Interview & Première – Dézaulait

When you hear something that you know is special, sometimes a protective instinct can kick in. In this age of pasting every passing thought (and sound) onto social media, sometimes it can feel good to keep your cards close to your chest. You feel like you should ‘share’ a track, but just for a few days or weeks, you want to keep it private. Or just send it to one person, as a personal message between two.

This is how we felt about Dézaulait, whose Soundcloud has been a private place to go whenever we felt like hearing something pure and beautiful, and something that restored our faith in finding true artists in the cloud of sound when everything started to sound samey.

After a few months of precious reflection, we’re finally ready to share it with you. So we asked Dézaulait, aka Stan, to let us release a new track of his as an exclusive Limonadier Première. And to answer a few questions along the way.

So here it is, as iridescent as waterlilies on a pool of reflections – and with only a small heart pang in releasing it into the public domain – « Les Nymphéas«  :

Hi. So your name ‘Dézaulait’, sounds like ‘désolé’, or ‘sorry’ in French. What are you sorry about? Does it refer to some of the more melancholic notes in your music, such as with the bass and brass that sounds like film noir soundtracks?

Hello. I haven’t really thought about it that way. The name just came up in my head. Maybe in a melancholic moment. If you listen closely you can hear this glum sound not only in the song Cinema Noir but also in some of my other songs. Maybe in my subconsciousness I chose the name Dezaulait because the name carries the same burden as the melancholic glum undertone in some of my songs. Anyway I just liked the way it sounded.

Tell us about this track, « Les Nymphéas ». The beat that gets you out of bed. The awesome guitar solo. The mysterious name. The texture that builds then fades away again. The sax. Tell us more?

Its all sample based. Vinylla Ice, a friend, provided me with this sample. I do have to say that my input in this song is rather minimalistic. The name is based on Monet’s series of waterlily paintings, ‘Les Nymphéas’. They are beautiful paintings but somehow, for me, they have this sad undertone. You know, when something is so beautiful and you still feel a bit sad, because you are overloaded with all sort of emotions.

"Matin" Claude Monet, 1914-1918
« Matin » from Les Nymphéas, Claude Monet, 1914-1918

You’ve been working with a singer called Courtney Beavers who has a gorgeous voice. How come you’re working together? How did you meet? What’s your recording process? Does she sing on top of your already-completed mixes, or do you record together?

Courtney and I met through Soundcloud. Immediately we felt connected to one other’s art. She lives in Southern California and I live in Belgium. We are working together in different ways. Mostly I create something and afterwords she sings something on top. Then I master the song and the vocals and if necessary I change something in the instrumental.

People use words like ‘elegant’ and ‘clean’ to describe your music (OK they also say it’s ‘dope’ and ‘chill’…) Would you say that this aesthetic is a bit of a trend at the moment, as if lounge had grown up and become cool?

People use all sorts of words to describe my music or to express how they feel themselves when they listen to my music. I have no idea if lounge chill music is « hot or not ». In general, I think people like it because its pleasant music to listen to. I do think that slowly more and more people are occupied with searching for unknown and local music.

People talk a lot about ‘updating’ jazz. Does this idea mean anything to you?

Haven’t heard the term ‘updating jazz’ but I can imagine what it is about. In a certain way you can say that I’m doing it myself. But I try to do more than just updating jazz tracks. I use music from other musicians because I can’t play any instruments. But I try not to update their music, I try to use it for making my own music. People might recognise the sample on some of the songs, but I try to avoid that happening.

We can’t get over how beautiful the piano on ‘ »Courtesy » is. Can you tell a bit about this track?

It’s a track about the courtesy of people. Some people forget what that is, and I experience that on daily basis.

Can you also tell us about « Diamonds and Pearls »? Is that an old piano recording, or an old recording effect?

The sample I flipped for « Diamonds and Pearls » is from an old recording of a Jazz trio. I don’t know the name any more. I follow some Youtube channels that upload old and new vinyl records. I guess that I found the sample there.

You use a really wide range of samples. Do you get inspired by things in films, the radio, things you hear… or is it just from listening to loads of music online?
I think its a healthy combination of those two. I get inspired by all the things around me. Films and internet are certainly a source for me. Most of my friends are occupied with music and we exchange a lot of musical knowledge with each other.
You have a track called « Make Her Smile« . Would you say that’s a big part of why you make your music? (cheeky personal question)
« Make her Smile » is about an important woman in my life and she is the main reason why I started making music a few years ago. With my music I try to explain my thoughts and feelings to her.

What kind of equipment do you use? Are you a kit geek or do you just use what works for you?

For making music I use whatever works for me. From recording sounds with my phone to friends who play some guitar or sax samples or playing tunes on a mini keyboard myself. To tell you the truth I don’t know much about software or instruments. I hope that by making more music with other artists I’ll be able to learn more about the theoretical part of music.

All this magic happens in Ghent, Belgium, where you like. What is the music scene like there?

Ghent has a great music scene. From live jazz, rock, hiphop to future beats and DJ sets. Sadly I haven’t played in Ghent but I hope that will happen soon. I mean, I played in Paris before Ghent. Strange how things go.

Can you share three tracks you’re listening to a lot at the moment?

Descansado – Armando Trovajoli


Parra for Cuva – Swept away (feat. Anna Naklab & Mr. Gramo)

Moods & SIAM – Organic

Any news we should be listening out for? Shows? Releases?

Keep an eye out for my Soundcloud and Facebook I’d say.

And finally the Limonadier trademark question… if you were a drink, what would you be?

I’d definitely be black coffee.

 

unnamed
A snap from Dézaulait’s phone which he shared with us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Joanna
Limonadier is now available in English thanks to my inimitable team of French-reading, English-writing waifs and strays. We translate the articles from French, and write new pieces in English. I like haze pop (Beach House), lyrical hip hop (Rejjie Snow, French 90s), bass (Thundercat, bassy dance music, and things like Pixies and Jack White) and that mysterious genre of proper music which we don't discuss much here but is quaintly known as 'classical'. *** Il était une fois, le Limonadier était une publication uniquement francophone. Puis vint l'équipe British, lancé par Miss Joanna avec le précieux soutien des chers fondateurs, et c'était parti, vers l'infini et au delà ! Mon cocktail préféré: tequila, citron vert, sucre de canne.