The marriage between traditional musicianship and electronic production has never been stronger. More and more artist today are integrating live elements into their shows and expressing their sounds in innovative and oftentimes improvisational ways. Gabriel Legeleux, aka Superpoze, is among the next wave of electronic hybrid artists who's cinematic style of electronica is starting to turn heads of dance listeners around the world. While a huge following already exists in his native country France and the surrounding European area, he has recently began making a US presence with a handful of intimate performances, including a legendary live set at the LAB in LA.
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Superpoze has begun his US tour for his new album For We The Living and EDMsauce was able to catch up with him before his reappearance in LA.
How many years has Superpoze been in the making?
I started to make music when I was 18, and i'm 25 right now. The first few years were just sorta just having fun after school. Please excuse my French accent haha.
When I was in college, things started to take a new shape and I started to make shows and promoters would call me back and say “I really enjoyed this, you should play again”, and when I was 21, I really started to make a living off my music in France. So I used to tour a lot in France. Right now i'm playing quite big venues in France, and in the rest of Europe as well, but nobody knows me here in the US so i'm really excited to be touring here.
How have the reactions been from the US fans?
It's been great. My first show was in New York. I was like ok, this is my first time, my album is on the internet but i'm not really famous here, so lets see what happens. About 200 people showed up and everyone thought it was great, so it was a really cool show and the rest of the tour went really well.
Where do most of your influences come from? What inspired you to go down the path of electronic music?
Of course alot of things. I guess on one hand alot is classical French composers, classical piano stuff, artists from the 19th century and on the other hand it's all the french electronic scene. I used to be a big fan of Air. When I was young it was my favorite French band ever. So classical one side, french electronica on the other, with some hip hop too. Cause I started to make loops, like 90 bpm bum bum tss, and then it went in a whole other direction with piano stuff and very emotional and sometimes more housey, driving music.
You definitely have quite a varied sound, and it's so important nowadays, you have to constantly throw people curveballs. Would you agree?
I truly believe that music can be stronger than any video or lighting setup. Of course we need to keep the people with you but i'm not thinking about this when i'm making the music. I'm making my music and then i'm thinking about the live set after that. So we need to keep the people with us as musicians, that's the most important thing.
If I meet a musician and they say that they're just making music and don't care about the light shows or images, I think that's good, you're a real musician. I think it's really important to keep this idea intact. It's better to be a good musician with no imagery.
Yeah, you can't have great visuals and bad music, but you can have great music and mediocre imagery.
What about your live show? How many components do you have currently?
I have Ableton live running with all my different plugs like bass, snares, kicks, leads, and effects. On top of the sampling I have a Prophet 6 piano and a Mic with a lot of effects, like reverb and big synth sounds that I can make with my voice. I also use an SP404 sampler, which comes from my beatmaking background.
So if you were to create an instrument or piece of equipment, what would it be?
Let me think about that….So when i'm producing music, i'm using alot of effects and stuff, but the most important part is uploading something like a piano or something that you can sing, even if there was no lyrics. What makes the best pop music is when even it's played as an acoustic version it still sounds good. So what I would want would be to put all of your tracks into some sort of machine and it would play it as an acoustic or minimal version.
As a real musician who performs his material live, what are your thoughts on all the ghost productions and fake prerecorded sets that seem to be a unique phenomenon to electronic music? Cause you can't fake playing a live instrument. What do you think can be done, if anything, to fix it?
I feel we don't have to blame these fake djs. I think what is to blame is that electronic music is first produced and then you think about your live set after. When you're playing rock or classical or whatever, you're playing the music and then you say, now I have to record this. But electronic music is the opposite, you record it and at the same time you're producing it, it's not like composing and recording, composing and recording. It's the opposite of natural music. So this is the main problem. We have to do a live tour and play live, the whole music business is built around the live stuff, but the music was never played live, it is produced.
I play live because if I didn't do it then i'd be bored. I love touring and I love doing this because i'm a musician, but you can't blame a DJ for not doing as much, cause they're just producers. I think soundcloud made this problem bigger. Artists were making really great tracks and remixes and then people are like we need to book you on a big DJ tour. But if you're not a DJ then this is a problem.
Tell me about your album that you just released. Are you happy with it?
This one was a real process of making less break beat stuff and more piano based and weird stuff. It's something I did quickly, like I released my first album and I wanted to follow up right away. But yeah i'm really happy with it, I feel it's my best work so far.
Fantastic, how long did it take to finish?
Like seven months or something like that.
That is pretty quick, so are you planning on another follow up already or what do you have planned for the next year?
At the moment i'm working on other pieces, like i'm making a movie soundtrack, also producing some hip hop for a few french guys just to diversify a bit. In a few months i'll be starting my next album. I don't know how it's gonna sound but the codename of the album is going to be “HD”, like high definition. It's not going to be name of the album but it's gonna be the theme.
Very cool, I like it! So lastly, what do you do when you're not working on music? Do you have any other hobbies?
I like to read alot, mostly french philosophy sorta stuff, I also really enjoy wines.
You guys definitely have some great wines over there in France. What's your favorite bottle?
Yeah we definitely do. There's this cherry wine from Copenhagen, I don't remember the name but it's from this small winery there and it's really rare.
Sweet! We'll have to keep an eye out for that as well as your new album. Thanks a bunch Gabe.
Give Superpoze's new album For We The Living a listen and we'll keep you posted on his new “HD” project.