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Miami is a beacon for beautiful people and amazing talent from around the world, so it’s no surprise that Paris’s Olivier Amiel, a.k.a. “DJ Sub Zero,” has chosen to make the city his new home. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s really not into wine and cheese and would watch the NBA finals instead of the World Cup any day.”Somehow I knew that I wasn’t made for France,” says Sub Zero, “I hate wine, and when everybody was watching soccer I was watching NBA games at 3 o’clock in the morning. So here I am!”
While most tend to think that his name pays homage to the infamous video game character from the 90s arcade smash Mortal Kombat, Sub Zero, aka “The Freshest Handz in Miami,” actually found inspiration in an unlikely source. “The Sub Zero Fridge is not as big in Europe as it is in the US, so I said I’ll take Sub Zero ’cause I keep everything fresh.”
Sub Zero has been keeping things fresh on the international party scene for over a decade. In Paris, he began as a young, passionate hip-hop DJ in the mid 90s, scouring the record stores of France for rare American wax. He joined forces with a few other young DJs, including Lam-C, DJ Maldja, DJ Pheels and Speeder Mike (of No Jazz Band fame) and started the Funky Dope Crew. Soon Sub Zero and the Crew were injecting their fusion of hip-hop, R&B, club and dance music into the Parisian nightlife, becoming regulars behind the wheels at hot spots like Les Bains or Man Ray.
The owners of city’s legendary station Radio FG noticed Sub Zero’s growing buzz and asked him to submit a demo. In an instant he found himself spinning alongside heavyweight international DJ’s like Erick Morillo, David Guetta , Bob Sinclar, to an audience of over a half-million listeners. For 3 years Sub Zero ruled the airwaves with his mixshow RnB Chic, which featured celebrity guests like Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, T.I., Rhianna and more. AV8 records, the largest label of the time to support remixes and mashups, once owned by DJ extraordinaire Armand Van Helden, soon came calling. In 2001 AV8 offered Sub Zero a deal, making him the labels first European DJ. The exposure helped Sub Zero take his sound beyond the borders of France, throughout the rest of Europe and then the world. Sub Zero has played in over 30 countries, including Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, Dubai, New York, Barcelona & St. Tropez. He was actually one of the first French hip-hop DJs to spin at Miami hot spots like Crobar and Mynt, where he’d spin at least four times a year between 2004 and 2006.
Sub Zero has established quite a celebrity following along the way like birthdays for Kanye West , Alessandra Ambrosio , Mickey Rourke…He recently spun at NBA star Tony Parker’s birthday bash in Vegas and was dj’ing at Prince’s After party in Monaco . Sub Zero is also a regular Dj for parties at the Cannes Film Festival and fashion Week events in Milan and Paris.Already a Miami regular, with family and friends in the area, Sub Zero officially made the city his home in 2007. It was the perfect location for him to focus more on his skills as a music producer, already having produced mixtape tracks for American artists like Chamillionaire and David Banner, as well as theme music for French TV shows and the country’s biggest stand up comedian Jamel Debbouze. Sub Zero is working on his first self-produced album of all original material, and Miami provides easy access to popular hip-hop and R&B acts. But don’t think it’ll be limited to just those two genres.
“It’ll be whatever sums up what I like, from hip-hop to club stuff, ” says Sub Zero. “I play whatever’s good. I used to be a hip hop DJ, but I wasn’t a hip hop DJ because I had to be, I was a hip hop DJ because I loved it and nowadays I love a lot of things. Whatever I feel the crowd will react to I’ll play, and I’ll try to produce.”