in music. One of my favourites is his ep on Melodize, by the way. I am now lucky enough to work with Endrik, as he mixed most of my recent releases. Then came Lauer, who needs no introduction. I was really happy when Melodize told me he would remix one track. And I’m super happy with the result! Melodize does a wonderful job as a label.


Were there any pieces of equipment or plugins that were crucial in the studio? 

I’m not obsessed with hardware, and I’m certainly not a big sound expert. I just need tools that allow me to put ideas into place as simply as possible. I only use plugins. I understand the fascination with vintage analogue keyboards, but they seem too subtle for me! I feel more like a composer than a producer.

You choose to keep your identity a secret and use the moniker ‘Panthera’. What was the inspiration behind this moniker?

I just needed a name at one point, and I didn’t want to overthink it. In the beginning, it was just a joke about the heavy metal band Pantera. It’s also the name of a nightclub where I ran parties back in the day. It was not a super wise choice in the age of search engines, but it has an 80s cheesiness I love.

Thanks so much for joining us today! Lastly, what can we expect from you in the next few months? Are there any more exciting projects lined up for you? 

There are still releases and remixes planned for the rest of the year. In different genres, from disco to more club sounds. Definitely exciting projects!

Panthera ‘Hustle EP (incl. Lauer and Endrik Schroeder Remixes) is out now via Melodize – BUY HERE