Folamour at Cathédrale Saint-Pierre in Geneva, Switzerland for Cercle & W Hotels
Thank you so much for watching us tonight! I have the priviledge and the chance to have a French artist in front of me. Although I really love speaking in English, I feel more comfortable doing this interview in French, but we will subtitle it on YouTube. Sorry for the English-speaking people! Hello Bruno ! How are you? How are you feeling after having played literally in the middle of the city and after what happened? It was an incredible experience. I think the look on my face must tell a lot about what we've just experienced.
It was incredible. I love playing with the people around me, feeling all the energy. On top of that, I was playing in the heart of the city, amidst the crowd, in this sort of enclave within the city. It was fantastic, the place is magnificent.
It was perfect. I felt at home. It was sick. We could see that, and you did an exceptional set.
I think that your performance was honourable in regard to the location. Actually I saw that you had a fanbase in Switzerland and that you played quite often in Switzerland. Yeah! I was also talking with your manager Gabriel, apparently you play often in a club in Basel, that you love. You have a special story with this country. Yeah absolutely! It's one of the first countries outside of France in which I played. There were some years, 2015 - 2016, when I began touring abroad, Geneva was one of the first cities in which I played.
I instantly felt a connection. I love the character of the people around here. I managed to create a connection here. Lots of my best mates are Swiss, that I met during these last years and I with which I really had a feeling. And every time I come back, I always meet new people and discover new places. Honestly it's an amazing experience.
In fact there's a club in Basel where I'm a resident DJ, and that is, to me, one of the best clubs in the world. And anytime I come in Switzerland, there's something special. I thought it was super logical to do the show here.
And I really enjoyed it. When I heard that it would take place in Switzerland, I thought that it was perfect. And what's the name of the club for the people watching us? The club is called Elysia. And I would recommend it to anyone going to Basel or Zürich.
It's not too far from Zürich either. It's truly a distinct club. It's a club with a capacity of 300, 400 people, amazing sound system. It's truly an experience, there is a sense of freedom. There's really a community around the club.
So yeah, Elysia in Basel, I recommend it, it's sick. It's quite remarkable that, even at your level, you keep on playing in clubs with 300 people capacities. It's really honorable. Well sometimes I find clubs with which I can particularly connect. Whatever the capacity, the reasons, I begin to build a relationship. So these dates are really important to me because they remind me of a way of mixing and a way of doing my job that is very different from the habits I have when I'm performing at festivals or on big stages.
It brings me back to so many different things. It allows me to play completely different music. I can play jazz, traditional music and so on. And so it's something that I want to keep in my life. I would find it hard to cut myself completely from the smaller clubs. I love it so much.
There's something so special in that that I love so much, and that fits me. So I couldn't stop. That's awesome. So are there other clubs like that in the world ? Yeah, there's the Phonox in London, which is a club where I feel great too. There's the Wigwam in Dublin that's sick.
The Sub Club in Glasgow is legendary. There's a few clubs like that. So I can't do all of them every year but I try to choose a bit, I try to allocate some of my tour dates to smaller clubs where I know that I'll love it. I'm going to end up in this state each time. And it feels great.
It's awesome. Honestly it's great that you keep on doing this. Let's talk about music now - well, music production. You released your latest album Manifesto not too long ago.
Yeah. A manifest can be a political declaration, it can be an artistic declaration What was the idea behind your Manifesto ? The idea of the manifest in the album was to really praise the sense of freedom. The feeling of freedom free in everything that we do, the absence of constraints in our creativity. But this concerns everyone, it's not restricted to art, it's the overall feeling that all the doors are open to you and that it's up to you to choose the way that we choose to go. I don't know, it's something that I noticed these last years where I felt that I was being pushed in other directions at times. So much was expected from me...
Each time that I begin an album, to work on an album, I think of what I want to express. And on this album, I was really in a stage of my career where I had the impression that that a certain direction was expected from me, certain things were expected from me. And I've always been very recalcitrant to that. I've always had a strong will to do exactly what I wanted to and to hope that other people would follow. But in any case, what I do must please me first or it won't please me. So I wanted to express that in this album because I noticed that that it was also the case for many other people.
Sometimes we feel like we're guided in our lives, whether it's our parents' expectations, or many other things, society that tells us to go somewhere. Sometimes we don't ask ourselves what we really want to do. So I wanted to make a manifest for the love of free people, of free humanity.
So the album expresses this idea, it's mainly about freedom, about love between all human beings. And that's the manifest that I wanted to make. And what an incredible track with Amadou & Mariam that was a great hit tonight. I was incredibly lucky. How did this collaboration take place? Well, ever since I was like 8 or 9 years old, I have been listening to Amadou & Mariam. It's really something that I discovered very early in my musical culture and I was a big fan of them, it's always stayed with me.
