At the heart of the new French pop scene, Alto shapes his own melancholic universe. This week we got him on the line to ask him some questions on the heels of his latest release "A quoi tu penses", a mysterious and romantic ballad.
Can you give us a little background on your project and some influences who have inspired your songwriting?
I started working in music as a sound engineer, then I quickly moved to production and direction. For a few years and still today, I produce for artists. I love it, as serving a project is very rewarding for me. But sometimes you can't express yourself 100%, which is why I started to produce for myself and Alto was born.
I have a lot of influences, The Strokes, Beach House, and LCD Soundsystem are bands I grew up with and are part of my DNA. In French, it's Sébastien Tellier, Flavien Berger, or the solo albums of Adrien Gallo who for me is one of the best authors of his generation.
Listen to "A quoi tu penses" on your favorite platform
Can you tell us more about your new single "A quoi tu penses"?
'A quoi tu penses' is a pop ballad, a bit like an end credit, but not everyone has watched the same movie. I'm deliberately leaving it open to interpretation. My director friend Alois Champougny proposes one in a videotape he edited from archive images found on YouTube, it's available here!
Can we expect an album in 2022? If not, what are your big projects for this year?
I have an EP that will be released in late May/early June. This year, I would like to do my first concert because I think that the scene is the most beautiful way to make discover its music. I will play my first concert at the Pop-Up label in Paris on February 21st.
I also have other songs in the process of being written, which may be released as an album in the future!
What does it mean to you to be an independent artist today?
Being an independent artist today means being free to make the music you want, without compromise. Today, thanks to streaming and digital distributors, like iMusician, it has become much easier to be heard, it's an opportunity.
If you had to give only one piece of advice to an artist who is starting out, what would it be?
It's a bit strange to answer this question because even though I have experience as a producer, I consider myself a beginning artist!
I guess my advice would be to be patient. When you finish a song or even your EP, you would like it to be released right away, you are very excited to share it. But the reality is that when you start out, no one is waiting for you, so you have to accept that interest in your music builds over time and not instantly. By realizing this, you take a lot of pressure off yourself and take the time to develop at your own pace.
If you could change anything in the music industry, what would it be?
A lot of things are changing for the better, especially in terms of representation.
It's a pity that the current music becomes more and more formatted, I think that we would gain in richness if we detached ourselves from these formats (radio, playlist, quotas..Etc)
Even when you are an independent artist, these are questions that you can ask yourself: can I afford to make a 12min track on my EP? is the bridge too long? is the chorus strong enough?
It's a lot of interference in the creative process.
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