Bonsoir Michel / S8JFOUMUSIC . December 31st, 2016
Discover the French music producer and artist, S8JFOU or Bonsoir Michel.
Who are you?
I’m S8JFOU or Bonsoir Michel. It depends on what I’m doing when you see me. I can also be a little gnome if I’m drunk & at this moment I just run everywhere doing only silly things…
Can you describe these 2 different personalities and your new project, Wild Spirit?
S8JFOU is my music producer name. I separate well my music practice with the rest. Because a lot of things like I’m too serious when I’m playing music for associate it with the silly projects I do as Bonsoir Michel. Bonsoir Michel is the part of me who doesn’t care about nothing- exploring the city, create things everywhere, as soon as possible, try all that can be tested… A kid just doing what he wants. The kid I am inside.
Wild Spirit is a small company of friends who are trying to live from their passions. Music, scenography, video, artist management etc… It’s a great opportunity to put into practice all those things I tested as Bonsoir Michel- but doing it seriously for making money & just meal.
When did the idea of music production occur to you?
When I was teenager, I was constantly listening to music with so many different styles. I’ve always had a piano in my house since I’m kid & playing it by pleasure but no one ever told me how to do that correctly. Maybe when I was 14, a little frustration comes to me. I was so often going back from school, singing in my head lot of beats I imagined. Especially Hip-Hop/dubstep because that was the period & I was a teenager like others. I decided to bought an Akai MPK mini for using it with garageband & finally I did only joking music like sampling people talking about bodybuilding with some ugly choir everywhere. That was totally fun & I never stop doing music till today (with a little evolution I hope).
The city of Nantes takes an important place in all of your works. What’s the influence of this town on the music you make?
I was born in Nantes, I was student in Nantes, a huge part of my life is in this city. But now I’m 21, all my friends are gone to other places. I’m here mostly because I don’t pay any rent. I decided to move to Paris in January 2017.
I don’t think Nantes has a real influence on my music. Nantes shapes my Bonsoir Michel projects because they are mainly in the streets or secret spots -I know this city like the back of my hand- But in music it’s totally different. My moods shape my music, my problems, my happiness, my trips, my motivations, the time, etc. I can make music everywhere, the place where I am doesn’t matter, sometimes it works, sometimes not.“
You just released your new album ”Construire Ma Maison” (‘Build my house’). How long have you been working on it?
I decided to start this project on the 1st of October this year. My goal was : at least 10 tracks, one month for the music, another one for the videos. It also took time to make the silicone CD case & I finished the project around the 5th of December.
For you, what’s your Maison/House? Where would be yours?
Haha, I notice that you listened to my lyrics! I don’t exactly know what a house is. I think it can be your friends, the streets, the traveling, the train… But I think for me, a house is the place where you don’t need anybody, you are yourself & have the space to create. I’m totally jealous of Dan Price’s house. This is the best place I’ve ever seen. In the woods, an humble house semi underground with a little kitchen, a great bed & his workshop… I only want this- with all my synthesizers. I’m looking to buy a field with a little forest in order to make my own.
In the music video of ‘Kings of Unknown Kingdoms’ I noticed one sentence : “Le confort n’existe pas”, is it from you?
Can you tell us more about it?
Yep, I wrote this a lot of times. It means ‘comfort doesn’t exist’. It’s a sentence I’m constantly repeating it to myself. I’m totally sure the comfort is an human illusion. An obstacle for access to happiness. It distracts us from the real life. I’m thinking that so many people don’t do anything just by security, because their situations are fine, because of the comfort & they don’t understand why they are not happy. So many people are afraid about sleeping outside, even more if there is no mattress. For example, when you arrive in a city where you don’t have any friends or contacts, no place to go.
Human complete himself by possessing the best things he can. But when you’re alone with your bag, with no goal but just go away without any phone, laptop, just your blanket, food, water & maybe two books. At this moment you can see the real world. Sleeping in the right place, eating good or reaching people doesn’t matter, just because your are really alive now. Making music makes me happy, but it forces me to have a laptop & synthesizers. It’s really difficult. I can’t just go because they are my production tools. That’s why I’m going to make my own house lost in the woods, let them right there & just go when I want. Comfort & possession are a fence to happiness. Surrounds you only with things you really need.
Now, imagine a box where you can store 5 items which mean a lot to you.
What would be these objects that you would definitely keep with you?
