We’ve been keeping an eye on Petit Biscuit for some time now. He’s someone who blew us away from the beginning and today we couldn’t more excited for the young artist’s debut album Presence to be here! Along with the amazing new project, we’re happy we were able to connect with the young French artist for a special interview around the project that features Lido, Bipolar Sunshine, Panama and more, including his own vocals.
Today is actually Petit Biscuit’s 18th birthday, and he’s already made quite the name for himself at such a young age. There’s something about his productions that instantly grasp your attention with the ability to evoke strong emotions. After his infectious and massively successful single “Sunset Lover” stared taking off, we knew there was no slowing him down. Each release leading up to this project felt special with the full LP being an incredible listen from start to finish.
Petit Biscuit has developed a signature, mystical sound design that sounds like it’s straight out of a dream. This endeavor is his most expansive work to date as he’s shown an incredible diversity across its 14 tracks with his lush instrumentals as captivating as the tracks with vocals. As always, he brings the soul on Presence. He has an expert ability of craft some of the catchiest and most unique, almost other-worldly vocal chops and puts this talent on full display. While some of the songs are laid-back and relaxing, others are hard-hitting and ready for the dance floor. The smooth, shimmering synths and epic, cinematic production are front and center while captivating the listener throughout.
While Petit Biscuit has been playing the cello for some time, he revealed to us that this is actually the first time he’s incorporated it into his productions. His growth as an artist is apparent in his debut album as he masterfully creates vibrant, uplifting tunes that find him pushing the sound we’ve known from him while experimenting and pushing his boundaries. We’ll surely have Presence on repeat for us for some time. Check out the interview below and enjoy!
So we know you play cello, guitar and piano - do you have a favorite instrument?
The cello remains my favorite instrument. It holds a special place in my heart, reminding me of my early years. It’s important to remember where you start, and to me, the cello is key. Moreover, it’s a graceful and elegant instrument, technically speaking I mean, which makes it mystical in some ways.
Did you use any or all of these instruments on the new album?
Actually, it is the first time I incorporate the cello in my productions. I wanted to wait until the right time to enhance it while using it in a special way. In 'Beam', the lead instrument when the drop hits is a slightly distorted and pitched cello. This gives it an electronic - almost vocal - vibe, which is very interesting. I am proud to have 'Beam' as the first track where I used the cello.
How does knowing a variety of instruments shape your production process?
For me, it’s important to master some instruments and the music theory, but it is not absolutely necessary. When I started to try integrating intentions and emotions in my productions, I needed to unlearn some technical things. The classical musical practice can both help and block you out in your creativeness, you may want to aim at finding the appropriate balance between its technical use and the transcendance of the element in your production.
You’ve said you like to spend a few hours just to find the right texture on synthesizers. Do you have a favorite synthesizer you would suggest to other producers?
I use the Minibrute by Arturia a lot, but surprisingly not only for the bass sounds (even if it's meant for it). I plug it with a midi keyboard to have fun with the pluck preset it holds, even the sequences are pretty mad. I used this synth for several textures on my album.
Do you have a favorite track off the album?
It’s hard to pick one, as I already did a sharp selection to get to a dense and consistent album! I really like ‘The End’ where you can feel a powerful frenzy - I really like ‘Presence’ thanks to its beautiful introduction, cut off by a techno drop - I really like ‘Problems’ because Lido has a flow that is second to none - I really like the intro ‘Creation Comes Alive’ with Sonia’s voice because its a transcendent track to hear live… Hard to pick one!
You had more vocalists on this project than some of your past works. What was that like adding that element to your music?
It was a real pleasure to work with all the artists involved: Bipolar, Sunshine, Lido, Sonia, Panama and all the others! It was quick collaborations but very professional and personal. It’s interesting to see how your creations fit (or don’t) with a tone of voice, with rhythmics.
Do you sing on the project at all?
I do. I sing on 2 tracks: ‘On The Road’ and ‘Forever Being’. Those are two atmospheric and poetic tracks with a touch of naivety. So I decided to write the lyrics in that regards, and quickly I assumed that the best way to tell it and be comfortable with it was to sing it myself. It took a lot of time to practice and record it but it was an incredible exercise for me: more and more I try to challenge myself in music. It allows me to realize that I did not quite discover everything in music, there is still something new to learn every day.
Do you have a favorite story from the process of making this album?
There are a lot of different stories, but the creation of ‘Problems’ took us a lot of time and reflexion. First, I really like Lido’s ambition, a famous producer for his ability to produce a topline in 2 weeks time, that would be worthy of the hippest topliner. Then I turned the production upside down to get to the perfect version. It was a lot of discussion with Lido, my manager, his manager and people around us. At start, half the track had a ‘trap music’ feel, then it sounded more organic and merely funk. Finally, I decided to keep a balance between funk, pop and electronic music. We are all extremely proud of this track today!
How has your early success at a young age had an impact on your development as an artist and a person?
Of course, I guess it’s unavoidable. We discover a lot of things quickly when we start to get successful. But I wanted to stay both a teenager and to be clever in my way of welcoming this success. That is to say to enjoy every one of these unique moments that happen in an artist life, and then to not let myself be pushed around, by knowing how to build my own team, without getting afraid to say no. Moreover, I choose this independent development, that is distinctive for me today. One can be tempted to sign with a major label and hand down all the work within the project. But I chose to take responsibility for this extra workload with my team, to show to people, to fans that this project is mine, that this project is ours.
Where did you spend most of your time recording this process?
My bedroom has always been my production place. We always feel nice at home, right? It’s place where you have grown up for years, you are never more yourself than at home. Of course, my room begins to be filled with instrument of all types, but there is a vibe I can’t find anywhere else to compose.
What’s next for Petit Biscuit?
The 14-tracks album is just released this November 10, but I still create. I imagine new stuff all the time. A tour in one of the biggest places in France will happen in November, then a tour in Europe (Brussels, Amsterdam, and Berlin among other cities) for late November - early December. There are two shows in London, one that is sold-out already at Electric Ballroom on Dec. 30, and another one that we just announced at the O2 Forum Kentish Town on Feb. 10, 2018. I'm also going back to the US, playing in Seattle, Boston, Lake Tahoe, and Chandler, with a new live filled with surprises. Bigger festival and bigger stages will be announced for 2018. I’m eager to discover all this, to end 2017 on a high note and to start 2018 that I hope will be remarkable.
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