It’s 7pm in Los Angeles when I reach Greg James Broussard – better known by his stage moniker Egyptian Lover – and the pioneering hip-hop and electro producer, singer, record company owner and performer is settling into the evening with a bottle of champagne. He speaks with the relaxed air and confidence of someone that is comfortable in the game that he’s in. Since humble beginnings as a west coast party DJ in the early 1980s, Egyptian Lover began releasing LPs during a period when hip-hop albums were a rarity, featuring his trademark electro-tinged funk inspired by the likes of Kraftwerk, Afrika Bambaataa and the indomitable Prince.
Originally taking the leap into music production in order see people’s reactions to his own tracks at clubs, Broussard has been influential on heavyweight producers such as Dr Dre, Timbaland and George Clinton. His unique style is also heavily characterised by Egyptian imagery, from video clips and lyrics to the name of his record company: ‘Egyptian Empire Records’.
“Since I was a child, I was fascinated with King Tut and the pyramids, so I adopted Egyptian Lover as my street name,” explains Broussard.
So, a lover from a young age then? “Yeah that’s right,” comes the laughing reply. Sensual and sexual lyrics are another feature of Broussard’s lyrics largely as a product of being influenced by early Prince, and similarly to the ‘Purple One’ Broussard loves to entertain.
“I really love DJing, that’s my main thing. I especially like making my own music to play to the audiences and that’s why I bring my 808 drum machine to clubs. I really like to make make people dance.”
On his upcoming visit to Sydney for the Vivid Festival at the Opera House he responds with excitement about performing at the iconic structure. “It’s gonna be like an old school dance party. There’s gonna be a DJ set first, then I’m gonna bring out the 808 and we gonna have some fun. You know, like I said, I love to make people dance.”
Jun 2, 9:30pm, Sydney Opera House, $30+BF, vividsydney.com