14th Annual Pop Album Nominee
11th Annual Adult Contemporary Album Winner
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*Alexandre’s website was also nominated for
14th Annual Music Website.
*Alexandre’s album La garde was also nominated
for 11th Annual Album Art.
*Alexandre’s website was also nominated for
11th Annual Music Website.
Record Label: Indica Records
Home Base: Montreal, Canada
Categories Entered: Pop Album & Website Design
Work Submitted: Fancy Ghetto
Artists Featured: Alexandre Désilets
Label: Indica Records
Who are your influences? There are so many artists of all genres and all periods. I would say I’m mostly influenced by photography and movies.
Describe your nominated work. Fancy Ghetto, released in 2014, is my third album (after Escalader l’ivresse, 2008 & La Garde, 2010). For this album I worked with François Lafontaine, ex-member of Karkwa. I worked on the melodies first, creating precise home demos. After which, I wrote the lyrics with my friend Mathieu Leclerc. These were carefully tailored to the music and were based on the idea of telling the story of various characters living under one city. The fact that I wrote the lyrics after, based on the melodies, changed the creative process and the outcome of this album. I was very inspired by the urban phenomenon of run down neighbourhoods suddenly turning into upscale areas. I liked how two opposite elements can unite into one. I asked talented brothers Anthony and Fred Jourdain to work with me on the album artwork and album cover. We had lots of discussions and wondered through the streets of Quebec City and Montreal. This definitely helped us to visually set a musical mood and to create a world of our own. Musically, I wanted to create a more upbeat album, one could dance and shake one’s head to. I listened to a lot of African polyrhythms, Talking Heads and Peter Gabriel. This was the perfect excuse to bring back guitar solos! We taped the whole album, live in 10 days. And it doesn’t matter if one is not familiar with French or all the nuances of the language; it’s about being taken away on a musical journey!
Did you use any unusual effects or instruments in this recording? We taped the whole album, in 10 days. All the songs were played live and some of the instrument-sounding sounds were recorded with my voice.
Were there any happy accidents while in the studio, or did everything go as planned? Everything went pretty much as planned!
How did you raise the funds for this project? How long do you expect it will take to recoup your out-of-pocket recording expenses? The funding was provided by my label and also by a Canadian Grant.
Why did you choose to submit this work to The 14th IMAs? I’m an independent artist. My team and I found the IMAs a perfect way to put my work forward to an American audience.
What’s your definition of success and how will you know when you’ve achieved it? Success I think is first and foremost the possibility of living off one’s art. It is also, for me, the time when my music will be able to transcend language and geographical barriers.
How will you leverage your IMA honors to achieve your career goals? IMA is the possibility of touching all those people that don’t know me yet, through my words & my music.
Who’s sitting in your audience and what makes your fans unique? Usually they’re all ages, from 6 to 60. My fans are unique because they’re sensitive, open and very loyal & giving!
What is your guilty pleasure on the road? Any close calls or mishaps while on tour? Guilty pleasures include finding anything else than fast food on the road, cracking jokes in the van, and hanging out with my musicians. Yep, a close call was a speeding ticket when our soundman was behind the wheel! Luckily we got at the gig on time!
Who are your musical heroes & influences? Again, there are so many artists of all genres and all periods. Even the tackiest tunes can have interesting musical elements! I like to stay open as much as possible!
Are there any songs you wish you wrote and why? Any song from Pink Floyd!
What artists are you listening to that would surprise your fans? I listen to a lot of different artists and songs but I would say Parliament, Talking Heads, David Byrne, Bill Withers, Rizzle Kicks, amongst others.
How do you discover new music? Do you buy music or are you content with streaming? I always buy music, either online or in stores. I discover music through Shazam, friends and other artists, word-of-mouth or simply a visual (poster/cover) I find interesting.
How will musicians make a living if fans continue to expect music to be free? We always expect artists to give their art for free but we never expect other professionals to give their services for free. More and more musicians I know either play in 6 bands or has a day job on the side, and sometimes all that combined. And some even change career paths unfortunately.
What don’t fans/audiences understand about the music industry today? That free pays off handsomely to Internet providers and device manufacturers.
Are digital singles/EPs vs. full albums the future? For mass marketing: Yes.
Finish this sentence: The music industry is…an intense, crowded & ever changing place where you absolutely have to be sure that you love what you do!
What do you have in the works for the upcoming year? Writing lyrics and composing new music for my fourth album!
Where fans can find you and your music:
Where to find my Music:
Where you can find me:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/alexdesilets or @alexdesilets