Q+A: 5 minutes with Super Plage

Musician Super Plage has shared a luminous video, which accompanies the release of his latest French Disco single ‘Forêt Magique’. The label Lisbon Lux Records released the single, which has an interesting backstory: while attending a music festival, Super Plage lost himself in a fantasy of glittering lights, enchanted by the venue’s decorated forest. Caught in a state of awe, he wrote the song, leading us to asking the French-Canadian musician a few pointed questions, and here is what we learned:

Stream / Download: Super Plage – ‘Forêt Magique’

Set the tone for us. Why the arts?

What else?

Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?

The idea always comes first. Sounds are such a world to dive in, I think focusing on it before having a clear idea of what the song might be is a good way of never finishing a song. I like to be in the creative process until that part is done and it’s time to focus on the technical side of stuff, which is just as fun, but different. I also mostly work in MIDI so everything is very malleable and if the song goes in a given direction, I’ll try to adjust the sounds to fit it.

Does your material feature any collaborations?

Yes, it was always a big part of the process to involve singers/musicians/producers at different stages of the production. It’s what allows me to hear my song like it was new once someone brings something that I wasn’t expecting, and it is, for me, the most exciting part of the process.

What’s on your current playlist?

La Femme, Polo & Pan, Vendredi sur Mer, Robert Robert, Le Couleur, Flavien Berger, Lydia Képinski, Daft Punk, Lewis OfMan, and Clara Luciani.

Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.

I don’t see people in a show as ”my fans” especially coming from Montréal. Half the crowd is artists and industry workers so I mostly see playing live as a communion where we all enjoy our moment. It’s as much their party as mine so I think it creates a great climate where everybody feels like they’re part of something. I do think it creates a lot of chemistry though. I love going into the audience and interacting with them (like checking their eyes to see if they’re on something!). The audience is welcome on the stage!

What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?

Mixing is my passion so I spend a lot of time trying new techniques or perfecting some that I’ve been using for years or that have been shown to me by friends. I do a lot of sessions with producers so we can just share tips and give each other advice on production techniques. One technique that I always do is I’ll compress my instrument bus with the vocals bus so that the voice can always cut the mix while the instruments remain present when there is no one singing.

Take us through a day in the recording studio.

Coffee, joint; oh my god has it been 10 hours already?

Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?

I think I’ve been wanting to do this since I was like 7 or 8. Watching punk bands on MTV got me and my friends pretty excited about all that. I was from a small town where I didn’t really have any models of success in the arts and tried to study some stuff because no one told me it was possible, but by the age of 22, after a trip to California, I just couldn’t see myself doing anything else, and I made the big move to Montreal and never looked back since.

What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?

My beer? I’m not a superstitious person.

Any emerging artists on your radar?

Xela Edna, Virginie B, Wonderboat (please check this out), Mélanie Venditti, and Claude L’anthrope.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

People, party, summer, life, drugs sometimes.

Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.

Everything happens in the box for me. I’m using Pro Tools, and I love the workflow that I’ve got going on with it. My synths and basses come from Serum/Omnisphere/Ana, and I make all my kicks with KICK2, which allows so much control that you can shape it to exactly what you need.

Any side projects you’re working on?

I don’t have side projects myself, but I do a lot of production for other people right now.

How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?

I think it’s a mix of working tirelessly almost every day and loving to learn and always being aware of new techniques and sounds. I was mindblown by FKA twigs and Polo & Pan’s sound design lately, and I love to try and figure out how these people make things sound so well and interesting, and I keep trying to find new ways of treating a sound to make it special. I also do get a lot of good advice from producer friends and try to share my humble knowledge with them in return.

Break down the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?

We’re releasing an album in the winter! It will be called ”Magie à minuit” (Magic at midnight).

Famous last words?

Thanks!! Please check out the artists I’ve been working with these past years; they’re amazing!

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Image credit: Marie Michelle Bouchard