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Feature: Worakls [Interview + Premiere]

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The young French prodigy Worakls is a composer above all. As he grew up in a family of musicians, he started to learn the piano at the age of 3. Soon after the Conservatory, he finds in electronic music a perfect way to give his melodies this incomparable onirism and strengh that suit them so well. He draws his creativity from many genres such as movie soundtracks and classical music. In 2014, he creates the label Hungry Music with his friends N’to and Joachim Pastor, allowing him to fully express those influences. Even before the release of his first album, several of his tracks already imposed themselves as classics of a genre.

Hello Kevin, thanks for joining us. What is your current mood and what was the last piece of music you listened to?
Hey! Mood is good thanks a lot! I was listening to Mahler today!

What are your plans for the coming week?
I’m currently working on the music for a French documentary about the environment « Sur le front ». So I’ll be doing that all week!

Talk to us about growing up and living in France, how has it affected your musical taste and the music you make?
I don’t know if living in France affected my musical taste, but my parents listened to a lot of music and I’ve always been very fond of movies music since I was very little. Also my grandparents always loved culture and brought me in all the museum of Paris, so I guess it helped a lot putting me on this path!

Your bio states that you are University educated and that your knowledge goes beyond electronics which allows you to create compositions that can’t be defined by one style. Please explain what you studied in school and how it has helped your productions be so unique.
I studied music since I was 3 years old. I started by playing piano and then I learned how to compose for orchestra little by little because that always interested me! I still have a lot to learn but I do every day and I try to focus on improving at every piece!

You’ve cited Eric Prydz as an artist that made you want to make music. Was there any one track of his that resonated so strongly with you and if so why?
Of course! So many! But the first that I loved was probably «Armed» or maybe «Rymd» What I loved with him was that he had his own world. He doesn’t play whatever is trendy. He just plays his music and brings you into his universe. When I heard his set in Paris. I thought that I would love to try to create my own universe too!

We were thrilled to host the premiere for Ben Bohmer’s remix of your track ‘Red Dressed’ which was just released on your Hungry Music imprint. The remix turned out beautifully and it’s very rare that you ever do remixes on the label, in fact it hasn’t happened since 2016. Why was Ben someone you felt comfortable with remixing that particular track?
It’s not really our specialty indeed! But when we had this idea of making some remixes with the team we immediately thought about Ben since his music is really fitting with our music! working with him, I realized that he was a great person and his remix was amazing so I’m very happy with this decision!

Within Hungry Music, are you still the best at FIFA?
Haha i don’t really play a lot anymore but I guess I am

Your love for movie scores is well documented, is there a movie you would have loved to have produced the soundtrack for? And if so why?
Yes so many! Recently I really enjoyed the music from 1917. I think it was a great combination of tension, beauty, orchestration etc. Very balanced. I loved it!

You’re still quite young at just around 30 years old I believe, but you have already performed all around the world. What are your favourite venues and/or countries to play?
I am enjoying more and more to play in concert halls. With the orchestra tour, i had the chance to experience the fact of playing at 9pm in this kind of venues and I really enjoyed the dynamic of it. Plus it allows to play in an after that is an actual club show right after haha I love to play everywhere in the world, changing of country every day and getting to know a bit of many cultures is really something that I appreciate

Talk to us about the Worakls Orchestra, there were 20 musicians for the performances so it’s significantly more challenging and risky than performing solo. What are the biggest challenges you face playing with such a large group?
Well, actually when you speak about this kind of show you have to take in consideration the technicians as well that are taking a huge part to make it possible. So we were 30 on the smaller version of it and around 50 when the choir joined us. It’s was a very complex show to write down, to manage, to make it sound right etc. But even if it was so challenging, I loved every single minute I spent doing it. The more I grow up and the more I appreciate this kind of shows that are very written. It took me 6 month to write it and I have only one thing in mind today, it’s to create another one!

Looking back over your discography, what release or track holds the best memories for you and is there a correlation between that track and how successful you are today?
I’ve been very lucky enough to have some tracks that stayed in peoples mind, like Salzburg or Porto for example!

How have your productions evolved over the years and do you have a vision where they might end up in the future?
When I started electronic music I was doing  mainly techno. And today I write for orchestras and I try to mix it with some kind of deep progressive stuff, I don’t even know how to call it… but it definitely turned to be way more melodic! I think I will probably write more and more music for movies because that’s a passion and i would love it!

How much road testing is done before you’re ready to say a track is finished? And how much does crowd reaction influence whether or not a particular track gets released?
I used to do that but at some points I thought that it wasn’t really clever. Some tracks are not made to be bangers so whenever u play it, If you don’t have enough crowd reaction you are more likely to give this one up. But actually it’s maybe a very good one to listen to at home or driving your car … I guess I learned how to trust my guts and just release what I think was deserving to be released… it’s very complicated to say that a track is finished but it’s a very important part of the job …

What’s a piece of gear that always gets used when you’re writing a track?
My piano, I don’t really use a lot of gear… except for my computer mouse and keyboard … that’s it – I compose everything using the piano and then I write it down!

The problem of mental is complex and nuanced, and it is an issue to which those working in electronic music are especially susceptible. It can be deeply rewarding but it is also competitive, fast-paced, unpredictable and hedonistic. Talk a bit about the pressures of what you do that fans may not be totally aware of or what is one of the most dicult things about being an artist?
I am very hard with myself. I think I always put so much pressure on myself because I always want to do better. Fans are always nice to the contrary … they kinda say that everything is nice and good and lovely when I say that this could be better… should be better! I’m very lucky to have fans such as mine… they are so comforting every time, But to answer your question I think that when you are not successful you want it and when you have it you want to keep it. It’s a constant pressure… I just want to make the best music possible and I will never reach my goal because I don’t set any limits. That’s the artist’s nightmare, but a true engine for the craft … in my case it is at least …

Do you have tools or practices that you use to get yourself back to a state of balance?Not really, I try to be as healthy as possible. With my body, my family and my friends. Be loyal to what I believe in and do my best!

How have you been dealing with COVID-19? The impact it’s having on live music is of course hugely significant. Has the lack of live gigs played a factor on your creativity in the studio? Or has it made you more productive with more free time?That’s a hard moment we all live but I try to see the bright side, thinking that it allows me to compose a lot and prepare what will come next! We don’t have the choice anyways and worrying won’t make it any better…

Once nightlife eventually resumes globally what kind of effect do you think this period in our history will have on the clubbing experience?
This winter I was very lucky to be invited to play in Mauritius where they managed to delete covid from the island. The people forgot it very fast and acted as if nothing happened… I think that’s what is going to happen everywhere… maybe we will be a little bit careful in the beginning but we will forget it very quickly I guess …

Current top 5 favourite tracks?
Limp Bizkit – Nookie
System of a Down – Kill Rock n’ Roll
Thomas Newman – 1917 – The Night Window
DJ Snake and Audrey Nuna – Damn Right pt 2
Mendelssohn – concerto for violin and orchestra in E minor

Apart from music, what makes you happiest?
Art, Sport, friends, family! everyday a bit of everything – if possible of course…

What does 2021 hold for you. Anything you can share with us?
Of course! Many new tracks, some other remixes of my orchestra album, movies music, but also maybe a new orchestra show if the pandemic let us ! It was a real pleasure to answer your questions guys! I hope that everyone will take care to be back strong and very soon. Hugs!

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