Arts & Entertainment
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Bringing familiar French tunes back to Ottawa

Tapette: the French dance party

DJ Phil V brings his French dance party to Ottawa.

For those who want to do something different on a hot summer night and are yearning for some French party music, then Tapette is the place to be on Friday, June 24.

Tapette — a night of French music from Quebec, France, Belgium and the Ivory Coast — is the brainchild of Phil Villeneuve, aka DJ Phil V. For the past year, Villeneuve has been revving up monthly Tapette nights in Toronto.

“Every month there is just this gaggle of French guys from around the city that come out of the woodwork to come to this party, and it’s fantastic… and then you have a bunch of boys who come to look at them,” he says.

Villeneuve, a Franco-Ontarian, is no stranger to Ottawa. He lived in the city until he moved to Toronto in 2005. By day, Villeneuve is a music writer, but at night he dons his DJ cap and spins music at various venues around the city.

He’s part of the winning formula at two Toronto “it” parties: Fit, at The Beaver, and long-running hip-hop jam Big Primpin’, at Wrong Bar.

Tapette is Villeneuve’s latest venture. In Toronto, the popular party is held at the Naco Gallery on Dundas St, in that city’s trendy west end. Tapette will have its Ottawa debut on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day — a national holiday in Quebec.

“I really think that people in Ottawa will respond to a party like this,” says Villeneuve. “In the gay world, this is always lacking — the pure French dance party where it is actually fun dance music.”

Villeneuve plans to bring Tapette to Ottawa four times a year. He wants to introduce people to new music, get some requests and expand his library — something he has been doing since launching Tapette.

“I discovered the amazing history of gay music in France and in Quebec — it goes on forever. The French disco in Quebec was huge in the ’70s and was apparently the hotspot for disco for a while,” he says.