Jardin

Jardin

How do you prepare yourself for this album?
I surround myself with friends. I think that’s the best thing to do when you want to build something for the future. And the more this solo project develops, the more I want to talk to people who inspire me to bring it to life. With my company Cultural Workers, with whom I co-produced the album, we are putting on a series of off-the-wall release parties with audio-visual performances called the Cultural Workers Shows. During these events I will be introducing everyone who inspired and contributed to this album; including my co-workers from Le Turc Mécanique, Summer Satana, Genesis Addiction, Axelle Stiefel aka Eve, Daya Halle, and of course Patrick Weldé, who created the visuals for the album.
Why did you call it “ÉPÉE”?
Épée (“sword” in French) is a reference to a line from rapper Kaaris: “All these faggots and whores I’ll open their skulls with a sword”. I listen to a lot of rap, I’m from that world, and I’m very motivated by the energy of today’s rappers. Especially the francophone ones. But I’m sick and tired of the misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and ultra-liberalism! All these words are just ways of talking shit, and it shows such sadness and a lack of any real dreams… Fortunately there is still so much energy and an angry drive to survive. You don’t find that in any other music genre, or art form in general. I therefore wanted to offer a little performative reversal by appropriating part of Kaaris’ insult and turning it into a weapon. The track ÉPÉE actually marks my return to rap. I wanted to re-politicize the genre and create a new form that spoke more to everyone. The rest of the album features songs that are lighter and easier such as Fear Center, which I wrote while going back and forth between France and Belgium during the attacks, and Control is Invisible.
Where does the name Jardin come from?
Jardin is a love story that went wrong. It’s also the name of my childhood friend’s lover. In a word, Jardin is all about love.
How did you end up doing music? Was music always a big part of your life growing up? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I was brought up listening to music thanks to my parents. They had quite a few dramas in their lives that affected me, and music is part of that. I think they used to put on street performances. Theirs was yet another love story that went wrong. For a long time, music was something compulsive and solitary. I felt alone in what I was doing, and I even stopped making music for a while. But it has always been there, and now it’s almost more present than ever.
Your last album was “Post-Capitalist Desires”. Is there a strong message in this new album?
I am really trying to mellow out, but it’s very difficult. Brussels is a hard city, and Paris even more so. There is a violent clash between money, power and the distress you see in the eyes of a whole population who travelled thousands of miles in the hope of finding a better life. There is violence in the words and actions of the government, in the big technology industries, and in those who are destroying workers’ rights. “ÉPÉE” is definitely more downtempo though! I’ve tried to find a profound calm within myself. But the core of each message is just as aggressive as for “Post-Capitalist Desires.” It’s still defined by passion and poetry, but there is also sadness and anger. For example, in the track Down (Eternal Submission) the lyrics go: “Eternal submission, digital docility, silent slavery, I get down.” At the moment I’m back to writing rap lyrics for other tracks. There is always a strong social commentary involved, but I am especially trying to focus on creating a new narrative for the future inspired by what Donna Haraway said in the documentary Story Telling For Earthly Survival. My and my friend Genesis Addiction were on tour with our duo Our Fortress, and we read a tag in Lyon that said “Yes Future”. I aspire to move in that direction.
[Jardin]
How did you find yourself collaborating with Patrick Weldé? And how do you work together?
I met Patrick Weldé through the Ruiz Stephinson art duo who were organizing their first exhibitions in Paris. I have such a connection with these three people and their work. It’s kind of crazy how Patrick’s mystic-rural silhouettes in the Fuck the System exhibition moved me. He creates a hyper-brutal style using chains, salvaged materials, plastic, covers, tape, mud, straw and seaweed, and it all stays pretty dark and almost ghostly. But while it’s powerful, it’s never frightening. Warlike but not cliché. Medieval but not kitsch. It’s very bold.
It’s junky-style fashion transposed into the countryside among the cows we overexploit and the Earth we are ravaging. I had never really seen his video work, and so with Cultural Workers we decided to create a visual for each track and a music video made with all of them together. And it naturally worked. I see this album as the most “consistent” musical creation I have made, despite being produced with lots of different people.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I don’t really have a hometown because I moved around a lot growing up. But I forged a lot of my artistic identity in Bordeaux. I spend a lot of time there because I miss my friends and I am very nostalgic for a Bordeaux that doesn’t really exist anymore. The city has undergone one of the most violent waves of gentrification I have ever witnessed. The price of housing is now as expensive as in Paris, despite being completely affordable just ten years ago. And the working-class centre has obviously struggled to keep up. This year I even cried in the street when I saw some filthy rich people inaugurating a boutique for filthy rich people in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, which is still home to a poor community who are barely getting by. I really felt dispossessed. And that’s why I moved to Brussels. But the result of this change is that Bordeaux has always made music like no one else. There’s the Sigma Festival, Kap Bambino, Harshlove, Succhiamo, Haydée, Summer Satana, Genesis Addiction, to name but a few! I’ve taken bits of Bordeaux and I’m now mixing them with things from Brussels.
