While Nicolas Sarkozy plots his return to the Élysée Palace in France, his eldest son, Pierre, is readying for his visit to Israel on Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day). Sarkozy Jr., a sought-after DJ at parties across the globe, will be appearing at Rave Atzmaut, a large musical event at the Rishon Lezion Park Amphitheater.
"This will be my third performance in Israel," Pierre says in a telephone interview from his home in Paris.
"Whenever people ask me about my visits to Israel, I always say that I was surprised and favorably impressed. When you hear about Israel on the news and in the media, it's usually in harsh contexts, like terror and war; so when I arrived in Tel Aviv for the first time, it was a positive surprise. I didn't feel a sense of danger; on the contrary – the mood is very relaxed, artistic, with an open mind."
A Jewish great-grandfather
Pierre, 30, has Jewish roots – on his father's side. His great-grandfather was a Jew from Salonika, Greece, who emigrated to France at the age of 14, studied medicine and converted to Catholicism.
"He was a wonderful man and raised my father," Pierre says. "I've heard a lot about him. Unfortunately, he died long before I was born and I didn't get to know him."
Pierre was born when his father was serving as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
"I discovered music thanks to a turntable in my parents' house," he says. "One of the first albums I bought was a Stevie Wonder record. I was also a fan of the crazy music from the Knight Rider television show. I used to make tapes to play in my mother's car, and while recording the songs of famous artists, I started to create songs of my own."
Pierre has been performing under the name, DJ Mosey, since his teens.
"At 14-15, I wanted to find a stage name for myself; so I opened a large English dictionary and happened to come across the word, mosey. It's an old English word. I didn't understand it, so I read the definitions – to walk or move in a leisurely manner. I saw myself in that word and said: Wow, that's exactly me. That's the way I go through life. That word represents my philosophy."
How did you father react when you started playing in clubs?
"Dad took it very well. He also rebelled against family traditions; my father didn't come from a family of politicians, and when he began his political career, his family was very concerned about his move. I think that once my father realized that I was going to be involved in music, he didn't want to make the same mistakes his parents did when he went into politics, so he has always supported and encouraged me."
Is it hard to be 'the son of'?
"No, it's not hard. I've never complained about bearing the Sarkozy name. There are so many worse things, and people have much bigger problems. Thanks to my father, I've been lucky enough to experience exciting things in my life and meet very interesting people. So I have nothing to complain about."
'Carla is wonderful'
Nicolas Sarkozy's current political comeback in France is taking place on the backdrop of an economic crisis, social polarization, disputes regarding the issue of immigration and, of course, the recent terror attacks that rocked Paris.
"Of course I was shocked by those attacks," Pierre says. "It's crazy that despite what happened in history, Jews are still being killed because of their religion. I haven't always agreed with the cartoons and articles published by Charlie Hebdo, but it is shocking that people are being killed because of their opinions.
"And in this context, I'll quote the famous saying: 'I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.' I was very proud of my country's response to the attacks. The fact that everyone came together and marched united in the streets was a proper, beautiful and moving response."
Pierre is no longer the only musician in the family. His father is currently married to former model Carla Bruni, now a popular singer.
Do you have a good relationship with Carla?
"We have a great relationship, and we got a gift from her – a beautiful sister."
Do you think you may do something together one day in the field of music?
"Carla is a wonderful artist who has surprised everyone and has gone from being a model to being a musician who writes beautiful and smart words, and I really respect her music too; but we have no plans to collaborate on anything."
So what are you going to play for us at Rave Atzmaut?
"In all my shows, I like to adapt myself to the mood, the energy of the crowd. This time, I'll play electronic music, house, soul and hip-hop. I always combine African and American influences. I don't know much about music in Israel; but because I love traditional music.
"When I last visited Israel, I walked around the Jaffa flea market and went into a store that sells second-hand vinyl records. It was very nice, and that's how I was exposed a little to the local music. I also have a friend, a Jewish DJ who performs here often and who has told me about the Israeli music scene. I hope to incorporate some songs in the Independence Day show."