CloZee Talks Composition and Bassnectar at BUKU Music & Art Project
CloZee has quickly become one of our favorite artists. Her unique approach to creating music has made her a household name in France and beyond. While she’s considered “world bass music” don’t let the sitar and didgeridoo scare you. CloZee creates the perfect blend of samples, vocals, and beat. We caught up with this powerful lady from Toulouse at BUKU Music & Art Project in New Orleans.
Sensible Reason: How was your set?
CloZee: It was very very fun. I was surprised by the number of people showing up at 3:15 in the afternoon. I thought it was cool, on Friday, too. I didn’t expect that it was great.
SR: The past two years have been exponential growth for you. You’ve won awards, you’ve traveled the world. Are things moving too fast for you or is this what you’ve expected?
C: Oh, yes.
SR: Is this what you’ve wanted for your career?
C: Definitely, I’ve always wanted to do this in life. I’m very happy right now. I have a lot of projects, I can live the music that I do. I’m working hard to go toward my dream and create an experience at a live show. I’m trying to get to this point step-by-step.
SR: What was your original vision when you started making music?
C: Honestly just making a living out of music. That was my goal, so I could live doing what I love. My vision is creating a live experience. It’s still what I’m working for.
SR: You’ve described yourself as obsessed with new music, and it comes through in your music. Has your career kept you obsessed with music or does it feel like work at times?
C: Yes, sometimes it feels like work for sure when you don’t have inspiration. I still need to finish stuff, songs, and remixes because of deadlines it can be hard with no inspiration at the moment. You think “I don’t know where to go right now, this isn’t fun.” But in general it’s amazing, it’s an amazing feeling.
SR: What inspires you the most? If you’re stuck, where do you go?
C: Nature. I go out and see France, family, go to festivals, and get inspired by other artists.
SR: Do you have anything, any projects that have fallen by the wayside because you got stuck on them?
C: Not really. If I start something, I finish it. It could be a few months or just a few days but every time I start something, I finish. At the moment I’m working on my new album which is going to be done, not left over. [laughs]
SR: You have a ton of samples and sounds in your music. Where do you find those non-music related sounds?
C: Sometimes I just pick sample libraries and sound design stuff and myself. If I need a jungle sound, of course, I don’t have that in France so I need to pick it from somewhere. Most of my music, I’ve recorded stuff or used sample packs when it’s something specific, like African voices for example. In France, it’s hard to find. I can find stuff in other world music as well and modify it like crazy so you don’t recognize it.
SR: Do you use Ableton?
C: To write with? No, I use FL Studio.
SR: What compelled you to create the type of music that you create? It’s electronic music but it has such a unique worldly sound.
C: I’m just a big fan of world music. Travels, discovering new cultures, new music, traditional music, that’s what makes me vibrate. It resonates with me the most, so I try to incorporate those elements into my dancefloor music to make people dance and travel at the same time.
SR: Do you cater your sets to where you are (US, UK, France, Etc.) or do you try and bring a similar vibe everywhere you go?
C: I definitely work different sets depending on where I play, depending on the lineup if it’s a club show or a festival. I’ve played at psy-trance festivals so for that I’m not trying to play very slow stuff. They like up-tempo. In France, we don’t have the same culture for electronic music, bass music in general so I’m kind of trying to follow what people would love the most. In the USA I can play trappy stuff but in France, they’re like “What is that? We want some saturated bass, no 808.”
SR: In a past interview, you said that you compose for other people. Does that mean that you specifically make music for them or are you more inspired by them?
C: I compose for them.
SR: Based on what they like?
C: Yes, what they like. If it’s for a dancer, for example, if I know it’s a very glitchy dance I’m going to think about that. Or a tribal fusion dance I’ll incorporate some more world fusion sounds. It’s always very fun to see each other’s art and make music for them.
SR: Who do you compose for the most?
C: I composed the most for a dancer, her name is Kelly. She’s a hip-hop/experimental dancer. I compose also for a tribal fusion company called Marabyliane in France. And for my girlfriend who is also a dancer.
SR: There is a local radio station where I live that has an event pairing music with food. Rumor has it you love to cook. It is a concept that mixes vastly different things and puts them together in a way.
C: Same kinda stuff.
SR: Would you ever want to do something like that, whether it be on a small or even larger scale, pairing food with the music you make?
C: Oh yeah! That would be amazing.
SR: What’s the best food you make?
C: Ones where you improvise, where you only have certain stuff and you just put it in there and hope it’s good and turns out great. I’ve gotten pretty good at it.
SR: Do you have a signature dish? Something that never fails to entertain people in a pinch?
C: I have a Thai/curry soup with coconut and a bunch of stuff in there. It’s always changing but yeah that’s what I prefer to do. I love it.
SR: Tell us about your other project, CloZinger. How did you connect with Starfinger?
C: He reached out to me, said “I love your music, I’m from Toulouse, too. Do you want to come over and jam?” So I brought my guitar and he was playing the MPC on top and we thought wow this is actually pretty fun. An original collaboration, mixing electronic and live instruments. We said why not make some tunes together?
SR: Do you feel like it takes away from your original project?
C: No, not at all. It complementary. It’s another thing and sometimes it’s nice to step away from CloZee for a week or so and work on CloZinger. It’s a different process to work with other people and I love it.
SR: It allows you to breathe.
SR: What festivals are you most excited to perform at this summer?
C: A lot of them. Electic Forest…
SR: Both weekends?
SR: Perfect. We’ll see you there.
C: Also, I’m playing Bonaroo, LiB, and my first Red Rocks show in Denver. Also a festival in Hungary, too.
SR: What’s next for CloZee?
C: A new album in the fall of 2018, a new live show, a new tour in September and October. Of course, usual stuff, touring. I’m also working on a video game soundtrack.
SR: What video game?
C: It’s called Forest of Liars, it’s a French independent video game so I’m excited about that, too, because I’m a gamer. It’s another type of project.
SR: What kind of game are you playing right now?
C: I really like Inside, Limbo, that kind of stuff. Farcry, The Last Guardian.
SR: You opened for Bassnectar not too long ago, how was that when he called you up and told you “I want you to open?” Was it a shock? Do you like Bassnectar?
C: I like him. When I was in France I didn’t realize how big he was. We know the name Bassnectar but here he’s the top artist at every festival I was like “Whoa, OK *whistles*!”
C: When I started music I wasn’t thinking, “I want to play with Bassnectar.” But it was a very good feeling, I was very honored.
As one of the opening sets of the festival, CloZee set the pace for the rest of BUKU. She brought a unique feel to New Orleans that some have never heard. Her set at BUKU brought even more people to the sold-out after party following the festival where she played another set. She is a mistress of the beat and plays with sound in a unique way that brings something new to the table. Her music can bring both comfort and discord in her soft melodies and hard-hitting drops. We can’t wait to see what CloZee has in store for the future.