If you're not familiar with the smooth tones of French musician N'to, then get acquainted quick to his memorizing melodies. Having made music over a spectrum of dark sounds, N'to stays singular to a unique sound now. His work shows a completely new structure and sounds are complexly layered.
I met with N'to during his visit to Montreal, where we spoke with his manager William before his performance. An N'to set is worth watching because you'll experience a completely live set. EARMILK has an exclusive listen at what exactly a N'to live mix sounds like, recorded straight from his performance at SAT. You can hear the mix below.
EARMILK: What music do you have coming out soon?
N'to: Well I've actually just released two tracks on my label Hungry Music. It is two original productions and I've also just made a remix for Jabberwocky. There should be something else coming of mine in two months on my record.
EM: How long have you been releasing work on Hungry Music Records?
N'to: I've been releasing my music on Hungry Music for about a year now. That was the seventh release ever, it's a fairly new record company. The music is produced by Worakls , Joachim Pastor, and myself. At the moment there is two releases from each us.
EM: What do you think is the most noticeable change when playing over seas in Montreal’s French culture?
N'to: I don't think there is much of a change from France. I mean it's always nice for me to cross the sea to play here, but the parties feel the same. It's like when I play any where in Europe, there not many differences all around.
EM: Even with the diversity of languages in Europe, you don't notice a difference in culture?
N'to: Well you can feel many differences in Europe when you're playing Germany, or Switzerland. For example Netherlands is always positive for me because of the crowd there.
EM: Are there are cities that you feel more comfortable in and we’ll get a little weirder and darker with your set?
N'to: Yeah, definitely. As I was saying Netherlands is always really fun for me, especially Amsterdam. It's a really nice place to feel the crowd and try new things. It's the same case in France, for instance in Paris there are so many clubs to experiment with new sounds. But I think it's possible everywhere, you just have to know your audience. When you feel good, you can try anything.
EM: What are some of the biggest challenges with headlining a tour as opposed to being support?
N'to: The biggest challenge is just being the headliner, for sure. You have so much more pressure, the crowd is waiting, and you are expected to make the night. Everyone is waiting, but the pressure can also be good.
EM: You have put out a large amount of original productions and remixes for several artists such as Mode B, Boss Axis, and Worakls. Do you notice any change in attention that your remixes receive compared with original songs?
N'to: It depends on the original track. For example, remixing a track of Worakls is always a fun experience because his music has a really nice atmosphere and melodies. He's from Paris originally, but lives near me now in the South of France.
EM: A lot of your music on Soundcloud is downloadable; do you think this greatly helps your play and follower count?
N'to: Well I think there's only a few tracks and some mixes that are free, but those to me are bonus parts of my work. I like to offer this extra work to my fans. Most of the time these are personal tracks.
N'to: For example I have a remix of "Scar Tissue", that has always been one of my personal favourites. It helps a lot because people can download, listen, and share. If people follow me for a while it's always nice to offer people something back.
EM: What was some of your biggest inspirations growing up, whether a person or reason?
N'to: I started listening to music when I was a child with my brother, he played a lot of rock music. I begun playing guitar when I was 10 so that was inspiring for me when I was young. I come from a history of rock and hip hop music from my friends influences.
EM: Awesome. So this is my second stage, a series of quick questions: Answer in one sentence each.
EM: What are you most proud to have accomplished in this industry?
N'to: Just being able to produce my own music and playing it in front of people. Simple as that.
EM: Longest set ever played?
N'to: Not very long, something like two hours. I never play DJ sets, I only play live sets.
EM: What does your live set include?
N'to: Only my original productions and remixes. That's why I'm really proud to play only my own music.
EM: Last show attended but did not perform at?
N'to: About two days ago actually, I went to listen to Caribou at the Metropolis in Montreal. The sound system was not very good there though.
EM: Worst language barrier you’ve ever faced?
N'to: The French from Canada! (group laughs). But actually, the Japanese. I was in Tokyo about a year ago and it was incomprehensible.
EM: What has been your most unexpected tour stop ever?
N'to: A really weird festival in Sweden with hard metal and electro musicians in the middle of nowhere.
EM: First thing you do in a Hotel room?
N'to: I smoke a cigarette. No I'm joking. I go to the toilet. (laughs). No, I take a bath if there is a bath. With a cigarette.
EM: The best thing you’ve ever had to sign from a fan?
N'to: A record of my own music at a festival somewhere in Switzerland.
EM: Weapon of choice in a post-apocalyptic world?
N'to: My brain!
EM: Lastly, what kind of milk do you usually drink?
N'to: I drink the white russian. Just like the Dude.
EM: Awesome, thanks for speaking with EARMILK today. I look forward to hearing the mix.