Interview with Lifelike: “What matters to me is artistic integrity”
Lifelike is a French producer, pioneer of the nu-disco sound. Having remixed big names like Daft Punk and Giorgio Moroder, Lifelike is also known for his collaboration with Kris Menace “Discopolis”. To support the release of his new album “Electronic Dreams”, he has launched a KickStarter campaign, inviting fans to support him in exchange of rewards. We have talked with him about this project, his collaborative approach and his music career.
To begin, can you remind us when the project Lifelike started?
I started to release records under that name in 2001, with a french house record label called 20000ST. Here are a few of the releases they had, they were very trendy and very successful at the time, check those releases
they are both amazing.
Alan Braxe & Kris Menace are very close friends, we have the same ironic humour about life and the music industry, we dont take ourselves too seriously. I remember we recorded “Discopolis” after drinking too many vodkas, a cold night of winter.
You are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the release of your album “Electronic Dreams”. Why did you decide to take this approach?
To avoid working with major record companies, who were before the only way to release an album with a big promo, video budget. With crowdfunding, I can finance myself the project with the same budget than a major and therefore make sure I keep the control over my music, and everything around it.
What do you think about the music industry’s evolution since the 90’s?
We had reached a peak in the late 90’s until approximately 2005, where there it was a very profitable economy, you press records (vinyls), get a distribution deal, and people on the other side are buying them. If the record was successful, you would go thru the charts, sell records, earn money, make your label happy, repress more and go on the next single. Today this economy is ruined by the digital economy.
Only big pop artists are still selling a bit of records, the downside is that it destroyed the indie label economy. Now after years of downwards, it seems to go better, vinyls pressing has restarted, and the streaming will allow the independaent labels to earn money again. Still this needs adjustments, they don’t pay enough per play, this needs to change in the next year; it probably will, as the digital market (mp3) is now totally crashing down.
The record companies will put pressure on the streaming services to higher the rates per play, I’m convinced of that.
The album features collaborations with Chromeo, Electric Youth, Oliver… How did you select these artists?
Again, they are friends of mine, we’re doing the same kind of sound, with different ways to express ourselves. A-Trak and Chromeo are actually brothers, family brothers and very nice people to work with. I only work with nice people and whose work I respect, and we support each other, for me it’s important to have this spirit.
I don’t measure the success of a project at the size of the profits it generates, like too many other big names in this industry. You can sell 10 millions of records, if I think that it’s not good music, it won’t impress me at all. What matters to me is artistic integrity, high quality of the music you deliver and the image and concept behind it.
The “Maximum level” of pledge on the campaign includes a DJ set from you anywhere in the world. What would be your “dream” set for this (location, type of venue, atmosphere…)?
I always loved to play outdoor, somewhere like Singapore, I did once mix there for New Years Eve, it’s really my favorite place to DJ in the world. Otherwise anywhere else, as long as its tropical weather, with some sea and a cool club, or private party.