Interview / Leekyjak

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Interview with the french music producer Leekyjak at the occasion of the publication of his debut EP ‘Reversibilities’

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For the readers who discover you, can you introduce yourself?

I’m Julien Givord, I’m 28 and I live near Montpellier in the south of France. Making electronic music is something quite new for me because it’s been more or less one year since I’m producing. I started classical music when I was 10 or so by learning piano and then guitar. My first musical experimentations started when I joined a band with some of my friends in high school. It was pretty much haphazardly, mostly pop-skate-punk music. It was the NoFx years!
After this, I let down music for some years because of my studies. And that’s the quite recent discovery of lot’s of really really good electronic artists that made me want to (re)start producing music (but this time in a electronic approach) under the name of Leekyjak.

Your involvement in Moose Records seems really natural, I think you share the same approach and spirit.
Can you tell us more about that and your relation with this Label?

Right! That’s exactly what I thought when I first discovered the Moose artists. I think we all share the same vision of music, not being slowed down by any “official” school of thought in music. Furthermore, they have so many amazing artists (Andrea, Julia Losfelt, Katuchat…). I was thrilled to know that they liked my music! Moose records (especially Julia and Andrea who I had the chance to meet and speak with) is very open-minded and receptive. When I finished my debut EP, I sent it to Moose Records and Julia replied to me that she really liked it. That’s how things started with them. They released my debut EP in december 2014 and now I hope I’ll have the chance to do more with them.

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Your style is particularly experimental and kind of fragmented, what have been your influences to build this interesting universe?

This isn’t easy for an artist to describe his music, especially when you make experimental music. I think my musical universe draws inspiration in a lot of stuffs. I’m kinda receptive to all forms of music as long as it makes me feel something in a bad or a good way. But I must say that I’ve always been more attracted by melancholic, melodic and intricated beats. Many artists fit to that profile, I can’t name them all, but I can say that several artists participated strongly in my universe’s development. I guess Thom Yorke (and Radiohead), Bonobo, the whole Team Sesh, Lorn, Baths, Sekuoia, Brokenchord, Shigeto, M83, Superpoze, Gladkill, Of Porcelain, Nosaj Thing…

Each one of your track brings his own story – often tormented or melancholic.
Do you have a specific process to immerse the audience in your tales or do you compose by instinct?

My writing process is rather instinctive. When I sit in front of my synths, I don’t have any particular idea. I just put my hands on the keys and let my (unconscious part of the) brain do the job. Though, my music is not completely linked to random, fortunately! The day mood has a strong effect on me, as well as the feelings I’d like to share through the music. Sometimes, I already have a title before creating the music. That’s what happened with my debut EP, I knew what kind of feelings (and even messages if you read the track’s names) I wanted to spread. But it’s not always like this.

In your opinion, which state of mind do you need to produce/listen to experimental music?

Honestly, I don’t need anything to produce or listen to experimental music. I always listen to sad and melancholic music and I can’t say that I’m a sad person. It’s quite the opposite, I consider myself as a happy person. But to produce, I need basic stuffs, like a quiet environment and a lot of time!

Will you perform live shows soon? If so, what kind of visual atmosphere would you like to share with the public?

Yes, actually, I performed my first live show last february in Montpellier. It was really nice. It made me want to do a lot more. I hope I’ll have some more shows this year but nothing’s scheduled for now. I have some ideas for a visual support for live shows. I’d really like to use animated photographs, paintings, timelapses from some artists that I like. I’m not really into big flashes and abstract stuffs. I’m way more appealed to beautiful scenery and simple approach of a picture like Terrence Malik work. I’d love to find a VJ who shares that feeling!

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What’s next for you?
+ Maybe you have a project you would like to share with us.

This is pretty busy for me right now because a 2 tracks EP is gonna be released soon by the american label “Foundations Recordings” which was created by Gladkill and Sugarpill. I got some remixes to do also for 2 other labels.
And I have a “side” project with another artist. We have been working on a few tracks, but there’s still a lot of work. He’s also very busy on his side.

Can you describe your creation studio?

It’s a small studio in one of my home’s room. To sum up, I work with a MPD26 and Launchpad for the beats. And I use the MicroKorg, Novation Impulse for the keys. When I think to add some guitar parts, I take my LesPaul. I also do some field recordings and create some weird sounds with my Monotron.

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Do you have other passions beside music production?

Yes, of course. I have the chance to have a job which is also a passion. I work on a national park and I study flora. Ix I used to draw a lot (cartoons especially) but now with music I put this aside. Can’t do everything, I wish I could. Oh and I love tattoos, but not the tribal ones or those representing an old school dolphin or Chinese sign.

What are you going to do just after having answered to this final question?

I’m gonna have a smoke or drink some tea before producing music all the night!

Merci beaucoup pour tes réponses!

 

soundcloud.com/leekyjak