Based in Paris, France, Besnine is a talented, multi-genre artist, producing music in the realm of french touch, electro pop, hip hop, and more. With quite a stunning discography on Paris/London label, Yunizon Records, the musical maestro is here to give us some insight into his thoughts, prior to his A New Era EP release on May 8th.
FS: So, when did the Besnine project begin? And, why?
B: I started this Besnine thing in 2013. Before, I had a band called “La Sphere” with a dude I met on the Internet. We did some electro/pop/hip-hop for a while. Then, during the summer of 2013, I composed my first EP, The Road I Seek, and decided to make it my first serious solo release. We chose to put our project aside to focus on mine. Everything went pretty smoothly and naturally. Now he’s my manager and one of my best friends, and still works on some artistic parts of my career, helping me out with the lyrics and other stuff.
FS: Wow, that’s pretty sweet – surreal, yet very cool! And, we definitely loved The Road I Seek EP. It’s got this indie dance meets electro pop meets french electro vibe to it. So, tell us about your musical background. You seem to have quite a few influences across several genres!
B: When I was 9, my brother gave me a CD of Discovery and Californication. I think it all started from there. I might have played those albums like a thousand times! At the time I was also listening to some “pop” heavy metal bands, like System Of A Down. I’m still a huge fan of the singer’s voice, and I might even do a remix one of these days! Then, I found out about Justice, Gramatik, Ratatat, Savant, and all the French Touch – Complextro – Glitch scene. It was also a turning point for me. And, my biggest inspiration is probably the album, A Night at the Opera, from Queen. I listen to it at least once a month!
FS: It all makes sense! You certainly bridge the gap between the french touch, electro pop, heavy metal, and glitch scenes. What’s your take on the current state of electronic music, then? There are definitely a huge wave of producers from all over the world, but a lot of creations are starting to sound the same. Thoughts on Beatport charts?
B: I think the artists are afraid of their audience and their own creativity. If they do something “good” once (at least something that receives credit from a fanbase), they’ll just do it again and again to keep their audience happy and make it even bigger. Then you have some people who use other artists’ “recipe” to build their own identity, which is not fair, and probably not artistic at all (Avicii, Flume, Bakermat, Justice, Danger have suffered from that). But it’s not their fault you know. Nobody helps the young artists to feel strong and create what they really want to create. The industry provides a lack of confidence in the current scene, and the public doesn’t know how to deal with all the content coming from Spotify, Soundcloud, Youtube, etc. It’s just how it is.
The entourage is crucial. I’m lucky enough to grow in a very friendly and creative “family” with the label Yunizon Records, family and friends (artists or not) supporting me even on my weirdest projects.
Beatport charts: I don’t really look at them, and I’m not seeking for an audience there. Beatport kind of killed the album concept, and I don’t think it’s a good thing, as you can’t properly create an artistic identity with only singles/remixes. I mean, a lot of people do it, and they do very well! So, maybe I’m just old school/conservative.
FS: We can totally see where you’re coming from. Your thoughts on musical recipes are spot on! They’ve almost ruined the direction of modern day musicians – same thing with aspiring producers. It makes us wonder if artists will start breaking rules again, like MSTRKRFT, Justice, DANGER, and more do…name 5 tracks that you’re digging right now! We’re excited to hear what you’re tuning into.
B: Pink Floyd – The Great Gig In the Sky
Xavier Rudd – Spirit Bird
Haywyre – Insight
The M Machine – The Palace
FS: Haha, that’s a pretty eclectic list! Outside of electronic music, what’s your favorite genre? Hip hop, rock, etc.?
B: I love pretty much everything that can be played live: rock, funk, jazz, pop… I LOVE disco music of course and I just listen to a few hip-hop artists – Strange Music rappers (I did a remix of Tech N9ne’s track “Fragile”), J. Cole, Eminem, Kendrick, and old hip hop anthems…
FS: Last question, what’s the next step for Besnine? We want to know what’s in store for the rest of 2015!
B: I’m actually working on three remixes for not-so-famous-but-amazing artists! I may be doing a bit of hip-hop productions for rappers aside, so I’m very excited about that too. I also finished a track with my brother, Raphael. He’s amazing to work with and I think we just did one of my best productions to date. I’ll probably release the baby during the summer!
Oh, and you might know that Besnine is also a band now! We just added a fourth member to play synth, launchpad and vocoder live with us… We’ll start doing shows with him in September/October. Can’t wait.
FS: Well, there you have it! Thanks again, Besnine – we loved picking your brain and can’t wait to chat next time! To our listeners, make sure you grab a copy of their new EP, A New Era, tomorrow via Yunizon Records!
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