Q&A: Five Minutes with Eole
French based artist Maxence Janvrin, better known as Eole, released his enchanting two track EP, From Yesterday Until Tomorrow, on the 27th October 2023 via Enchanté Records. Inspired by artists such as Fred Again, Sammy Virji and Kaytranada, Eole is looking to breathe life into the French house music scene with his captivating production style. Keeping up the momentum, the focus track, ‘Until Tomorrow’, premiered on popular Soundcloud account Deep House Sweden. We sat down with the artist himself to speak about all things creativity.
Set the tone for us. Why the arts?
I think I see art as the best therapy in the world. I remember the first time, when I was 6 and playing video games a lot, I discovered Final Fantasy and Nobuo Uematsu’s compositions, which immediately transcended me, and that was the beginning of my relationship with art. I realized that I had a very strong sensitivity to sound, that I was capable of imagining new music in its entirety, and it was by closing my eyes that I could see landscapes and scenarios being created as the chords and notes unfolded. I’ve always been creative from a very young age, being hyperactive and needing to tell stories… language and words represented an expressive limit for me, which is why I started producing music in 2008. Over the years, I’ve managed to indulge my curious side, as the knowledge surrounding sound and music is infinite.
Which comes first when you’re producing – the sound or the idea?
I don’t really have any set rules, I think I have a dual creative process. Back in the day, when I was working as an aeronautical engineer, I learned the principle of the agile method, which is to visualize a result and make sure you take the most efficient routes to get there. I see music production in the same way. I’m able to imagine stories that lead me to musical creation as much as I can start with a few notes and chords and then see the idea taking shape as the production progresses. For me, the idea and the sound have no significant boundaries, and that the two help each other to achieve an end result, which is to live an experience for a short period of time.
Does your material feature any collaborations?
Basically, I collaborate with many worlds on a multitude of projects. I’ve been able to direct and compose music for different industries such as film, haute couture, art and many others.
Unfortunately, there’s no artistic collaboration on this EP, I did everything myself, from music production to mixing to creating the cover art and promotional videos. I took on this challenge to prove to myself that I was capable of mastering several subjects on the same project, while following my artistic direction as closely as possible to the desired result. However, I’m not closed to collaborations, and new projects will be arriving soon that may include a few.
What’s on your current playlist?
At the moment I have a soft spot for the old Bossanova with artists like Joao and Astrud Gilberto, otherwise I always listen to a lot of US and French hip-hop like the latest Freeze Corleone album or Post Malone’s “Austin” album which fascinated me. Otherwise, of course, I still have my daily UKG / UKHouse playlist with favorite artists like Fred Again, Sammy Virji or Conducta.
Tell us about the chemistry you have with your fans on stage.
I’m a very open-minded artist, so the relationship I have with my fans is very special. I have a very heterogeneous audience, because I play a lot of different styles. So it’s pretty easy for me to connect with my audience during a set from the very first second, no matter what style I’m playing. The chemistry is as natural as possible, the aim being to become one with my audience and enjoy the experience to the full.
What techniques do you experiment with to get your original sound?
I work mainly digitally on logic pro X with VSTs and specific plugins. My creative technique is rather random depending on the type of music I want to create, but overall I always have the same structural process. I always start a new project in a quantitative way, creating as many musical tracks as possible according to my inspiration at the time, so as to have as many choices as possible and, above all, so as not to forget my different ideas. Having a choice means I’m not limited to just one possibility, it’s a bit like brainstorming a project on a giant sheet of paper. From these created tracks, I often tend to look for those that can become the main melodies or I can also be focus on the drum elements to impose a specific groove on myself and not go off in all directions, the aim being to restore a little order to all these ideas. Thanks to this process, I’m freed from the frustration of running out of inspiration and can optimize my creative time.
Take us through a day in the recording studio.
Every day is different, I feel like I’m rediscovering my studio with each new music session. The day usually starts with setting up my recording studio. This involves powering my sound card, my speakers and of course connecting my 88 notes keyboard and starting to play some random melodies, it’s like a daily ritual, my activation of the day. Then I open logic pro to start a new piece of music or continue an old production, and off we go for hours of composing ! Sometimes I produce more than two demos a day when I’m really inspired, and my hard disk is full of unreleased music of all kinds that will probably never be released, but each one tells a different story and has had an impact at some point in my musical adventure. When I go into the studio, it’s like going into my secret garden, where I can spend 2 whole days composing without sleeping, a bit like the time spirit room in Dragon Ball Z.
