Swiss producer Pablo Nouvelle is known for his enigmatic style which pulls from any combination of genres including techno, soul, house, hip-hop, and R&B among others. This newest single “Wired” leans toward the techno house side of things, creating a moody, chilled atmosphere filled with heady layers of synths spearheaded by sharp rhythm and bass. British singer Lulu James provides the perfect soulful lifeblood to the track, resulting in a beautiful mystique. There’s this tumultuous feeling running throughout the track that makes for a captivating listen.
“Wired” also comes as the title track to Pablo Nouvelle’s forthcoming debut full-length album. Its dark nature certainly leaves you wondering and wanting more. EARMILK was able to ask Pablo Nouvelle a few questions about his process, style, and forthcoming tunes. Check it out below and look for Pablo Nouvelle’s single “Wired” out now on Armada Music.
EARMILK: How did you first get started making music?
Pablo Nouvelle: It all started with the MPC2000XL. As a kid, I had the chance to take jazz piano lessons for several years—that is definitely the base of my musical understanding. But in my teens, I put all the money I had saved over the years into that machine I barely understood. All I knew was that apparently DJ Premier from Gang Starr uses that sampler to make his beats. Took me another year to know how it works. But it was worth every penny.
EM: When talking about your music, it's hard not to mention sampling. How did you first get started with that?
PN: Sampling came very natural to me. Maybe as the youngest of three brothers I learned early that sometimes it’s better not to ask whether you are allowed to use something or not; sometimes you just have to do it. Also, as an unknown producer from Switzerland, it was hard to find talented people that would want to work with me. So I had to find other ways to get my name out there. Marvin helped.
EM: Soul music is obviously huge for you in sampling. Do you have any favorite artists to pull from?
PN: There are so many. But of course Marvin Gaye is #1 to mention here. I dream of an open source world, where you would have access to all the acapellas of those passed heroes. Instead of thousands of lawsuits, you would get a lively culture that could build directly on its musical heritage and put it in their own up-to-date context. That’s what I would consider as being immortal.
EM: What have you been listening to lately?
PN: I am getting more and more into rap and urban pop again—from commercial superstars like Sza, to the Austrian cloud rap phenomenon Yung Hurn. It’s the quickest evolving, and therefore, most interesting genre of our zeitgeist at the moment, in my ears.
EM: Do you have a favorite album for 2017?
PN: I think Tora’s 'Take A Rest' is my absolute favorite so far. It’s sublime. Almost every song on this album is a “why-didn’t-I-produce-that”-track. It’s produced with a lot of love for the details. Amazing sounds and great songwriting with a main singer that has a huge range and different timbres, but also the courage to step back and give his fellow band member an opportunity to sing (who is amazing too). Or put some great features on the album. And they are an unbelievably likable bunch of guys on stage.
EM: What can you tell us about your new song "Wired?"
PN: I was on a rave in France this summer—had an amazing time but never felt a 100% about the music. So in the afterglow of that festival I came home and started working on what I’ve been missing somehow the whole weekend. I tried to bring warmth and soul back into techno. Lulu James vocals on the other hand are from a far older session we did when we first met in London years ago. The first night we wrote “Finding You,” the second night we worked on a song that was never released. I always felt strong about Lulu’s part but wasn’t convinced with the instrumental idea I had at the time. I’m glad those lyrics finally found their designated home.
EM: Can you tell us anything about your forthcoming album?
PN: It’s going to be an eclectic collage of songs. After “All I Need” I went straight back into the studio. By then I just moved to Zürich and got into the amazing DIY techno scene here. That definitely left some traces on the album. But there are also more warm and organic songs. I still look at music as a journey. Even in 2017, the album as a way to release music lost some of its importance. I still love the format and put the songs in relation to each other. On “Wired,” every song is a chapter of the journey I made over the last two years.
EM: How is this album different from the last one?
PN: I think it is more extreme. The techno songs are darker, faster and harder. The indie pop songs are more honest little pop songs, while the organic soul track, which is meant to take you from A, to B, to E, really does take the time it needs to evolve.
EM: Do you see your sound evolving from here?
PN: I can’t wait to take it to the next step. I’m always carrying a bag with fresh ideas and visions with me. The day “Wired” is out, I’ll be back in the studio trying to get a feeling for the different possibilities how to continue. You will definitely find me more often back on the piano, but not only... everything at its time.
EM: What does the future hold for Pablo Nouvelle?
PN: I hope to be able to play as many live shows with the Wired Tour as possible. Solo, as well as with my band. We just did a little pre-album tour where we played a lot of the new tunes. Experimenting with different ideas and getting ready for the real album tour which will follow in spring.