I remember being woken on September 13, 2011, to a text message from a peer on the east coast, asking if I had heard about the tragic accident that befell our French comrades, resulting in the loss of our friend Mehdi. The shock at this - I had recently returned from a trip to New York where a lot of time was spent with Mehdi and company. The vocal for ‘Let the Beat Control Your Body’ was recorded on that trip. The idea-fetus that would be Bromance was forming, and I was starting to feel like a part of this gregarious, fantastic French family (an American cousin, perhaps), in no small part due to Mehdi’s jubilantly inclusive attitude, humor, warmth.
Myself and Stevie Be were about to leave for Europe together, and it was strange and heartbreaking to think that we wouldn’t see Mehdi when we arrived in Paris. Perhaps it is because of this ‘inside outsider’ status that his legacy is most apparent. It was really beautiful to watch the French musical community come together to grieve. It seemed that no one made this tragic death about them - it was about supporting each other and celebrating a life whose purpose was apparently Love. The Legacy that Mehdi left behind was not only one of incredible music, and of paying attention : he would meet you once and remember your name and be happy to see you; it is more evident in this idea that Life is too short and precious to waste on petty bullshit, on ‘where’s mine’ or catty one-upmanship. We are here for camaraderie, not competition.
In the year that has passed, France has been outputting some of the most prolific work in modern electronic music. Labels that cross pollinate -Ed Banger, Bromance, Sound Pellegrino, Marble, Tiger Sushi, Clek Clek Boom, Youngunz - these are only a few examples of where artists of different generations, musical backgrounds and flavors are working together: remixing and releasing each others’ work, collaborating, generally creating an atmosphere of support and brotherly love that should have the rest of the world taking notes. I don’t know if it would have been possible without the harsh wake up call of an exemplary life being snuffed out like a flame. Heartbreaking, yes, but observing this phenomenon convinces me that Mehdi’s death was not in vain.
If the evidence of a life’s worth resounds not so much in how you treat others while you’re alive, but how those who survive you treat each other when you’re gone, Mehdi Faveris Essadi, you lived one of the best lives I have ever witnessed. Thank you for your example to our community on how to live, love, work and play well with others. You are missed every day.
In this life that is so brief and fragile, let’s hold each other up instead of tearing each other down. Blessings my friends, my heroes, my peers. I love you very much and am so happy to have today with you.