The Science of Live according to Woodkid at the Europavox Festival in Clermont-Ferrand

His list includes collaborations with the brightest stars of pop culture – from Lana Del Rey to Drake, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Rihanna, Pharrell and even soon Mylène Farmer.

Woodkid is also “one of those rare artists who reflects on the transversality of all disciplines – dance, fashion, cinema, photography, etc. – that fascinate him and between which he does not want to choose”. His new album, S16, is another string, one more, to an amazing bow.

It can be seen at the Europavox festival in Clermont-Ferrand on Friday 1 July from 11.45pm.

You explained that all the images we’ve seen of you over the last two years, for example in the clips or on “Pale Yellow” for the Colors session, weren’t real. Between hologram and digital special effects, will you really be there this Friday (smile)?

It’s a mystery, an illusion (smile). I really like playing with the illusion. An artist’s craft is a bit of a craft of mythomania and magic, of transformation; So it’s a very musical show, but it’s also very visual. I am a director as well as a musician.

The show is a hybrid of these two love stories. Since it’s also very cinematic as a result, there’s an idea of ​​fiction that I really like.

The stage design of a festival is not what is usually offered indoors…

We carefully select the festivals that allow us to present our creation exactly as it was conceived. It’s the same show inside as outside. We have chosen not to accept any offers that did not allow us to do so.

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This show is based on your second album S16, a relatively melancholic opus. How do we get all…

I don’t think melancholy is an obstacle to taking people with you. It’s a personal opinion, but it’s all about the contrast. It is important to me to take people into intimate, emotional, moving territories so that there is even more joy in the dance-like, more luminous phases of life.

This album has a very special role to play in relation to the Golden Age, which I also play. “The questions of ascent, descent, stillness are essential questions”

The underlying question was: How did you articulate this show and create the bridges between these two worlds?

There was no question of doing a Live with only tempo tracks, it’s almost a misconception in the sense that once again there’s that question of contrast, the science of the Live that we’re discovering over time and I’m sure you understand For example, rhythmic processes do not work over time.

You have to break them to bring them back. The questions of ascent, descent, stillness are primal questions.

The 2022-2023 season of the Comédie de Clermont-Ferrand has been re-imagined in several ways

There is a story to tell, with ups and downs.

Yes. But it’s almost scientific for me. This work of interacting with the audience, the fact of understanding the tension of space, managing to bring people through musical processes, a performance, rhythms. Anyway, there are a thousand ways to play live. I’ve seen massive concerts by Massive Attack or Radiohead that were very slow and extremely immersive and impactful.

I don’t believe in the boom boom race. In any case, I don’t want to take part in this race.

Does the precision it takes leave room for letting go, which is the magic of life?

Secure. This is even the theme of the Live. The relationship between the intention to be mastered, namely being able to be together, and making music at the same time.

It’s not about getting into the contemporary game, having everything on the computer and finally just singing on tape. I have a big group, there are nine of us on stage (and 25 on the road in total). So there’s the idea that this is a playground.

It is an enterprise that consists in creating zones of freedom and zones of coercion. Life is the tension between these two things. That interests me the most.

The more you are in a dominated, controlled environment, the more you can allow yourself to be free at times.

Exactly. After that I have no problem… I’m a big fan of theatre, plays etc. these are very distinct forms but have a grace that can vary from night to night… I don’t have a pure vision of music in in the sense that I don’t see her as an object should never cheat.

I come back to the questions of illusions, of the media. The only question is: How does the public react, is it raised or not?

Coming back to the original question about manipulating the image, specifically yours. What does it mean to play between fiction and reality in this way?

No, but it’s just that I don’t want to do photo shoots, for example, and prefer to stay behind my computer (laughs).

Can’t go on?

Maybe… But I don’t like to over-explain my artistic approaches. I believe and hope that my work will speak for itself and create confusion on its own without having to explain too much.

To what extent your numerous collaborations feed the “solo” part of your work.

People tend to think that my collaboration is “on the side”, but it’s almost the opposite.

I’m a grassroots director, I’m used to working in the shadow of other artists and I’m absolutely passionate about it. My step aside is my career as a woodkid. It is also what allows me to be free. To answer your question, I always learn a lot from others.

Julien Dodon

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