To be honest, if I exclude my production tools, I really don’t know… Because you said ‘which mean a lot to you’. So, that’s only things important to me not physically. I have a box that my grandpa gave me before dying. In this box, there’s many Super 8 films of his life. Like travelling around the world, Paris in the 50’s, his wedding, etc. I really want to take care about this little box. I would take it. Then, I’ll take my sleeping bag. because it’s probably the only thing I need to survive- but I would like to wash it before putting it into the box because right now it’s stinks ! The 3rd, my invisibility cloak offered by Dumbledore. 4th, I would like to put the 4th dimension into the box & to finish, my Nimbus 2000 which allows me to get anywhere for free.
What’s your favorite synthesizers among yours?
I don’t have a lot of synthesizers. But the Teenage Engineering OP-1 radically changed my composition process. I start all my new tracks with it for creating my base and then I put it on Ableton & overdub it with my other stuff. This machine is completely awesome. You can take it everywhere the battery is amazing, you can sample your voice, create your songs, sequencing them, record it on 4 different tracks and you have a lot of effects.
Can you tell us more about ‘LEFTHAND‘? What’s the story behind this song/music video?
I wrote this song one year ago when I had an accident. I was driving sushis to make money in the summer & I hit a car in full speed. I probably did a front flip over the car, I don’t remember this part- but after the slide on the concrete I was totally amazed by the fact that I had nothing. I couldn’t get up, but my legs & arms weren’t broken. The ambulance came & bring me to the hospital. My Left hand started to hurt me a lot. But I was alive. For a second, when I saw this car came from nowhere, I was like : ‘fuck, I’m dead, this is how I die… ‘. I finally just broke my wrist. The night at the hospital was so funny. An old man never stop saying « hey ho ? », all the nurses were totally wonderful. I just realized that I was alive & so many beautiful women gave me drugs… I was naked under a long shirt & asked to the nurse if I could go to pee. She said okay but it was just an excuse to walk around the hospital.
I got back to my house in the morning and I was thinking about what I could do. It was in June and in France if an accident happens during you work, you get money until you’re healed and it lasts for 3 months. So I wrote this track called ‘LEFTHAND’ only with my right arm. The lyrics « you gave me all keys to go back off your walls »- I think It’s a language mistake, but it doesn’t matter- This sentence has a double sense : You gave me all the keys to come into your walls- but it can be : You gave me the keys to go away… It’s a reflection about enclose with somebody or leaving. After that, I decided to go walk trough the France with my bag & tent! In November this year, with my friend Leo, we decided to open illegally a warehouse to create a gallery, a workshop, a music studio, a secret cinema, etc. We looked for a place in Nantes, we found a lot of different buildings & this one was huge. A bit too big for our project so we decided to pass one night in it with my old hospital shirt & filming Leo like when I was lost in the hospital with my broken wrist & done! You have the track/music video « LEFTHAND »!
Did you get some inspirations from other artists to produce your album or was it full exploration?
No I don’t think other artists inspired me for this album. Of course I have a lot of inspiration from others in general. But for this project I think it was a goal for me. I decided to stop my school this summer after the diploma I had in june, avoiding to do my master and take my time with my music instead. So after a long time on holidays, I decided to stop chilling & come back to my room to make my first album (& not the last). That was a challenge to make more than 10 tracks in one month (I cheated, 3 of them were written before this project) even more to do 11 music videos… My music evolved a lot during those 2 months. I’m gonna make another album when I’ll arrive in Paris. I’ll probably take more time and create more complete tracks. I have a lot of new synthesizers that I need to discover. A lot of friends I need to see. It was a big pleasure to make this album, I’ve received so many messages from friends telling me how they like it, encouragement to continue, to push myself to go further in my projects. Now a new year is coming, I’m moving in a new city, I’m totally motivated to do better !
With all your projects, activities & expectations, do you still enjoy to get bored and being lazy?
Never get bored. I don’t know what is that. Always something to do. But I really like being lazy. Somedays in my life I know I can do nothing. Because I’ve nobody to see, nobody needs me, I’m just me, myself & I. Those days I like to wake up at 4pm, drink chocolate with butters bread, maybe a boiled egg & just doing nothing & think. It’s real pleasure, I really enjoy it.
What’s next for you?
Paris. Doing Live sets. Another album better than this one. Drinking beers & beers & beers. Buying a field & building my hut/semi underground house & record it for my next videos. Fall in stairs. Publish a book about our freight traveling with Croatan Edition. A 3rd album at the end of 2017. Go away. Learning to fly. Skateboard with my friends in London. Beers. Doing live set again & everywhere (I hope).
A movie, a book and a song which always travel with you?
Definitely, Moonrise Kingdom- because I don’t want to forget the kid I am.
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach. Hand covers bruise by Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.
What are you going to do just after having answered to this final question?
Continue my new track calling « I LUV MY OP-1 », eating some cheese because
I’m French, going to sleep because it’s 3am right now. :)