At LA Canvas, we love that warm tingly feeling of hearing brand new music. Today we celebrate that sensation with a new project from the acclaimed French producer and multi-instrumentalist Jules de Gasperis. He’s previously worked with a slew of musicians in the LA area as well as internationally, including Bleached, James Supercave, Low Hum, and Mike Stroud of Ratatat. Now, Edgar Everyone is finally live with his first single, “Look Up.”
We got the chance to chat with Gasperis ahead of his premiere at Festy Baby to ask him a few questions about the exciting new venture and what’s to come for Edgar Everyone. Catch him at Festy Baby on Saturday, November 30th at The Lodge Room in Highland Park.
LA CANVAS: Hey Jules! How are you feeling leading up to the premiere of your new project Edgar Everyone at Festy Baby?
EDGAR EVERYONE: I’m feeling super excited honestly. This new project has been inspiring me a lot over the last few months and it’s finally about to come to life with the live show at Festy Baby – it’s almost like I’ve been a pregnant man for a while and I’m about to finally give birth to this creative baby.
LAC: You’ve been on a ton of different projects over the years, how has that impacted your coming to this inception of Edgar Everyone?
EE: It’s quite true, since I moved to Los Angeles in 2016, I’ve been working very hard and had the chance to participate in so many different projects. I’m always trying to get involved with bands that stir my attention and pique my curiosity. I feel very lucky to have met a few amazingly talented musicians quickly when I moved, who helped spread the word about my studio and my skills as a producer/mixer.
Among other things, I think moving from France to the United States taught me to let go of a lot of fear and take bolder directions as a creator. Music is always a reflection of your spirit and soul, so at the end of the day being an artist is all about growing as a human being and hopefully reaching for more beauty which is what inspires us all.
LAC: And what was your inspiration in coming to music? You come from a pretty interesting musical background with your family. When did it start?
EE: True, I owe a lot of my love to music to my parents: my dad has been a composer in France all his life and my mom used to be an actress. She also sings her own songs now so it’s definitely a family thing! When I was a kid, they used to give me instruments instead of regular toys, so I remember I had my first electric piano when I was 5, and then my first drum kit when I was 9, and later I got into guitar and bass. Sometimes I feel like I have a transversal vision of music, with lots of angles on different instruments and different hats, but also that means I never got the occasion to fully commit to one instrument only – but hey you can’t have the cake and it eat too as they say here!
LAC: If you could describe Edgar Everyone to someone who hasn’t heard you before, what terms, musical or otherwise, would you use?
EE: The perfect elevator pitch question. It’s a tricky exercise, but I’d say electronic, dancey, pop, glamourous, French, melodic, and at times melancholic.
I always loved purely electronic productions, and I have an enormous respect for people who create purely in that landscape like Four Tet, John Hopkins, or Moderat – but at heart I’ve always been a fan of pop music and I find myself kind of incapable to start working on a song without trying to write an expressive melody and sing over it.
I guess one person who is a master at blending the world of electro and the world of songs is Thom Yorke, I’m a huge fan of his work and catching him play recently at the Greek Theatre was a major event. So in a sense in trying to follow that path, the blend between songwriting and machine-driven arrangements.
LAC: Who is Edgar Everyone? What’s the story behind the name?
EE: Edgar Everyone is like my alter ego. I really like the fact that there is the word “ego” in that because as “Jules”, I have been trying to step away from my ego quite a lot over the last 8 years.
I’ve read a lot about spiritual awakening, I have meditated and found that so much of our pain and heaviness in this world is coming from the attachment we constantly put into our values, our achievements, our persona. But that being said, you don’t want to eradicate the ego completely, because it can be a beautiful force that drives our creativity and can affirm our uniqueness.
So Edgar is just a reinvented character, part of myself, who is very confident, loves what he does, love others around him and can be flamboyant and fancy – whereas in real life I can be more discreet and composed. And the last part, “Everyone”, is not only sounding fun but also just a tribute to the fact that we are all interconnected. Edgar is Everyone.
LAC: Hindsight’s 2020, how is this project reflective of the previous decade, and how are you anticipating the imminence of the next ten years?
EE: Since Edgar is a very personal character, obviously he is using his voice to sing about personal experiences – I don’t think my music really has any “political” message in the traditional sense. It’s all stories collected from experiences and moments. If anything, I believe it has some sort of a “spiritual” message.
Regarding the past, I don’t really know too much where it’s stemming from, but I would say Edgar got influenced by the recent musical renaissance in Europe and France at the time of Ed Bangers, Justice, Phoenix and all these other acts that blew up internationally. Now I think Edgar is more looking towards the future: what really matters is to create a society that fosters love, and openness, against fear and against rusty patterns.
It is urgent for us to create this new society otherwise we won’t really be able to survive the ordeal that the Earth itself is putting in front of us with the likes of Climate Change. It’s kind of a major wake up call for us in a sense what is happening – to grow up as a species.
I would like to sing out of love, not out of fear. Towards this kind of future. Sometimes it’s good to let the demons out through music but I believe people are done listening to musicians’ complaints and laments! I would say let’s move on and use music to reconnect to one another.
LAC: I’m getting a lot of nostalgic vibes from “Look Up” – namely some “Praise You” Fatboy Slim intros and then a serious dive into some optimistic foraying. What came first, the track or the project idea?
EE: Oh that’s great that you’re hearing that! I was a big fan of Fatboy Slim when that album came out. You know, actually this track is the one track that started it all: I had been writing a few songs under another moniker before, but nothing really felt like it was making sense lately. It felt like I was chasing a concept in my head and trying to achieve something – which again seemed driven by the “bad” kind of ego and not pure openness. So I decided to take a full break, stop my own music for a while and completely let go of expectations.
Next thing I knew, I was walking up a hill in my neighborhood and I started hearing this voice that urged me to reach the very top, even past a KEEP OUT sign. Once I reached the top, I looked at the stars and it was a real moment, something hit me strongly and I started walking down hearing the melody, and all the words for the first verse were just pouring out.
LAC: Has anyone else been critical in the formation of this?
EE: For this particular project it’s been quite a solo experience so far, I really tried to isolate myself and dive into my subconscious mind – because I would have a tendency to call up my musician friends to co-create and sometimes you have to be careful not to use that as a crutch. Solitude is always a little scary, but it’s also when you take the extra step into it that the answers start to come for real.
That being said I owe so much to all my musician friends I’ve been working with recently: especially my friends from Low Hum, Slip, and James Supercave, Erica von Trapp from Jane Machine, Mike Stroud more recently, and also my French brothers Keveen Baudouin and Vincent Lanty who are always working with me at the studio.
LAC: Now that “Look Up” is out, what’s next?
EE: The first step is obviously the live show at Festy Baby on November 30th. I’m gearing up for it big time, and the Lodge Room is going to be such a great place to try out this new concept. I’m blessed to be able to play that room first. Then shortly after I will be playing another show at Gadi’s in Joshua Tree on December 7th with Harriet Brown, an artist I feel would be great to open for.
After that I will be releasing my second single, and I’m so excited about it. From then on, “Inch’Allah” (“God willing”) as they say! And thank you to all of those who have been curious about the project so far and lending an ear to check out my first tune. There’s so much music out there and people’s attention spans are so limited nowadays, I’m very grateful for all the listeners.
Check out “Look Up” by Edgar Everyone now on all music streaming platforms and catch his premiere at Festy Baby next weekend. Tickets at https://www.festybaby.org/.