Music has always played a huge part in Julien Bracht’s life. From famously remixing Grimes’ My Name Is Dark, to touring Europe with his duo Lea Porcelain and finally releasing his debut solo electronic music album: Now Forever One. A true all-around act, Bracht combines his unique beats and impressive video aesthetics with strong narratives, resulting in a combination defined by him as 'one of the strongest emotional stimulators'.
From the drums to techno DJing and finally to producing authorial electronic tunes. How was the process that led up to you entering the music industry in the first place?
I was musical all my life. My mum always watched me hitting things to songs and moving to them when I was really small, so she thought one day, it would be good to give him some drum lessons and buy him a drum set for his 6th birthday. That was the start I guess. When I was 16, I started to make my first productions with Ableton Live and it went pretty quickly when I moved to Frankfurt and released my first techno records on labels like Playhouse, Cocoon, etc.
After playing some bigger stages with my electronic live act, I started the band Lea Porcelain and released two studio albums with that project. We toured for 4 years in Europe and played some major festivals. I guess that was the path into the ‘real’ music industry. When I had the band project, I was always producing some electronic stuff with my synths and felt more and more the desire to go solo again with an electronic live act and my drums. That's where I am now, releasing my debut electronica album and going on tour again soon. I’m really happy about that path I’m going on now.
Although many would call 2020 a slow year due to the ongoing pandemic and isolation scenario, you’ve managed to get out of it a powered up creative boost. How do you see the impact of that environment in your creative process?
It somehow calmed me down in a way that we could finish the band album and I could finish my solo album with a clear vision of where I wanna go. For me, it was a time of conciseness and understanding of where we are with that planet right now. I think it’s a really important time for humanity to think about some major changes. And I hope this time we all understand what is to happen.
Would you say you have any particular source of inspiration behind your work and overall process?
I think the biggest source of inspiration is my studio and other songs. I always listen to music and get inspired by it and want to do my version of a specific feeling or mood. On the other hand, all my instruments inspire me when I start to play around with them. They pull me in certain directions and I follow them.
Your music videos seem to bring out a very unique aesthetic and, at the same time, portray a strong narrative – almost as in a short film. How do you see the relevance of video making in your projects?
I think visuals and videos are really important to a listener's mind. You're gonna associate much more with a song when you have a strong visual and music video to it. Both things combined are in my opinion one of the strongest emotional stimulators.
What is the thing you missed most about performing to a live audience in the past year?
Having a connection to the people and direct feedback to your performance. I also think it’s a very strong moment when lots of people listen to the same music and have different memories of each song.
Your latest single is called 1991. Why was that number chosen as the title?
That's the year I was born!
Is there any track in your new album Now Forever One that you feel particularly connected to?
I think the opener Nocturne is a very special track to me because it’s so real and so lively. It’s like birds and animals are in there telling us that we should take care of this beautiful planet right now.
Your early interest in music seems to have played a rather relevant role in the creation of your artistic persona, such as incorporating the drums – which you started playing as a teen – to live electronic sets. How do you see your upbringing impacting your creative process?
Yes, I think the rhythmical impact is very strong. Either playing the drums or playing synth lines. I always think rhythmically. That is also why I love to incorporate live drums in my performance. Having only machines and digital gear gives it another musical level.
What was the main idea behind your newest album?
I wanted to create a timeless, emotional electronic album that works on festival stages and the headphones lying in bed. Having all these different approaches to electronic music in there. From deep emotions to heavy rave bass drums with roaring synths.
What would you say is the ideal setting for someone to fully enjoy Now Forever One?
Either in the car, headphones with a wide view on the front of view or seeing me play on a big festival stage.
What are you looking forward to the most in this next chapter of your career?
To play with the limits of electronic music and open them up. I think this is the time for electronic music that goes into all directions of energy and emotions. And, of course, I’m looking forward to playing in front of a crowd and seeing them reacting to my new music.