Stretching the boundaries of what listeners might expect from House music, CONFLUENCE’s sound breaks rules. The French producer has shared his latest track ‘My Everything’ via CNFLNC. The song is the result of years of work spent refining his craft; he has earned a BA in music production and DJ skills from the Point Blank Music School in London, where he currently lives and performs, dropping sets at well-known locals such as the Cyberdog store in Camden Town. Who is CONFLUENCE? Find out in the interview below:
What’s your “secret sauce?” What makes your sound stand out?
Experimenting. I could spend hours experimenting with sounds to get the perfect one. Sometimes, if I find a good pre-made preset, I will use this as a starting point and play around with the different features. Uniqueness is definitely essential to stand out from other artists. I’m a melodious and emotional person and I think that it’s translated naturally through my music.
Define a successful day in your eyes.
To me, a successful day would be when I finish up a track; I have about 200 unfinished projects sitting on my laptop most of the time. I would start creating a new one instead of working on those that are unfinished. When I’m working on a track and instantly getting goosebumps, I instantly know that this track is going to work and that I need to finish it. When I play live sets, the best feeling I can get is to see the audience dancing and getting lost in their thoughts with my music because it speaks to them, and taking them on a journey is what I want to achieve.
What made you decide to pursue a musical career?
I think it came naturally with time. I started my musical journey when I was 13 when I was DJing for the first time in front of my family and friends and at the end, they all came to me and encouraged me to keep going.
A few years later when I was 16 years old assembling samples and pretended that I was making music but looking back to the 16 years old me today is not a good example, but we all start from somewhere, right?
I started making my own music back when I was studying music production for 2 years in college and explored different electronic genres, from UK Garage to Hardstyle, until finding my path which is House music. I recently finished a 3 years degree BA program at Point Blank Music School to enhance my production and DJ skills techniques.
The main reason I enjoy making music and playing live is because it’s my way to express myself and telling a story that I can share with others.
What would you be doing as a career if you never pursued music?
I used to do Athletics for 9 years and this would have been my number one choice back when I was a sports person. Another path I would have taken is a chef in a restaurant. My grandad used to be a 1-star chef in France and I remember going to his restaurant quite often and loved the food. I love cooking.
Pros and cons of the industry from your perspective?
In today’s world, the competition in the music industry is massive and it’s very hard to make yourself visible and stand out from others. But it’s not impossible to achieve.
We are lucky to live in a digital world where we all have access to stuff we couldn’t have access to 20 years ago. As an artist, social media platforms are indispensable tools as well as the easy access to music plugins and promoting musical work.
As an independent artist, making my own decisions and being 100% creatively free are the most important things I want to keep. However, it can become hard to manage everything yourself when you reach a certain level so I think it’s important to surround yourself with the right people, someone you can trust.
Being signed with a record label has its advantages and disadvantages. I personally prefer to look for independent record labels for the simple reason to keep 100% control of my creativity.
Hard work and persistence are key in order to achieve what you want to achieve and that’s not a secret to anyone I think.
What were some of the most influential albums on your creative outlook and output:
I’ve grown up with my parents who listened to artists like Moby, Depeche Mode, The Cranberries, Coldplay. A very vast number of genres but I think electronic music has always been the main genre I was listening to or paying attention to the most.
Looking back to when I was 12 years old, David Guetta’s One Love was the starting point and I used to listen to it every day for at least a year. More recent albums that influenced me are:
Synchronicity by WhoMadeWho – I just love how they are blending so many genres into one, it’s such a vibrant and happy album. It can only give you energy and bring you positivity.
In Another Lifetime by Tinlicker – The blend of melodious house and techno with orchestral and cinematic makes me travel in another dimension completely. I definitely find myself in their music. That’s no secret for me to say that my music is also emotional but energetic at the same time and that’s because I want to tell a story and take the listener to another place.
Singularity by Jon Hopkins – I have become a big fan of Jon Hopkins’ work for the last couple of years. His experimental sounds with ambient melodies create an atmosphere between the listener and our conscious. Reconnecting with nature and the space around me, this album really pushed me to be more experimental with my music without following the music rules that I tend to follow unconsciously.
What key pieces of gear/software do you use to define your sound?
Maschine MK3 from Native Instruments – I love using it as a starting point for making drums or finding melodies/chord progressions that I wouldn’t be capable to play on my MIDI keyboard.
My go-to plugins are any Native Instruments plugins, especially Kontakt which is such a powerful engine with orchestral and ambient sounds you can’t go wrong with it. Another plugin I can’t get rid of is Diva. I love the vintage and ‘80s sounds of it and is definitely unique.
How do you prepare yourself mentally for performing or/and studio sessions?
Before a show, I often intend to reduce stress by listening to some music before or once I’m at the gig. I will try to familiarise myself with the place. Every time I DJ, I am very focused and a bit stressed for the first 20 minutes until I get more comfortable with the music I play and the audience.
How has music production changed your outlook on life?
Making music is the only way I can truly express myself. When I travel to places, taking the airplane or seeing new horizons really inspires me. It’s instinctive. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I took that time to experiment with new genres and sounds.
Tell us about your upcoming releases or projects
I could say that I have a lot of upcoming projects but one future release is a 4 tracks Ambient and Electronic EP. This is a special and personal project which I wanted to release for a long time and I can’t wait to share it with the world. The release date is yet to be confirmed, but it should come out in 2 or 3 months.