WITH WINGS FOR LOUISE

London, 2020

During this interview, I change seat, place myself in front of another artist and ask him the questions I wish people asked me. Today, I speak to French composer Wings for Louise. The musician has just released a fantastic debut album entitled Transcanadien, and is here to talk about it.

 

Charly, tell us a little more about you. What have been the highlights of your career so far?

 

I started making music like many teenagers through heavy metal bands, as a guitarist doing Metallica covers, and then as a drummer in a post-hardcore band. After this cathartic teenage crisis, I began to focus on electronic music and I discovered Bonobo and the album Days to Come; it was a turning point, the calm, melodic and orchestral vibes of the genre led me a couple of years later to ambient and piano music. I also released two electronica albums and EPs with my first project Echo 6.

 

Before we talk about you release, can you explain us what Wings for Louise stands for? What has been your approach with your identity as an artist?

 

The name Wings for Louise is came after from the song “Wings for Marie” by the metal band Tool. I tend to focus on music and emotions instead of my person and my own story, that is why I chose a feminine name for my project. Younger, I remember hearing the music of the French folk/pop band Louise Attaque on the radio, and asking myself, who is Louise? I only hear men singing! For the a six years-old, that was a genius strategy that mislead the listener and invited to imagination.  

 

Tell us more about Transcanadien, your latest solo project.

 

Transcanadien is inspired by the Canadian landscapes and the main road which crosses the country. I immigrated to Canada ten years ago and this album is for me a kind of photo souvenir album an album to crystallise my the first years of my new life in the country that adopted me. 

 

Transcanadien is a true international work; composed and recorded in Canada, mixed and mastered between France and Germany, and released on an American label. How do you approach virtual collaborations in our modern world? 

 

Even if the technology and constant communication tend to smother me daily, I feel very lucky to be able to communicate easily with a a lot of talented and passionate people around the world. My music would be nothing without this ability to collaborate and communicate with the world. 

 

Tell us about some of your influences for Transcanadien — one can hear many!

 

It’s all in the name! My most important influence for this album are the Canadian landscapes. After this, there is the fact that I have traveled alone for most of the time, and loneliness and introspection allows for creation. Musically speaking though, I can mention M83, Yann Tiersen, Sigur Ròs and any artist that makes me escape and dream through music! 

 

How you do approach originality in your works?

 

I try to make a blend of the musical influences that I mentioned above. But beyond a simple mix, I have to feel the music myself. If I do not feel it, I do not like it. If I do not like it, I do not work on it.  

 

So after Transcanadien, what’s next?

I just released an original motion picture soundtrack for the movie Pareidolia, directed by Raphaël Astier. I am also currently working on a three-track ambient EP.

 

Thanks very much Charly. Last one for the road — one book, one album, one film —, tell us about your latest cultural pearls?

 

I really enjoyed and would recommend the books Taqawan by Eric Plamondon and Les Yeux tristes de mon camion by Serge Bouchard; both are Québécois authors and philosophers and they write about First Nations in North America. We North Americans, know really nothing about the First Nations, and there is still a lot of systemic racism towards them. I truly think that a simple interest in their rich history and culture can be a first step to stop discrimination. 

 

Bouncing on Charly’s words, understanding the universe of Wings for Louise starts indeed with M83 and Tiersen. Read my review of Transcanadien