If the last Grammy awards ceremony consecrated Daft Punk as undisputed emperors of entertainment, it also definitely established the Frenchie’s reputation in Electronic music and production. Emergence of artists like Cassius, Justice, or Kavinsky surely strenghthened France’s international influence, and suddenly provided a boost to a french touch movement that was said almost extinguished.
But who are the heirs of the next generation, those who make the heydays of biggest and trendiest music festivals? PAPER introduces you to la crème de la crème of the French scene. Watch out!
By Melanie Mendelewitsch, 03/01/2015
At 29, Surkin -aka Benoit Heitz- already has a huge background behind him. After highly acclaimed remixes for Justice, Chromeo or Boyz Noize, he finally released his album USA – that he described like «the exploration of a 80’s fantasized suburban America’s »in 2011 on Marble, the label he co-founded with producers and longtime friends Para One and Bobmo. Mixmag immediatly spotted this young talent, and described his debut album as « One of the most exciting concepts of the 21st century ». Deeply inspired by Detroit’s techno, his music makes the most of his various inspirations, including Chicago’s house music and Miami Bass. He then produced MIA’s heady track « Bring the Noize » off of 2013’s Matangi. He also collaborates with Kenzo, and signed the music of their video promoting the must-have Tiger Hoodies.
Teki Latex and DJ Orgasmic (both 36 and former members of the pioneer electro-rap band named TTC, famous for its alternative productions and brilliant provocative lyrics) are two well-known icons of the French indie scene. Together, they sign the best emergent electro artists on their prolific label Sound Pellegrino, including Harvard Bass (Came to fame with his dope track Bugged) Koyote, Zombie Disco squad (and their thrilling track Pinky) or Mathias Zimmerman. They claim their utmost desire to launch bridges between musical and cultural genres. For the release of its 4th compilation, expected on the 20th of January, the crew thinks the big picture: Sound pellegrino welcomes a french newcomer, Doline,and for the first time, the record will be licensed by Sound of Barclay Universal, one of the four labels of the cult French major. 2015 really seems to be SP’s year : Teki Latex, the leader of the pack, will start a big US Tour by early January, and will go through Brooklyn, LA, Miami and Montreal.
Also known as Mimi Xu when she’s not on the decks, Misty Rabbit is the girl behind (almost) every fashion week soundtrack and plays at major fashion events, from Chloe to Versace to Pucci, Dior and Alexander Mc Queen. Not just another pretty face, she’s also a talented music creative director and sound designer. Gifted for the unexpected music associations, her mixes combine ambient electro and funky house with a hint of 80’s disco. She produces fashion show’s soundtracks (her music direction client-list includes Julian Mac Donald, Miu Miu, Mary Katrantzou among others). With a creativity that sometimes borders on hyper-activity, she also finds a bit of time to develop Carnet de Voyage, a project she launched during Summer of 2014 with partner Rosey Chan. This sonic and visual live performance brings the subject of dialogue between artists, and revisits many music genres through original arrangements and compositions combined with creative videos.
After a crowded overexcited concert at le Zenith (the biggest concert hall in Paris) in November this year, the man in suit and tie keeps on his irresistible rise. His dark and ultra violent music immediatly stood him out from the crowd of French average debutants DJ’s. Anyway, the Washington Post described his debut album Aleph as « menacingly heavy tech house, that’s entirely free of pop influence catering more to a dark, underground dance hall than to an arena of kids in neon tank tops » The darkness of his music seems to stand him out: he won two UK Music awards for his single Poursuit in 2013, and immediatly caught the eye of Kanye West : He produced the track « Send it up » and co-produced Black skinhead with his friend Brodinski on his latest album Yeezus. He currently works on the soundtrack of « Mary Land », a movie starring the former model Diane Kruger. He will also perform at Coachella 2015 alongside the other french favourites Yelle and Stromae.
