Having grown up on the island of Reunion, French winger Payet played local football until mainland Havre signed him. This summer he signed for West Ham in a deal thought to be worth €12m.
"In Réunion it's more physical," he told The Guardian. "It's more difficult because of the sun. It's in Africa and it's maybe why we're more technical.
"It's true it takes a lot of concentration and focus to work with him (former Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa), he does give a lot of detail. But even though it is hard work, once you've integrated those skills, it becomes easy on the pitch. It becomes natural."
Now that he is in England, Payet hopes to emulate French players such as Eric Cantona, David Ginola and Thierry Henry.
"All of them are inspirations," he added. "I cannot pretend I am as good as those players. I'm just starting, but who's to say, one day I might be at their level."
Payet has scored one goal in three Premier League appearances so far this season and is in line to face Liverpool at Anfield today.