Can you ever see yourself doing anything else?
Last year I spent several weeks playing music with a friend in the Pyrenees. And my brother said he could see me as an old-timer covered in tattoos selling cheese at a village market. I told him that I’d quite like that, but on the condition I could also throw parties in my barn.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making a career out of music? What have been the unexpected or welcome challenges throughout it all?
When you decide to be an artist, or at least when enough time has passed for you to realise that it’s your profession, the biggest surprise is that you spend less than half your time actually creating. Understanding that’s the way things are can be both painful and annoying. It motivates me even more to demand that art has its place in society. I don’t want it to remain something for “outsiders” or “alternative people” or even “the poor”. I want it to have a real place. And it also isn’t really a career. It’s life, people, connections. I want to generate more exposure for exactly those reasons.
For “Post-Capitalist Desires”, how did you celebrate your achievement? Did anything surprise you about putting this collection together?
With “Post-Capitalist Desires”, which was originally a 24-track mixtape, I wanted to build an album in the same way as I mix. A trans-genre, poly-tempo creation with shouting, rap, and a journey through techno. And to round off this era I accompanied the album, then the mixtape, with a digital exhibition (http://post-capitalist-desires.lenybernay.com/) with the help of the LPDLS studio. I was so moved by the generous visual contributions of the artists in my entourage.
How long did the whole process of making an album take?
It takes me two or three years to make an album. I carry out lots of different musical experiments that I then collect and assemble afterwards. I end up with several different layers and I keep the things that last. It stops me falling into the trap of fast consumerism. I go through all the information I have and look for the best combinations. It’s kind of like a writing process, but with elements that are often very spontaneous and instant. I also constantly challenge myself to change my methods, my view of things and my vision of ways of being and doing. Everything I’m telling you now will probably have changed in two years.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I don’t really know what a “fan” is, because I have never been in “fanatical” state. But I would like people who listen to my music to take away a little energy to burn ever brighter in their own lives. To dream more intensely and to transform the world by transforming themselves. That sort of thing.
photo Guillaume Hery stylsit Juan Corrales
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJobemMZaI&feature=youtu.be

Jardin

How do you prepare yourself for this album?
I surround myself with friends. I think that’s the best thing to do when you want to build something for the future. And the more this solo project develops, the more I want to talk to people who inspire me to bring it to life. With my company Cultural Workers, with whom I co-produced the album, we are putting on a series of off-the-wall release parties with audio-visual performances called the Cultural Workers Shows. During these events I will be introducing everyone who inspired and contributed to this album; including my co-workers from Le Turc Mécanique, Summer Satana, Genesis Addiction, Axelle Stiefel aka Eve, Daya Halle, and of course Patrick Weldé, who created the visuals for the album.
Why did you call it “ÉPÉE”?
Épée (“sword” in French) is a reference to a line from rapper Kaaris: “All these faggots and whores I’ll open their skulls with a sword”. I listen to a lot of rap, I’m from that world, and I’m very motivated by the energy of today’s rappers. Especially the francophone ones. But I’m sick and tired of the misogyny, homophobia, transphobia and ultra-liberalism! All these words are just ways of talking shit, and it shows such sadness and a lack of any real dreams… Fortunately there is still so much energy and an angry drive to survive. You don’t find that in any other music genre, or art form in general. I therefore wanted to offer a little performative reversal by appropriating part of Kaaris’ insult and turning it into a weapon. The track ÉPÉE actually marks my return to rap. I wanted to re-politicize the genre and create a new form that spoke more to everyone. The rest of the album features songs that are lighter and easier such as Fear Center, which I wrote while going back and forth between France and Belgium during the attacks, and Control is Invisible.
Where does the name Jardin come from?
Jardin is a love story that went wrong. It’s also the name of my childhood friend’s lover. In a word, Jardin is all about love.
How did you end up doing music? Was music always a big part of your life growing up? Can you recall your first ever musical experience?
I was brought up listening to music thanks to my parents. They had quite a few dramas in their lives that affected me, and music is part of that. I think they used to put on street performances. Theirs was yet another love story that went wrong. For a long time, music was something compulsive and solitary. I felt alone in what I was doing, and I even stopped making music for a while. But it has always been there, and now it’s almost more present than ever.
Your last album was “Post-Capitalist Desires”. Is there a strong message in this new album?