Et now, on this album, I was asking myself what artists I could feature and I had that instrumental beat. I told myself let's give it a shot and we'll see how it goes. And they have the same agent as my friend, so that helped. And we actually spent a day in a studio together and they are extraordinary. Really, they are extraordinary human beings.
And we began communicating on our vision of life, our values and so on. And actually the idea of travel, the idea of beauty, de rencontrer des cultures to encounter different cultures and so on, seemed evident to us. So we wrote everything in an afternoon, we recorded it. So yeah it was... Finally I still can't get over the fact that I was able to work with one of my favorite artists of my whole life.
It was a huge opportunity for me. And you were also able to spend time with them at the studio! It wasn't just sent like that. Not at all! And they're also... They really are...
We also connected because we're simple people. We love simple things. They're not interested in anything superficial. They create connections. Yeah it was truly a beautiful day. It's crazy.
And I also saw you perform your track "Alive"... live. You get what I mean. I saw the videos. Did it not make you... Well, for me, it makes me want to see you perform live now.
Are you considering this project? Or is it... Yeah, well... I come from live culture initially.
When I was a teenager, I used to play in bands. I used to sing, to play the drums in bands. Admittedly I didn't follow this path for a long time. As I was playing a lot of funk music, I wanted to form a band. because I had a lot of musician friends. that are extraordinary.
And at the moment, I'm thinking about perhaps making something more... focused on my music, something trippy around the tracks that I make. I really like this idea. So it's maybe something we'll see soon. For the moment I don't know.
But in any case I feel that that this idea is in my mind sometimes. Oh yeah, that's cool. We'll be waiting for this impatiently. And finally, it remains... Well you were saying that...
I find this awesome because finally we were expecting... You really did what you wanted to with this album. And I feel that even in 2023, it's a bit risky to release an album for an artist because a decreasing share of artists do that. Only singles are released.
You see, it's a different approach. And you managed to... I have the greatest respect for that. Truth is, even though no one would listen to my music - No one would listen to my music. I would still do it in the format that I want. And the album is really the format that I prefer, because I really want to make my music meaningful.
And you see, it's similar to tonight's set, It's a set that has a message to deliver, all the tracks have a message. And that's something too important for me. Honestly I couldn't feel at ease with the EP format. This thing where the aim is to make to club-friendly tracks without any links between them, I didn't enjoy it as much. Et moi, j'aime trop le format album. And even if it isn't the most adapted format to contemporary standards, I would still be happy in 15, 20 years to continue with that.
I really enjoy it. I saw an interview of you on Trax in which you were saying something very interesting. You were saying that in electronic music you felt that it was almost the only music genre where songwriters - well, producers, didn't spend much time producing their tracks. I found this to be quite accurate. That's true! Did you take... First, what relationship do you see between time spent on a track and the final result? Well it's funny because I have two contrary opinions. The first is that I confirm what I said.
I think that electronic music would benefit from people having more time to spend on production. Being constantly on tour, artists are always on the road and that leaves little time to make music. And to make great music, music that offers something, with emotion, beautiful composition, it takes time. On the other hand, I also have a contrary view, which is that the relation between time and quality isn't always right. At times I will achieve higher standards of quality on a track in ten hours that I won't achieve on another track, even by spending 100 hours on it.
I would say that it's quite contradictory, but I still feel that electronic music, when people take the time to make it, that takes it up to the next level. When you listen to Bonobo, Floating Points, etc., you can feel that time was really spent on it. And you can hear the songs that were made in between two tour dates.
Did you take this into account? when you created this album? Yes, I spend a lot of time on producing music. I spend a lot of time on tour as well. At some point I know I will begin making choices. For the moment I really have the energy and I always have the inspiration, so I keep with this intense schedule. But for the album I really took the time.
I took two years to make it. Oh, that much! And two years working full time on it. All my the time off tour, I was dedicating it to making the album. It takes a lot of time to compose the strings, to compose the horns, the compose the vocals, the lyrics and so on.
It requires lots of, lots of time: recording takes a lot of time, mixing takes a lot of time, I decide to wait the time that's required so that I'm proud of what I do. It's essential. Speaking of the song that will release on Cercle Records, Post Tenebras Lux, which is the emblem of the city, what were your sources of inspiration to create this track? Well actually, it really was Geneva.
