Sohn è sulla bocca di tutti in questo 2014, letteralmente. La sua personalissima formula di elettronica vibrante che approccia come fosse un artista black, interiore e vissuta, gli ha procurato un contratto con la 4D e un tour mondiale che ha toccato Singapore come Palermo. Ed è proprio in occasione della sua partecipazione all’Ypsigrock di quest’anno che l’abbiamo incontrato per scambiarci qualche impressione sulla musica contemporanea. Abbiamo chiacchierato di come i Radiohead abbiano influenzato la sua adolescenza, dell’importanza di abitare in una città che assecondi il proprio stile di vita e di musicisti che hanno sempre meno bisogno gli uni degli altri.
Per conoscere invece tutti gli artisti che prenderanno parte al festival siciliano, che anima le estati di Castelbuono da ben 18 anni, vai dritto qui. Sul palco si esibiranno Moderat, Wild Beats, Anna Calvi, Forest Swords, Belle and Sebastien e un sacco d’altri. Fai vincere l’Italia e partecipa anche tu.
Hi Sohn! How are you? Are you a bit tired of this long european tour? It’s going pretty good I think…
I’m great, thanks. It has been exhausting, it actually became pretty much a world tour – but it’s been an incredible experience.
You played in Turin some months ago and my friends who were attending your concert described it like a surreal experience. And they also told me that you do not reproduce the songs in the form they appear on the album…
I hope good surreal, haha… Yeah there is a lot of light and smoke, and the songs somehow come across heavier live – a bit more power. We also can easily change how we play the songs from one day to the next, so sometimes there’ll be a spontaneous instrumental outro or two.
You have published your debut album Tremors via 4AD, it’s such an important label, surely not an indipendent house. How did that happen, did you create the album together or did they arrive later?
It is a massively important label, but still truly independent at it’s core. They are very trusting, allowed me to do my own thing with the album 100%, and were incredibly supportive once it was done. 4AD, even though it’s worldwide and seemingly huge, is still basically music lovers working out of a house to put out good music.
A lot of artists are influenced by the place where they live. You’ve moved to Wien a few years ago. How your music changed after this?
It definitely calmed down a bit. I found I was very hyperactive in London, and moving to Vienna helped me find a strong core in myself, and therefore my music.
Is interesting to see a lot of electronic composers and song writers gaining audience from the club scene instead of the “indie” crowd. Do you think there’s a sort of big change coming?
I’m not sure, as I’m not sure which side of that I sit on – I guess what I’m doing straddles both the indie and the club scene a little, I do think that the boundaries are much more flexible now than ever.
In your tracks both vocal and instrumental parts are really important and add deep intensity to the final result. How do you structure the songs? What’s your focusing point?
For me the focus always remains on the song itself – the melodies, the lyrics, the voice. I start in a very “producer” way, with musical motifs and beats, but then the emphasis switches to the vocals.
You said Radiohead are the spin of a more electronic vision of the music. How is the Uk Indie sound of the late 90es involved in your production, that has a more black approach?
I guess it had a big influence on me as a music listener – those were my teenage years, and I was really into Radiohead, Bjork, and a load of other stuff in that area. It is however only a part of where my influences come from – of course a lot of time has past between then and now, haha.
I have the feeling that in the last years electronic bands are counting less and less former members because the single artists play their own music by themselves. Is that ‘cause making music by digital equipments does not require a so high level of talent but requires an highest level of sensitivity?
I don’t think so – I think it’s certainly more possible now than ever to be an “electronic” musician – a lot of the time there are not even actual instruments involved at all. Many producers use audio like a collage, taking clippings of different things and pulling them together to create something unique. I think as well you shouldn’t ignore the influence that things like financial recession and less money being in the music industry, as well as how quickly you can get music out now thanks to the internet being our main source for everything. People who maybe would have needed a friend with a synth now just have Ableton and can do it themselves, and once you get around the technical aspect, the best art maybe doesn’t always have to come from the best trained artists…