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Interview with Artist Rone for the Release of His New Single "Room With a View"

Rone © Flavien Prioreau

 

On July 8, the French Artist Rone released his new single, "Room With a View," created with French dance collective (La)Horde. We recently interviewed him to learn more about the single and his creative process.

French Culture: Today you are collaborating with the dance collective (LA)Horde, and you have also collaborated with the science fiction author Alain Damasio. What is the link between your music and other forms of artistic expression, why do these collaborations mean so much to you, and how did your collaboration with (LA)Horde go?

Rone: As a teenager, I had no idea that I was going to become a musician. My only certainty was that I wanted to be creative, because it was a way to counter my great shyness. Expressing yourself through art is an effective way to disinhibit yourself. I have always been sensitive and open to all forms of art: music, painting, cinema, photography, sculpture, dance, comics,… I remain a big consumer of films, where there is often a real relationship between music and image. In fact, I studied cinema before falling a bit by chance into music, and sometimes I have the feeling that it played out to nothing. The mysteries of life…

Collaborations are essential in my creative process. Part of my work is very lonely—I need to isolate myself to lay the foundations of my compositions, to find inspiration. Then it’s the opposite, the expiration, I feel the need to share, meet and collaborate with other creative minds. It's the right balance. These collaborations can take many forms, from musician to music video director, to illustrator or, as was the case recently, to choreographers and dancers. As my music is mainly instrumental, it remains quite abstract. Collaborations allow me to give it more meaning and to convey a message, whether it be the texts of Alain Damasio, or the movement of the bodies orchestrated by (LA)Horde.

The collaboration with (LA)Horde was a very strong experience, both humanly and artistically. I almost feel like we’re part of the same artistic family, we’re on the same wavelength. Our exchanges were fluid and efficient, everything went very quickly, it was a no-brainer. Attending the first rehearsals with my demos under my arm influenced the finalization of the songs, and my music influenced the movement of the dancers. It was a real exchange. In hindsight, I am very proud of what we managed to create together.

French Culture: What impact has the health crisis had on “Room With a View” and on your work in general?

Rone: The album was scheduled to be released in late April. When the health crisis arrived, we considered postponing the release, but we quickly decided to keep it. The album was ready, the fans were asking for it… there was no reason to keep it in the fridge. I really like Seneca’s line, which says, “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

We had to get creative. All the promo was done remotely. I took part in initiatives like compilations under lockdown, a mini live for the radio, we released two video clips… It wasn’t always easy because, for example, a good part of my equipment was stuck at the Châtelet, but I’m pretty well surrounded; we did pretty well!

I think the most frustrating thing is the cancellation of about twenty tour dates. I was just waiting to meet my audience to share this new album on stage! But this is only a postponement!

French Culture: An excerpt from your track “Motion” is used by Greta Thunberg for her video “Nature Now”: how did this collaboration end? Has your collaboration with Greta Thunberg led you to rethink your artistic practice as a tool to defend your ideas?

Rone: I was contacted by Greta’s team because “Motion” was exactly the music they were looking for for their film. I didn’t hesitate for a second; Greta's message is right and I am proud to have been able to support her. You may be uncomfortable with the form of the message, but the substance is profoundly right, I really don’t understand how people can spend energy to bring it down. Everyone should be concerned about the climate emergency.

Having said that, I had not waited for Greta to become aware. Environmental, climate, and social issues have been on my mind for a while. Being the father of two children certainly has something to do with it. I’m worried about their future and I have to do something about it. When the Greta team contacted me, I was already working on my album and on the show where the climate collapse is the central theme, as the exchange between Alain Damasio and Aurélien Barrau on “New World” also attests.

Concretely, we’ve given a lot of thought to the tour, which is often energy-intensive. We’ve opted for a more sober set design (which is easier to transport), a small technical team, and we also try to optimize the routings and promote cleaner transport, we prefer local catering… It may seem trivial but every gesture counts, and we have to participate in the change.

French Culture: The show’s broadcasting was interrupted by the COVID-19 crisis. Are there any plans to revive it in the coming months?

Rone: Yes, the show has already been scheduled at some national stages and festivals in France, and I really hope to go back to the Théâtre du Châtelet to finish what I was forced to stop abruptly.


You can also read our article about "Room With a View" HERE

And discover Rone's hits on our French Culture's playlist below:

 

ABOUT RONE

When Erwan Castex’s career began, he was studying to become a filmmaker. Music changed Rone’s life but not his passion for images. The first album was built around a first video clip “Spanish Breakfast“ delivered by his friend Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka. Since then, each album reveals its batch of videos often made by a young generation of passionate and audacious directors. 
He has a pronounced taste for animation with the now mythical “Bye Bye Macadam“ by Dimitri Stankowicz (40 million views on Youtube), but also “Origami“ or “Mirapolis“. He likes to venture to the frontiers of reality and science fiction (“Parade“, “Down for the Cause“), in urban tourism (“So So So“, “Acid Reflux“, “Quitter La Ville“ EN-Leaving the City) or in offbeat building (“Let’s Go“), and he doesn’t forget to question technology (“OO“, “Wave“).  His films have been acclaimed by numerous prizes and millions of views worldwide.
On his latest album “Room with A View“, the artist questions the future of our societies. He invites us to rethink consumer society with «Ginkgo Biloba», our interactions with others with “Nouveau Monde“ and plunges us into an odyssey of futuristic space within the walls of a renaissance castle with “Human”.

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