Jacques Greene tells us the correct way to listen to his music at 2am
Philippe Aubin-Dionne aka Jacques Greene is one the best Electronic producers to come out Canada and we couldn’t be more excited for him to come to Australia and grace us with his presence. The Montreal native has produced tracks for big names such as Katy B, How To Dress Well and Tinashe as well as remixed a number legends in the music industry such as Radiohead, Shlohmo, Autre Ne Veut and many more.
For years the genre-defining, LuckyMe artist has been making waves across the globe. After releasing his debut album ‘Feel Infinite’, he proved to the rest the world that he’s well and truly still at the top his game.
We got in touch with the Canadian sensation ahead his appearance at Oxford Art Factory (more info at the end the article) and had a chat about his debut album, feeling infinite and the future Electronic music.
SR: You recently released your debut album ‘Feel Infinite’ – where did the title come from?
JG: I was really trying to get at some sense positivity. I find that I’m not a miserable “black cloud” person but I am at times quite cynical. I almost wanted to go for something sappy and hopeful laughs] and remind myself instead considering the differences between us and to consider the connectivity between all us. Embracing feeling, embracing other people, embracing life laughs].
SR: So it’s kind pushing past your cynicism in a way?
JG: Yes, exactly. So it’s to say that I definitely do not feel infinite all the time laughs]. It’s a reminder to myself to love others and myself.
SR: What artists are you currently listening to right now / artists that you think people should be paying more attention to?
JG: Right now… I’m pretty obsessed with the new Fever Ray album. She’s incredible and with this new record, she’s doing something simultaneously fun and emotional but also politically charged. Another record I’ve been obsessed with is by Alessandro Cortini – he plays synthesizer in Nine Inch Nails but his solo project is beautiful, ambient synth music. His new album is just really gorgeous soundscapes and melodies. It’s a very good soundtrack for travelling.
SR: That sounds beautiful, and what would you say is the best environment for your sound?
JG: I really like the club. I would say 2am, three your best friends, you don’t know anyone else there, one your friends is on a pill that’s almost too strong they’ve got to go outside but they’re powering through it. I don’t know…a night adventure and discovery.
SR: I’ve noticed you’ve said previously you don’t really see the club as escapism because that’s where you see people being the most “them” versions themselves…not escaping who they are. What do you think it is about clubs that allows people to feel themselves?
JG: Being in a club is such a liberating feeling…it’s just the sound is so loud, the lights are so bright, the emotions are so strong – there’s not really any time to pretend you’ve just got to fucking feel, just go with it and dance. There’s something very liberating about how intense and busy it all is – like finding peace within all the commotion.
SR: You’ve also said that music allows you to reach a caring and empathetic part yourself – how do you think it does that? Is that what you’re aiming to achieve with people who listen to your music?
JG: Yeah I think with music in general, even if the aim is not beauty, music is like a beautiful, emotional, puppeteering kind hypnosis. Sometimes the best fucking Rap music in the world just makes you feel badass laughs]. Some RnB albums will make you feel sexy and others will make you contemplate some shit. I personally reach for something that puts me on a wavelength where I feel love, connection and positive feelings.
SR: I guess that’s where the title your album comes from as well…Feel Infinite, feel infinite love, infinite connection with people you’re sharing the music with – especially if it’s in a club environment right?
JG: Exactly! If we’re all connected, it is infinite right? Avoiding the concept distinction from one another. The “othering” people.
SR: And aside from music, is there anything else that inspires you or your sound?
JG: I try to take it all in. I watch a lot movies and people in fashion inspire me – but that’s more from a philosophical point view. I’m a great admirer people who’ve been able to run their own thing with truly singular visions.People who completely invented their own worlds with their own rules in the face a lot adversity. I find it very inspiring and very reassuring that people can do those things on their own terms.
SR: Can you tell us a little bit about your creative process?
JG: To be honest the creative process is still a mystery to me. I wish I held the reigns. I’ve had moments where I made a song a day and inspiration was pouring out me and some days where everything’s been totally right. I had a good studio and some time f and nothing interesting has come out. I’ve had music come from places comfort in a happy relationship, I’d been so content that there was no need to vent – or need for the therapeutic nature music so I’m not writing as much because things are going well. Sometimes I think there’s something wrong with me but I speak to friends who are in the same boat and the same thing happens. I think that’s why it’s so beautiful too – it’s mysterious.
SR: That’s an interesting way to put it. I also heard in an interview that you did with How To Dress Well where he talks about how there are different categories musicians. So the way he describes it is that there are DJ’s, producers, entertainers and there are artists – and he sees himself first as an artist. How do you see yourself? Do you see yourself as slotting into any one those categories?
JG: At my worst when I’ve been in moments being really into what I’ve done, I definitely consider myself an artist. Other times when I’m just trapped – you kind end up feeling more artisan than artist. It’s more like you’re making a cool t-shirt, instead a crazy dress that’s reinventing the way someone’s walking.
SR: Is that what you’d like to do – change the way people act in a more dramatic way?
JG: Yeah absolutely. I think my best records have been one that reinvents what a club record could sound like. The amount times I’ve been to House and Techno clubs and it’s just like streamline euphoria or like this sexy aggression you get with good Techno…and it brings something a little more complicated, a little more nuanced in the club.
SR: That kind brings me to my next question, where do you see the future electronic music in Montreal?
JG: In Montreal it’s interesting – the scene] has gotten much stronger and wider than when I first started DJing and making music. There’s a much bigger community for it.
SR: And would you ever consider working with any Australian artists – electronic or otherwise?
JG: Yeah sure, I’m a big fan Oscar Key Sung. I just ran into him in LA a few weeks ago. He’s out there working on a few songs. I love his voice and what he’s done for years – so that’d be really fun.
SR: What’s next for Jacques Greene?
JG: I’m already writing some more music even though the touring from this record is just starting to wind down. I’ve got six to eight scraps ideas for songs and I’m hoping I can actually work with Oscar maybe early next year. I’m very excited about the new music I’m working on – this first album Feel Infinite was a culmination a sound I was holding for a few years so it’s exciting to now uncover what the next chapter is.
SR: Great, thanks so much for chatting to us at Stoney – see you down under soon!
Jacques Greene is bringing his remarkable live show to Oxford Art Factory, Sydney tomorrow alongside some very special guests. If you don’t want to miss out, you can cop tickets . We had a blast chatting with Jacques Greene and we can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for us when he takes to the stage. This one show you don’t want to miss out on!