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French musician Petit Biscuit on DMing Diplo and making his best music while travelling

WORDS BY TINA SUMMERS

And what it was like writing music while staying in a tiny Icelandic town.

The super-talented French composer, songwriter and producer Petit Biscuit wrote most of his new album Parachute while travelling the world, and considering where we are now in 2020, that sounds unbelievably amazing.

The lyrical content of the tracks is similarly epic – love, war and death feature – and casually, party legend Diplo was involved in one of the tracks too. But Petit wrote some of the songs about as far from the world one might imagine Diplo inhabits as possible: in “a 30 or 40 person town in a region called the Westfjords” in Iceland.

“I feel like I get more inspiration when I’m isolated,” he explains. “I can feel awkward when there are people around me when I’m composing or get too much feedback, so travelling to Iceland felt like the best way to get to focus.”

I spoke to PB to find out more about his life and music, and some other random things.

How did you get into music?

I was very young when I asked my mum if I can start to practice cello. Then I’ve been training myself with many instruments… Production was the last step of the music discovery!

How would you describe your new album Parachute?

Parachute is an album that I’ve tried to embody as much as I can. It has very different styles but I feel like my voice is what links all of the tracks.

How do you think it marks an evolution for you musically?

I’ve tried to not control, not bridle myself while I was producing which is a very important thing. Also, it’s just natural. Every artist is evolving his own way from an album to another, the opposite would be kinda weird.

What was the inspiration for ‘Burnin’?

A story that I’ve heard about two sex friends. One is falling in love and the other one is playing with that…

Can you tell us a little bit behind the ‘Burnin’ video and how that came about?

The ‘Burnin’ music video is just the interpretation of the story I wrote. I’ve worked with a French director called Aube Perrie. He immediately understood what I was trying to tell and how to translate it into visuals. Very proud of that one.

What was it like collaborating with Diplo on ‘Pick Your Battles’?

Diplo sent me a DM on Instagram while I was crossing Iceland! We’ve been connecting at his home in LA and wrote the start of ‘Pick Your Battles’ in his studio. We finished the track in Paris! He’s very open-minded musically, and has a fresh sight on what’s coming next… Such a great and interesting guy!

Do you have a favourite story from working with him? 

He got a bunch of hens in his garden that are often coming in the studio… to give us some feedback [laughs].

What inspires you to keep making and releasing music?

I’m passionate about making music and writing and I think it’s all that matters today.

What made you want to transition into being a vocalist and how does it compare to previously releasing music?

It was very natural. I’ve been training to sing for years and now it’s interesting enough… Also, I gained a lot of self-confidence lately.

What’s one thing you’d love people to take away from listening to your music?

I just want people to feel something when they’re listening to my music. Music is only here for feelings, not for any kind of hype…

What’s your favourite…

Album of 2020?

The 1975 – Notes on a Conditional Form.

Item of clothing?

I only buy second-hand clothing now in some vintage shops! Got a few ones that I love but can’t describe them [laughs].

Way to celebrate a job well done?

Take a rest! Go on vacation somewhere!!

Television show?

Black Mirror.

Place in the world?

Westfjords, Iceland.

Dream collab?

James Blake.

What do you want to do with 2021?

More music!! And I miss playing shows so much… let’s pray for it.

@petitbiscuit

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