Was there a specific moment in your life where you thought, “this is what I want to do”?
I always had this idea in the back of my mind from a very young age, it was the only environment where I felt legitimate. I was a very studious student until I became a committed engineer, a committed senior executive, but above all I had this imposter syndrome that arose, I didn’t understand how I could claim to be different in an environment where everyone tries to be the same, in a societal framework where the formatting of minds is almost omnipresent. I think one of the triggers was when, at the age of 18, I was contacted by The Mill agency to work with them on the musical direction of their future advertising campaigns. Of course, my parents refused to let me go to the United States because they preferred my studies to my music, telling me that there were only 2 Daft Punk artists for every 6 billion people on earth. Nevertheless, I realized that if I could interest such important companies at that age, then I would be more legitimate as an artist and my future would undeniably be more exciting if I followed this path. I clearly don’t regret my choice, given the results of the last 15 years.
What do you keep close by while you’re playing a set?
Never without a cold bottle of Coke, I think that with the creative atmosphere and the heat emanating from the audience’s energy, you should always have a cold bottle of Coke to hand! And, of course, sparkling water to rinse off the sugar hahahaha
Any emerging artists on your radar?
I follow the projects of my bros at Enchanté Records, whether it’s Gone or Komoy. I think I’m in the right place today with all these extremely talented and fundamentally inspiring creatives. I’m also following the progress of all my friends at the JBL Music Academy in collaboration with Stmpd Records (Martin Garrix), and I think most of these artists will soon be internationally recognized.
What gets your creative juices flowing?
Contemplating the world, its successes and failures, gives me access to an infinite amount of information and feelings, which in turn motivate me to create. I think art in its entirety stimulates me, I’m passionate about fashion, video games, I love cinema, I listen to all styles of music, I travel a lot, in fact I unleash my curiosity on a multitude of diverse and varied subjects without any restrictions. Maybe that’s the recipe that allows me to be so inspired and creative, the fact of being undeniably curious, of always wanting to learn new things in order to create art and music with them.
Take us through your collection of gear, tech or software that accompanies your creative expression.
I use a lot of elements to create, in hardware I have 2 big keyboards, a 48-key Komplete Control and an 88-key FATAR Komplete Control to perfect my melodies, I also use a lot my Seaboard Block from Roli thanks to its MPE system which is incredible to create life in your melodies. I also use iconic controllers such as the Roland TR-8S to work on my drums, and the Neova ring from Enhancia to create stunning live sound effects. To fully refine the clarity of my music, I use my Adam A7V speakers coupled with my Apollo Twin X sound card from Universal Audio, which ensures very low sound latency. Finally, in terms of software, I have a huge number of VSTs and plugins that I use as and when required, depending on the project: Native Instruments Kontakt, DIVA, Serum, FabFilter, ShaperBox3, UAD Suite, Oeksound Sooth2 and Spiff, Izotope Ozone, Soundtoys etc…
Any side projects you’re working on?
I am also a film music composer under my civil name, Maxence Janvrin. Since 2020, I’ve been able to collaborate with big names like Gucci, Arte, Kourtrajme, JBL, Charles de Vilmorin, Zalando, Foot Locker, Palais de Tokyo, BrutX etc. and I continue to connect with new artists to create true musical experiences.
How have you refined your craft since you entered the industry?
I think I’ve always been the same. I’ve certainly evolved a lot over the years, but it wasn’t with a view to adapting to anything directly, it all happened naturally, and I think that’s why I’ve understood this industry and its sometimes complex workings so well.
Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you this year?
In terms of promotional collaboration, I have two big campaigns with JBL scheduled for late 2023 and early 2024 that will showcase my musical project. I have a new short film to compose music for in October and I finally plan to release a new single before the end of the year, so a lot of work for these 2 next months!
Famous last words?
Whoever sows the wind, reaps the storm
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