I asked myself what was my relationship with the city, what I had experienced there. And I did experience a few times some great night outs after which I would watch the sun rise. There was really something about the morning, 5 to 6 am, summertime, the sun rising. I remember a few tour dates like that. I remember a concert at the Zoo in particular, well L'Usine, where it happened. We had spent the morning by the lake, it was beautiful.
And so I asked myself how I could express that. And then I tripped with my Juno synth and my vocoder, the idea of chasing the sun, trying to catch sunlight. I really liked it. I thought of other inspirations in the city and in what it expressed, And the fact that the city's motto is Post Tenebras Lux, meaning light after darkness, so the idea of the after party with the rising sun there was something beautiful about it. And it came naturally.
And I'm so proud, I had so much fun playing it this evening. Each time I play it, it's a very special moment. And I'm really proud. I'm so happy to hear that. I'm so happy for you and also so happy to have you here because we've discussed our collaboration for a long time and it's been a long time since we have tried to do something together. I'm super happy because we waited...
I remember that the discussion was also about doing this show with a crowd on site. Exactly. I'm really happy that we've this way because it's true that I have special sensitivity to the energy of people too. It's something I need to deliver something. And...
Heavy stuff! He's killing it! So cool. So yeah I was happy that that we do this way. In this city, at this time, I find it... I find the whole thing super coherent. Last question.
Yeah. If your music tasted like something, what would it taste like? Taste? Yeah. Well...
So I'm close to cheating. I'll say Umami, there's a taste that is the fifth basic taste of Japanese cusine, and that describes balance between tastes. Because as a producer and a DJ, I try to find balance between energetic moments and emotional moments, calm moments. Even in Post Tenebras Lux you see, there's a lot of different phases. So I would say balance between tastes.
That's what would describe me best. Lovely. And so I told you that it was my last question, but no this one coming is, because what you just told me makes me want to ask you this question actually. You speak of balance. Is tonality, in the tracks you mix as a DJ, something that you consider a lot? No, not at all. Scale, tonality, not at all.
However there is something to which I am super, super attentive - to the extent where I am a maniac: it's frequency and balance between frenquencies. Not necessarily as a producer, as a producer I can be freestyle, but as a DJ, I always try to pay attention to, all throughout the set, there is balance between frequencies, which means that you're not switching from an "open" sounding song, to a "close" sounding song. It's something that really matters to me in my DJ sets and on which I'm really focused. And it's sort of the mind hassle that a maniac would have, but it's really important to me.
I feel it in the energy. Something's really going on. It's crazy! Well, anyways, thank you so much Bruno, it was a great honor to have you here. It was an honor to be here, honestly. It was an honor to do it, it was an honor to do it in Geneva with such a crowd, well the people watching us now have seen it, but the audience was really there.
We were all together there. and I feel really grateful. Despite the heat, despite everything, we have a little gift for you - it's actually the Geneva Tourism Office that will offer you a gift in the Mystery Box, which should arrive soon. Is the Mystery Box around here? It's coming.
We're... Wow, ok. I'll let you open the Mystery Box. So you even have several presents that come straight from Geneva: a watch from Geneva, because it is indeed - Wait, you're kidding me. their specialty.
Man it's beautiful. It's beautiful. Did you know I was a big fan of watches? Is that true? Well... I'm obsessed with watches.
I don't even own any, but craftsmanship is something I'm passionate about. Passionate people is something I'm passionate about. And in watchmaking, people are very passionate.
Oh yeah. And I don't even know what to tell you, it's beautiful. People can't see but it's beautiful.
Well that makes me.... that makes me particularly happy. And a bit of chocolate from Geneva.
And I wanted to to really thank the city of Geneva who invited us to come here. We're in the middle of the city. There's a lot of sound. Yeah, I hope that the people who have watched and will watch this Cercle show will appreciate the chance we have to have the authorization to do this. Because we're really in an enclave in the middle of the city, in the very heart of the city center.
And there are buildings all around this place. Here it's 11pm, 10:30pm. It's unbelievable that we're able to organize an event here. It's beautiful here.
There's an amazing mood. So yeah, thank you Geneva, because what we're living now is incredible. It's incredible.
4 years of work. 4 years since we're in contact with them. And we made it. I'm really so happy.
- They were worth it. Thanks to you for watching. Thanks a lot to Bang & Olufsen for supporting us, who supplied us with the Beosound A9 and the headphones. So thanks a lot to them.
Thanks to the city of Geneva. Thanks to W Hotels again for supporting us again and again. And above all thanks to all of you, who are watching, who are dancing. Because none of this could happen without you. So thanks so much.
And see you soon on a new adventure. Thanks to all of you. Thanks.