Label buddies and brothers in arms Jonas Rathsman and Isaac Tichauer are on the rise. They are conquering the west in the name of American label French Express with their blend of contemporary melancholic deep house and classic soul and funk elements.
I had a chat with both of them just before their back-to-back set in Gothenburg.
How do you get along on French Express?
Isaac Tichauer: The way to start with the label is to get along with Leon and having a mindset that works with him. That means that you have a mindset that works with everyone else. I think that is why everyone gets along so well. We build this relationship over time, though Skype, email and through shared taste and goals in music. When we meet each other all those barriers are already broken down, which makes it really fun to tour.
What about new releases?
IT: I have some new releases coming out. I am eager about this one called ”Changes”, out on 15th of April. It is going to be available on digital and vinyl for the first time for the label.
Jonas Rathsman: Massive track! First time I heard it I had huge goose bumps and you can tell instantly it is Isaac.
Do you two have any sessions going on?
JR: Yesterday we had a session in my studio. We have had this idea for a long time to get together and produce some music. We have a similar taste and often play similar sets and thought it would be nice to share ideas in producing.
IT: I am quite against collaborations. I did one with DJ Nibc and that was quite easy to do and it is nice to be able to work in the studio with complementing ideas. I think the session with Jonas went well because we were pushing our strengths and feeling comfortable with it. Now we just have to get this track finished and see what happens with it. But it has definitely given me a new way of looking at collaborations.
Are there any more collaborations on French Express going on right now?
JR: We started thinking about that yesterday… what about a French Express-track or if we just remixed each other’s tracks? But I think the biggest issue is time. Everyone is travelling around playing shows, and don’t have time to meet up.
What is your relation to the commercial music industry?
JR: When I am moving up I try to dig deeper into the music I am making. Of course I am also looking with one eye on the pop business, because I want to make money doing this, to provide for my family. But I am doing this because I love it and I am doing this from my heart.
Are you looking forward to more sets in Sweden?
JR: Yes! Absolutely! I think I am associated too much with French Express, though. I do not think that Sweden is ready for that kind of sound yet. I would love to play more in Sweden, though.
What about your ideal future?
IT: I want to reach more people and grow organically. It is a career for me now, as well as a passion. I love underground sounds, and I hope I can bring some of those influences to a wider audience. All I can hope for is people to love what I love.
JR: I have been working as a graphic designer for almost fifteen years. I love it, but right now I have put it all on the shelf, to just continue struggling with music. The five-year goal is to be in a situation where I can provide for my family while having fun. I think there is a future for French Express where we can travel the world together and do what we love.