Interview with French House legend Lifelike

There’s no need to say anything more about Lifelike. What else could be told about the living French House legend that hasn’t already been written in the musical history books between “A” like Alan Braxe and “D” like Daft Punk?

We had a chat with the studio wizard and French House representative of the first hour, who is known all over the world with his unique productions and remixes.

On your label Computer Science a new release with a remix by you is out now. Before we talk about the remix, what is the idea and direction of the label?

The label started originally in 2010, mostly because i wanted to have the freedom to release myself my own singles/albums and have a structure for that.

As for the sound direction it was obviously something quite clubby, with a strong french house and nu-disco musical direction but then I started to release other artists, and even some pop music as well like Audio District, a 3 guys band from Copenhagen, or The Usual Suspect from Australia.

Your remix is influenced by early French productions like Thomas Bangalter. What makes this sound special for you?

The french house sound is where i come from musically, early 2000’s i released an EP (my first EP as Lifelike) called « The Soul Of My Love » , which is a complete french house 3 tracks EP, so this sound is definately the base of everything for me.

And i have been a fan of Thomas Bangalter, always from his Roulé record label or Guy Manuel de Homem Christo for Crydamoure, I actually met them back in the days at Dafttraxx where Pedro Winter (label boss from Ed Banger) has his headquarters now. Thomas used to playlist/DJ a track of mine called « Black Chess » a kind of one sample wonder single i released back in the days where filter and samples were ruling dancefloors.

Not only the industry is still facing an unprecedented situation with coronavirus… how is it affecting you, and what do you think some of the long term implications of this will be?

I havent been affected by the coronavirus, as my incomes arent all connected to the music industry, I’m a business man today and we (in the music industry here in France) saw a long time ago the fall of the records sales as a warning that times are changing and that the music buisiness wont be anymore the golden gate it used to be.

Regarding the disease, I have been personally affected by it, but I had quite light symptoms. I think our governement are taking this far too seriously and I’m affraid this will lead to a massive economical disaster in Europe.

Today the US seem to be much more in advance on that plan, Europe has become the black sheep of the occidental world unfortunately… The freedom restrictions in France and the Police state that our governement has started since doesnt suit me at all, and im definately seriously thinking about moving out of the EU. I know other music producers who are on the same level.

Some producers have said that this is giving them plenty of time to get creative in the studio… has that been the case for you?

I havent done music during this time, I used the time to work on my other buisinesses. I dont think its worth to release music in a world where people are stuck at home like hamsters. My music is made to be played in clubs and festivals, it needs the support from DJ’s, I didnt feel like it was the right time to release anything at that time.

Im often laughing when I saw the DJ’s mixing live from Facebook as it looked like being totally desperate of getting some attention during those hard times. Im fine with my ego, I dont need that kind of attention to feel that people like my music. I know they do.

Outside of music, what inspires or directs your creativity?

I like to program computers and im very interested in Apple computer product, so im often digging into some strange softwares.

Films are as well my best source of inspiration some late 70’s movie are always welcome.

What music you’re currently working on as well and what you have coming up soon?

Im reworking my album, this should be ready for October this year, with a single release as well. On my label we are now going to release one single per month, in September im super excited to release a track from Mike 303 from Superfunk, originally released on Versatile records in the late 90’s, its def a dancefloor classic.
We do have a special project with Kris Menace that will be out soon called LKM, some kind of KLF inspired project with a strong early 90’s drive and sound will be released soon we are actually working on a music video for it.

Imagine you had to leave the earth in a spaceship. Which instrument would you definitely take with you?

My laptop ! synthesizers can be all digital, the processors can emulate any instrument ever made, we dont need instruments anymore.

You have worked with an incredible number of international stars and produced remixes for just as many – which cooperation is still a very special one for you and why?

My collaboration with David and Alain Maklovitch (Chromeo and A-trak) remains one of my favorite one, all my collab with Kris Menace of course, « sunset » that I co-wrote with Alan Braxe and Yota, but as well working with Gildas Loaec from Kitsuné was very interesting and lead to great releases.

Mostly because those people are great producers/musicans and great humans being.