For Paul Prier and Bastien Doremus, the musicians behind the Parisian sensation, TOYS, electro music is more than just a style or genre. It is a conduit of expression. In an exclusive interview with Daily Beat, the duo explained that composing a song is a comprehensive process.
"We can spend weeks working on finding one particular sound for a bass, a drum kick or a synth lead... We believe that every electronic musician must be obsessed with this kind of search, the search for the right sound." It is this level of attention that makes their new single "We Are" and its accompanying music video, masterful fusions of emotion, memory, and electronic music.
Hailing from the north districts of Paris, the pair met through a mutual connection. As Doremus explained:
“My girlfriend and Paul's sister have been friends since they were children, our meeting was consequently inevitable.” But this is not the only inevitability that the band has experienced. With rich musical backgrounds, Prier and Dormus are stylistically made for each other. Where Prier was classically trained in guitar from age six and later studied arrangements and music theory through jazz, Doremus started his musical career as a DJ in the Paris Hip Hop scene.
“Our collaboration is based on synergy,” Prier detailed. “Given his [experience], Bastien has skills that I don't have. And it goes the other way round. Our relationship leans on trust and the music tastes we have in common.”
While these tastes are diverse and run the gamut from Bach, to Serge Gainsbourg, to Prince, the two musicians use these influences to sculpt sonic narratives that haunt the listener with a sense of ambient Deja Vu. When asked what specifically influenced their newest track, the pair highlighted the importance of feelings to their creative process.
"Inspiration is a weird process, it's really mood related," Prier elucidated in regards to the genesis of the single. "We like when music brings us into a nostalgic mood." With strong synth leads, ambient pads, and snares that echo with that quintessential 1980s’ reverb, “We Are” does just this, transporting the listener into a world of their own thought.
This theme of spiritual memory is again reiterated in the music video for “We Are.” Directed by Maximilien Franco, the video features an older man who—much like Merlin in T. H. White’s Arthurian novels—moves contrary to the normal flow of time. In a Facebook conversation with Daily Beat, Franco illuminated that the unique story was inspired not only by the song, but also a reaction to the majority of electronic music videos out there.
“[I wanted] something special that would be different than all the fashion music videos that we see today in electro music,” he wrote, “ … most importantly, with this film I wanted each to draw his own story. I have heard a lot of differing [interpretations] from people who saw the video and they are all true and interesting.”
While the band could not tell me what projects they are working on for the future—although they hinted that they would include some vocal sampling alongside their signature instrumentals—the release of “We Are” has established TOYS as a musical force to be reckoned with. As the electronic world moves in new and exciting directions, keep your ears tuned towards Paris and the little electronic duo that is sure to make a big splash.
You can find TOYS’ newest single “We Are” as well as their EP “Natural Plastic” (2012) on Itunes
If you liked their video, be sure to like their Facebook page
With love, Lyle Hawthorne | Follow Lyle on Instagram
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