Other contemporary artists of this age with this itself style, many of them choose to create their art from testing with all kind of things, from a pint of beer to the clock hands, and all kind of old devices that they help to create their music of wild jungle. A fusion of Druma, Jungle, Chill and really weird thing to do from France’s mad scientist, Ouai Stéphane
1 – When and how did you get your interest in electronic music?
Ola ! I started focusing on electronic music when I was 10, something like that, so in the early 2000s. My older brother used to collect me from school and show me in his car all the Radio Soulwax mixes. Man these were crazy ! I realised pop music could be put at the same level of electronic music and that everything was kinda the same in the end. I got into Gorillaz, Chemical Brothers, Fatboy Slim, Prodigy but also popier stuff like Madonna, Kylie Minogue… I understood later on that what I really liked was the production behind. So I became a huge fan of Mirways, Stuart Price for instance. I realise that all these had a huge impact on my production today.
2 – How did you decide to dedicate into production?
I played violin for many years, but I got kinda fed up of the rigidness of the classical world and got into drums, bass guitar later on when I was a teenager, until I realised I wanted to play everything. The best instrument for this is a computer 😎 So I g33ked on Reason, Music Maker 2005, Ableton Live, Max MSP. That’s the moment I got into music production.
3 – How do you assess the trajectory you have had and what were the reasons that led you to start it?
In 2012, I studied in Dublin and did a Master in Music and Media Technologies. I followed classes like History of Electroacoustic, DSP, Spatial Audio, Psychoacoustics… This is where I discovered stuff like Steve Reich, Arvo Pärt, or Michael Gordon. Anyway, after this, I moved to Paris where I gave private lessons on Computer Music. My students kept asking me what kinda music I composed. Since I didn’t have anything to show really, I produced some tracks based around technics we were studying in class. Things got a little out of control after this, a friend of mine released one of the tracks on his label and a few months later I was asked to play at gigs and it became my main activity. Really exciting ! Even though I always wanted to do music in my life and do my own stuff, I didn’t really calculate this trajectory. I try to keep this mentality in the project: sincerity and straightforwardness.
4- What was your criterion when producing your last EP?
I didn’t think of specific criterions when I produced this EP. The composition was rather “honest”, especially with Ché Pas. I wanted to try some new effects on my voice, so I recorded myself saying “Dunno what I’m doing with my voice, Dunno why I’m doing that”, stacked a few effects and since it was just an experimentation/a test, I left it for a few weeks. Listening back to it, I thought of doing a full track with those effects. I couldn’t think of any lyrics and to be honest I don’t really care about the lyrics so I kept those. One thing I learned in Dublin during my studies is the construction of MIDI controllers and instruments. 50% of the project Ouai Stéphane is based around DIY controllers that I used during live performances. I used one on this track to randomize the FXs I used on the voices. I recorded the automations of joysticks, switching on and off the effects, thus randomizing (or humanizing ?) the process. Here’s a picture of it:
I finished the track by adding break beats, acid lines and weird sound designs. Anyhow, that’s how I managed to do this track.
The other track “I Have Feelings También” is an experimentation based around chords. I used some Max for Live devices (an add on to the software Ableton Live) to randomly generate the chords. I went with the flow with this one and the production process was quite natural. Every instruments that I added fit well with the rest. I didn’t want to go over the top and add leads on it because it felt quite comfortable as it was. Naturally, I went towards high tempo beats and it felt right to have a kinda bossa nova groove to it. I’m really proud of this one and I’m dying to play it live.
5 – Could you recommend a set that you are especially proud of, and that we can see on your Soundcloud or on YouTube?
There are 2 sets I did which I’m really proud of. The first one is a live performance in front of a tiny castle. So the story is that there’s this festival called Cercle that was preparing a gig at a castle called Chateau de Chambord. I really like this place and wanted to play there for a long time, so I sent a CV and a cover letter to apply as an artist. I know this is a weird way to be booked at a gig, but sure… why not. They never replied so I decided to do my own concert at a place called France Miniature (a leisure park with miniatures of famous places in France) in front of the small version of the Chateau de Chambord. No one came but I really enjoyed playing there ! Here’s the video:
Other than that, I was asked to do a DJ set for a radio called Radio Campus. I never do DJ sets so I kinda did my own version of a radio show, mixing my voice with the actual tracks. It’s in French and since it’s an audio on soundcloud, I can’t put any subtitles, but I could do a Spanish version at some stage ? Here’s the link:
6 – What can you tell us about the scene of your city? What would you improve?
I live in Paris at the moment. I think the musical scene is cool, well, “was”. There aren’t many concerts planned, with the virus still around. Don’t really know what’s going to happen ( I miss playing concerts :/ ). I think Paris is great for clubs, there are loads of them and the lineups are quite broad. One thing I miss is the rock scene I was used to in Dublin. France doesn’t have a huge rock scene. That might be one thing that could be improved. Other than that, there are tons of festivals all year long which allows people to have a constant exposure to music culture, and that’s great !
7 – Finally, what can you tell us about your present and future projects?
Yeah so I have a few stuff coming up this year but also next year. I’m shooting 3 music videos. I’ve an EP for autumn, and maybe 2 others, don’t really know yet. I have in mind to release an online radio with my fish Alice Didier. I did a compilation of outros with a few friends. I’m preparing a new live show and I’m thinking of doing an album next year. Don’t really know yet, I’ll see. But I’m really pumped!!
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