To pretend that Brodinski – Louis Rogé à la ville- is quite precocious sounds like an euphemism. After his first EP « Runner »’s release eight years ago, he didn’t take long for him to be regarded as one of the youngest heirs of the french touch renewal. Very influenced by southern rap and trap music, he embodies the young generation of producers who skilfully bridges dance music and hip hop, but refuses to be restricted to a single music genre. After the launch of his label Bromance in 2011, a residency on BBC Radio and various collaborations with rap’s finest (he co-produced Send it up and Black Skinhead on Kanye’s album Yeezus) he now sets his sights beyond Europe: Brodinski proudly announced the upcoming launching of Bromance US, the US-based branch of his label, a great opportunity for him to discover new talents across the Atlantic.
A pack of 4 guys from Lille, France, (MydSound, Sam Tiba, Panteros666 and CanBlaster) this talented collective is signed on Brodinski’s label Bromance. The promising quartet will also release its highly anticipated album in early 2015. Myd Sound, the moustached-mastermind of the crew, already worked with Kanye West and co-produced the track Tribe by Théophilius London. With powerful tracks like Now you realize or Decisions,Club Cheval already started to catch international audience’s attention while performing at big festivals like Sonar, or BIG (the french equivalent for Coachella). Their music is kind of a pot-pourri of their different musical influences: While CanBlaster is mainly influenced by R&B, MyD comes from the rock-indie scene, and Pantero stated that neo-metal was among his inspirations. No doubt that 2015 is a real challenge for them, starting with an US tour with Brodinski and Louisahhh from DC to Philadelphia, via Seattle and Chicago.
The Shoes :
This electro-rock duo (involving Gullaume Briere and Benjamin Lebeau) already produced tracks for several french artists includind Woodkid and Lily Wood and the Pricks. Fun fact : they also made arrangements and additional productions on Shakira’s tacky track Loca. They already released two albums on indie label Green united music . The video of their single « Time to dance », starring Jake Gyllenhaal, were quickly noticed by Bret Easton Ellis, who posted it several times, giving them the best introduction ever to the American audience. In collaboration with Brodinski, Guillaume, half of The Shoes, is also a member of the band The Gucci Vump. They just recorded their album Chemicals, which will be released in 2015.
Although his face is quite unknow to the public, DJ Kore is one of the most influential producer in french Hip Hop. First involved with songwriter Skalp, with whom he formed a successful duo for years, the man in the shadow of french rap and R&b is flying solo since 2005.
He produced many songs for major French rap and R&b artists like Rohff, Scred Connexion, Don Choa or Booba. Kore also released many compilations (including the mainstream success Rai and B fever!), but just begins to be known internationally. 2014 marks a crucial turning point for Kore, praised for his high quality productions including A.W.A, a dope track of his protégé LaCrim featuring French Montana.
Soufien 3000 is an alien in the French hip hop scene. Like, literally. This is the main reason why he decided to attach « 3000 » to his first name ; obviously, it refers to Andre 3000, but it’s also a way to claim his extraterrestrial inspirations. The story of this young producer from Lille, France, may look like a fairy tale: Four years ago, he just sent a Facebook message to A$AP Rocky. He liked Soufien’s instrumentals and they immediatly started to work together. That will drive Soufien 3000 to produce the tracks Acid rip and Get lit (featuring Fat Tony). He also produced the coolest remix of The black Brad Pitt for Evil Nine and Dany Brown. A talent to keep on the watch list: no doubt that his « spaced out » sound, like he defines it, will be featured on the hottest rap tracks in 2015.
Young French prodigy STWO (pronounced Stew) slash student based in Barcelona, STWO perfectly embodies this young and ultra connected generation of producers who discovered music and production alongside digital era’s evolution. Very productive, he confesses himself to work exclusively from his bedroom, and says that he never laid a foot in a recording studio yet. Born in a family of musicians, he became initiated at music at 13, playing bass over Michael Jackson’s or Jamiroquai’s songs. Later, he discovered hip hop with bands like A Tribe called Quest, Nas or Dr Dre. Talented both at remixing and composing, he already released two EP, distributed online for free, and his funky dance hall track Try to resist earned him the music blogger’s interest. Special mention for his track « Confused », a brilliant (and almost unrecognizable!) remix of Christina Aguilera’s What a girl wants.