I am really trying to mellow out, but it’s very difficult. Brussels is a hard city, and Paris even more so. There is a violent clash between money, power and the distress you see in the eyes of a whole population who travelled thousands of miles in the hope of finding a better life. There is violence in the words and actions of the government, in the big technology industries, and in those who are destroying workers’ rights. “ÉPÉE” is definitely more downtempo though! I’ve tried to find a profound calm within myself. But the core of each message is just as aggressive as for “Post-Capitalist Desires.” It’s still defined by passion and poetry, but there is also sadness and anger. For example, in the track Down (Eternal Submission) the lyrics go: “Eternal submission, digital docility, silent slavery, I get down.” At the moment I’m back to writing rap lyrics for other tracks. There is always a strong social commentary involved, but I am especially trying to focus on creating a new narrative for the future inspired by what Donna Haraway said in the documentary Story Telling For Earthly Survival. My and my friend Genesis Addiction were on tour with our duo Our Fortress, and we read a tag in Lyon that said “Yes Future”. I aspire to move in that direction.
[Jardin]
How did you find yourself collaborating with Patrick Weldé? And how do you work together?
I met Patrick Weldé through the Ruiz Stephinson art duo who were organizing their first exhibitions in Paris. I have such a connection with these three people and their work. It’s kind of crazy how Patrick’s mystic-rural silhouettes in the Fuck the System exhibition moved me. He creates a hyper-brutal style using chains, salvaged materials, plastic, covers, tape, mud, straw and seaweed, and it all stays pretty dark and almost ghostly. But while it’s powerful, it’s never frightening. Warlike but not cliché. Medieval but not kitsch. It’s very bold.
It’s junky-style fashion transposed into the countryside among the cows we overexploit and the Earth we are ravaging. I had never really seen his video work, and so with Cultural Workers we decided to create a visual for each track and a music video made with all of them together. And it naturally worked. I see this album as the most “consistent” musical creation I have made, despite being produced with lots of different people.
How do you think you and your music have been influenced by your hometown and where you live today?
I don’t really have a hometown because I moved around a lot growing up. But I forged a lot of my artistic identity in Bordeaux. I spend a lot of time there because I miss my friends and I am very nostalgic for a Bordeaux that doesn’t really exist anymore. The city has undergone one of the most violent waves of gentrification I have ever witnessed. The price of housing is now as expensive as in Paris, despite being completely affordable just ten years ago. And the working-class centre has obviously struggled to keep up. This year I even cried in the street when I saw some filthy rich people inaugurating a boutique for filthy rich people in the Saint-Michel neighbourhood, which is still home to a poor community who are barely getting by. I really felt dispossessed. And that’s why I moved to Brussels. But the result of this change is that Bordeaux has always made music like no one else. There’s the Sigma Festival, Kap Bambino, Harshlove, Succhiamo, Haydée, Summer Satana, Genesis Addiction, to name but a few! I’ve taken bits of Bordeaux and I’m now mixing them with things from Brussels.
Can you ever see yourself doing anything else?
Last year I spent several weeks playing music with a friend in the Pyrenees. And my brother said he could see me as an old-timer covered in tattoos selling cheese at a village market. I told him that I’d quite like that, but on the condition I could also throw parties in my barn.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making a career out of music? What have been the unexpected or welcome challenges throughout it all?
When you decide to be an artist, or at least when enough time has passed for you to realise that it’s your profession, the biggest surprise is that you spend less than half your time actually creating. Understanding that’s the way things are can be both painful and annoying. It motivates me even more to demand that art has its place in society. I don’t want it to remain something for “outsiders” or “alternative people” or even “the poor”. I want it to have a real place. And it also isn’t really a career. It’s life, people, connections. I want to generate more exposure for exactly those reasons.
For “Post-Capitalist Desires”, how did you celebrate your achievement? Did anything surprise you about putting this collection together?
With “Post-Capitalist Desires”, which was originally a 24-track mixtape, I wanted to build an album in the same way as I mix. A trans-genre, poly-tempo creation with shouting, rap, and a journey through techno. And to round off this era I accompanied the album, then the mixtape, with a digital exhibition (http://post-capitalist-desires.lenybernay.com/) with the help of the LPDLS studio. I was so moved by the generous visual contributions of the artists in my entourage.
How long did the whole process of making an album take?
It takes me two or three years to make an album. I carry out lots of different musical experiments that I then collect and assemble afterwards. I end up with several different layers and I keep the things that last. It stops me falling into the trap of fast consumerism. I go through all the information I have and look for the best combinations. It’s kind of like a writing process, but with elements that are often very spontaneous and instant. I also constantly challenge myself to change my methods, my view of things and my vision of ways of being and doing. Everything I’m telling you now will probably have changed in two years.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music?
I don’t really know what a “fan” is, because I have never been in “fanatical” state. But I would like people who listen to my music to take away a little energy to burn ever brighter in their own lives. To dream more intensely and to transform the world by transforming themselves. That sort of thing.
photo Guillaume Hery stylsit Juan Corrales
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmJobemMZaI&feature=youtu.be