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In conversation with Folamour

French house producer, DJ and performer caught our interest with his new album 'The Journey'. In this exclusive interview, Folamour chats with Transparent about his recording and production process, how he got into music and shares his most played songs on his Transparent Speaker in a playlist for us.

The album is a brilliant showcase of Folamour's depth of expertise and sensitive manner, with a futuristic flare that retains the essential characteristics of classic disco imprints.
We are curious to know.. How did you get into music and producing?
- I got into music really young, when I was 5 or 6 by playing drums in my grandparents garden in Southern France. They felt I had too much energy to transform and they thought music was a good way. Few years later I tried guitar and when I was a teenager I started playing and singing in a few bands which I really loved. Once I moved to Lyon, I had to stop playing due to neighbours' sound issues but one day a friend of mine saw my vinyls and told me that I should share my record collection out there by playing them to people and just like that I became a DJ! However, it took me a while to get into music production since I've always been afraid of computers as an instrument but one day I got sick and had to stay in bed for two months so I bought Ableton and began my Folamour project. This was back in 2014.

What is the first music-related memory you have?
- I remember listening to Oasis. Probably around the age of 5 or 6 and feeling something I never felt before. It was my first love in music, the melodies turning in my head for weeks non stop, everything comes from this. I think that my love for pop music and heavy melodies comes from my youth by listening to Oasis, The Cure, Radiohead, Lenny Kravitz...

You also have your own record label, tell us a bit about it.
- I always felt like working with others is a great way to push everyone further. When I started touring a lot, I was meeting so many great producers who were struggling to get their music released cause it wasn't enough "this" and too much of "that". I knew how it felt so I started FHUO to be the one giving the helping hand to these amazing artists.

You mostly play soul, funk and jazz... What inspires your mixtapes and sets?
- I think the music I play always relates to unity, love and hope in a way or another. It's about self love, harmony between people, having trust in the future and fighting for what we believe is right. African music probably is what inspires me the most in my sets but also south American music, funk, soul. It comes in many different forms.

You created a playlist for us, is this the type of music we'll be hearing?
- I built the playlist around an idea of travelling through the songs. It's a journey from the beginning to the end, like my sets!

What is your process for finding music?
- Just spending countless hours listening to entire discographies from artists and labels on Youtube and Spotify. You can't miss on anything if you listen to everything ! (ha ha)

But you are not only a DJ and producer, tell us more about what you do and your passions outside music.
- I think that my main passions besides music are literature and cinema. I started reading and writing early in my life and it's been with me since. I even wrote two books that will probably be released one day I hope. It's cathartic, like writing songs and producing albums, it's a great way for me to express what I feel inside. And reading takes me to new worlds, travelling without moving basically.

What's the hypest gig you've ever played and where is your favourite gig up to date?
- It's funny cause I would have answered differently last week but a few days ago I played at Olympia, France's most legendary concert venue in Paris, for the first show of my Power To The PPL A/V Show Tour and it was unforgettable and truly perfect in every way. It's hard to explain but this one was something else, I felt exactly where I should be, in the right place in this world. A true achievement of everything I've done music-wise.

You recently released your new album The Journey. Tell us about the album, the biographical point, the making of the record, which song you're the proudest of and how your collaborations with other artists for the album started.
- The process of creating the album started in 2019 after the release of Ordinary Drugs, I felt like I wanted to go further into recording live instruments, vocals, writing lyrics, strings, horns etc... I was also in the busiest period of my life, doing 14 shows every month of the year, touring all the time, I was living in London, away from my loved ones, I decided to talk about journeys, psychological / personal but also geographical, I could feel they were both linked in me. I started writing the songs and everything came naturally. It was a really hard album to write but because it was intimate and deeply personal. Even tho I wanted to isolate myself on the production of this album with no use of samples, just me locked in a studio with all my instruments, I wanted to collaborate with artists I loved and knew personally and I reached out to Tertia, SG and Zeke who said yes instantly and as the rest, we wrote the song like it was meant to be like this. I'm proud to have them on the record, it's been beautiful to work together.
Is there any track that you included in The Journey that you are particularly fond of? I personally love the Lost in space with SG Lewis…
- Rue de Paradis and St Moskov probably are my two favorite songs on the album. They have such a deep meaning and it was a struggle to use the right instruments to represent everything I wanted to express in these two songs, they'll always have a special room in my heart. Rue de Paradis is all about these hot summer days, where everything is burning outside, when you're bored lay down in a garden somewhere thinking about life but it's also about the pleasures of these moments of calm, of void. About the small pleasures of life that give it meaning. St Moskov is its opposite. It's about the coldness of big cities, how humans are living with no harmony with each other, and about loneliness too. The most meaningful song of the album surely is "Just Want Happiness". I wrote it to resume everything else said on the album in one song. It tells the story of life with its ups and downs, hopes and despair, summers and winters, all at once with its various phases. And the Music Video probably is one of the craziest ever recorded so it has to be this one ! (ha ha)

Listen to Folamours' playlist

Folamour's choice