A rising star in the Parisian techno scene, Bambounou’s musical career started with a cracked version of the music software FruityLoops and a random diss track he produced with his friends.
How did you get into music? What was your very first favorite song ever?
I remember always being into music. From a very young age I was listening to the radio and all kinds of stuff. But, as far as I can remember, the first song I was very into was on a Pokémon CD. It was a Pokérap, basically a rap with the name of every Pokémon. I remember writing down every Pokémon to learn it and now I can’t remember any of it (laughs).
Which places do you like to play? Do you see yourself as catering to a particular audience?
I think there’s a direct correlation between my music and my mood and that changes all the time. I wouldn’t say I’m unstable, but I get influenced by what I see, the people I talk to, and the dreams I have. Most of the time my dreams are total nonsense, which is nice because I feel like I can experiment more in what I do during the day at the studio.
I usually play in clubs every weekend and during the summer it’s festival season. Sometimes, I play for some fashion shows or after parties and occasionally even at museums—I can play pretty much everywhere. It’s basically my job to adapt to a crowd and know what they want without compromising myself. I don’t know if I’m aiming to speak to a certain audience, at the moment I have the chance as an artist to play pretty much whatever I want and still have people following me. I won’t say that I want to do or play music for a niche because from my experience this may lead to being narrow-minded, and, in the end, music is for everybody. To put it in a nutshell, I’d like to see my music featured on every possible platform.
In an interview with fourfourmag, you talk about the album being an obsolete format. How much do you think streaming platforms have influenced the listener’s understanding of an album?
That’s a very interesting question, but it takes what I said out of context. People don’t all consume music the same way, and it is still very important to do albums because they showcase one artist’s ability to express themselves. But, of course, the way people listen to music is totally different from, let’s say, 10-20 years ago. With the explosion of streaming platforms it’s very easy to just listen to an album once and then forget about it. To really understand what the artist is trying to say, though, it takes time, maybe a couple of months. It’s only then that you hear all these little details that make an exceptional piece of work. It takes concentration and sometimes you just have to step back to really understand it. The overall experience happens in your heart whether you’re listening to something in the club or on your laptop. You decide what music is doing to you, and I think that’s the most important thing.
“It’s basically my job to adapt to a crowd and know what they want without compromising myself.”
Why did you choose these songs for the playlist?
I chose them because I like them and it’s what I usually am listening to when I take the train to go to the airport. There isn’t a theme or anything ‘cause it’s a pretty random collection of songs, but I guess it reflects my real taste (laughs).
If you had to name one dream collaborator, who would it be? With whom would you really, really love to work?
My dream collaborator would be Kanye West. Otherwise, I love working with everyone I already have around me because they understand what I’m doing, and it means I feel free to do what I want.
Bambounou will play at this year’s edition of Terraforma Festival, which will take place from July 5-7, 2019. Located in Villa Arconati, Northwest of Milan, the experimental and sustainable festival features three days of music, workshops, and lectures.
Text: Fabian Ebeling
Photography: Yulya Shradrinsky