Exclusive Interview: CloZee Speaks Universality & Arriving At Inspiration
The formative mind of French DJ/producer Chloé Herry, otherwise known as CloZee, is not reducible to a mere collection of songs. Through the art of collaboration, inspiration, and recreation, she seeks to share her creativity in all aspects of expression. Based out of Toulouse, France and speaking primarily French, CloZee demonstrates the true universality of music in her awe-inspiring composition of organically fused electronic aesthetic. She says it herself, “Music is universal, so I’m not thinking in any particular language when I produce.” No matter what language you speak, her music will enter your vocabulary in a serene and understandable form.
Nestling into the overarching category of ‘World Bass’ music and, Herry pulls from categories such as glitch hop, future bass, dubstep, downtempto, and more. For that matter, she considers her world music and world bass to collide in such a way that, one might even say creates a perfect Harmony…which happens to be the title of her most recent EP! She is also a highly recognized name on the Gravitas Recordings & Otodayo Records labels and continues to grow as a uniquely expressive musician.
In my best Pete Tong voice please imagine the following: This is CloZee.
Congratulations on your 5th US tour! What are you most excited for on this one?
Simply the whole tour. I’m excited for every shows, as they are all very unique. 🙂 The club shows are an amazing way to connect with people in a more intimate way. The Festivals are usually great for exposure and it’s very exciting to play in front of a big crowd, including a lot of people who never heard you before.
Tell us about the inspiration for Harmony. After an EP like Revolution, this is quite a beautiful contrast. Have we found Harmony?! Maybe another dream inspired EP?
I composed “Harmony” when i came back home from my Summer Tour 2016, full of inspiration from the amazing Festivals I played and attended, and also after my trip in Japan. It is the follow up of my EP “Revolution”, which was more epic, dark and mysterious. The idea behind ‘Harmony’ is directly related to its name: It is the alliance of many things which creates a coherent and beautiful whole. I wanted to create an harmonious musical story with all kind of sounds and elements (digital, electronic, foley sounds, traditional instruments, voices…), push the mix between world music, organic and bass music. The artwork was made by Lulu Swallow and reflects the album: The idea of this illustration is therefore to play on the contrasts and alliances between geometric forms / plant-organic patters, just like the music (electronic sounds and traditional instruments), and recreate a peaceful atmosphere by the colors used (green, blue, yellow..).
When it comes to writing your music, what language do you think in? Ex. Did ‘harmony’ come to mind or was it the French word, ‘harmonie?’
Music is universal, so I’m not thinking in any particular language when I produce. For naming the tracks, I always try to make it understandable for the majority of the people, and English is the first language.. so that’s why I mostly use short English words, that are easy to remember.
Along the same lines, I’ve always found it interesting how predominantly instrumental music has such powerful track titles. How do you name your songs?
When I compose, I always have images in my head. The titles are always reflecting those visuals. For example, ‘Secret Place’ and ‘Lonely Island’ are two tunes I composed with particular images and beautiful landscapes in mind, inspired by my recent travels. It’s very difficult to describe them in 2 words, so I just chose two more general names and let the listener imagine their own island and their own secret place.
When you’re confronted with a creative block, what do you do? Is it a struggle to fight through or do you just let it be? Tell us about it.
It happens very often. I usually go out, see friends, nature. I do completely different stuffs, and I just need to be away from the studio for a few days.
There appears to be a lot of genre bending with your music. Being so well versed in a variety of sounds, how do you feel being “assigned” to a genre?
It’s very hard to define the music of an artist in only one genre now. Mine has influences from Trip-Hop, Trap, World Music, Dubstep, Future Bass, Downtempo, Hip Hop, Glitch, etc… So when people are asking me, I just call it World Bass : World Music and Bass Music.
With collaborations like CloZinger, can we expect some more live performance aspects to future shows?
Yes I’d love. The logistics (travel with more gear, including the guitar) are the only problem right now, because I’m mostly touring by myself. When I have to take more than 20 flights in 2 months, it makes it challenging. Touring with Scarfinger (as CloZinger) would be amazing!
On that same note, how do you connect to live instrumentation versus electronic?
I play the guitar since I was 11, so i first started playing the music through a real instrument. Nothing can replace this feeling. That’s why it is very important and normal for me to use a lot of organic elements: that’s what makes me feel alive and makes me vibrate. I can’t think of a tune of mine which doesn’t have a real instrument in it.
Let’s talk about the album art. It’s beautiful as always! How did you and Lulu Swallow come into contact? What is that process of collaboration like between you two?
We know each other since a long time, she was the singer in our music band called FAUST when we were in high school and she is an amazing painter / drawer. The connection was pretty easy : we loved each other’s art, and we know each other’s desires in terms of visuals. I usually tell her about the story of EP (my inspirations, images, the colors…) and give her a few references. She always made better art than what I had in mind, and which reflects perfectly the mood of my projects.
What is the hardest lesson you’ve learned as an artist and how has that influenced you today?
To believe in yourself. If you have an idea, a desire, a project: go for it before it’s too late. I’ve also learned that hard work always pays off.
Chloé, thank you so much for taking the time right in the middle of your summer Harmony Tour to chat. We appreciate your music and time so much and are incredibly grateful. Cheers to a killer tour ahead. Can’t wait to make it to one of your stops!
The next stop of the tour lands in Arizona. Be sure to check out both shows! Wednesday July 12th in Flagstaff @ the Orpheum Theater. Then Thursday July 13th in Phoenix @ Last Exit Live brought to you by Culture Shock who has been throwing local events (weekly, monthly, etc.) since 2008 in the AZ area!
- All images from CloZee Music *