Groove, Smooth, Clarens…
Rennes, an artistic bubble that sparkles with freshness. Meet Clarens, or the man from Juvenile, an artist of diverse Afro-Cuban inspirations, from independent rock, indie rock to electronic music. A voice that lulls you and where the word infinite makes sense ...
Clarens, nobody has asked why this stage name yet, I haven’t ever come across a name spelt that way, or maybe it’s like Clarence, the name of the River in the department of Pas-de-Calais, not very glamorous … Anyway, so can you give us a little etymology course on where Clarens comes from?
I chose Clarens because I liked the name “Clarence”, which sounds really African-American. I changed the ending to make it recognisable and it seems to work.
I gather you spent 3 years at Rennes university. What did you do there exactly?
I kind of hung around a bit at uni in fact and didn’t really get much out of it in the end. It wasn’t my thing. I did a year of LEA, one year of Visual Arts and one year of English in which I would have continued my studies in if Juveniles had not have called me up to play bass and synths for them!
When was the moment that you gave your body and soul to music?
I launched myself in there in 2012 and went on tour with Juveniles for the release of their first album. It was really new to me because I was playing music in total amateur mode, and I had to get quick at it. We did the biggest festivals in France and a lot of dates in towns home and abroad. All this helped me to mature the tracks that I now intend to release with Clarens.
You are pretty well surrounded by Thomas and Guillaume, what do they do and will they become essential in Clarens?
Thomas and Guillaume are already indispensable, I’ve just finished two months of rehearsals with them to arrange the new set. They are there to help me focus on the public and singing, they play the songs for me which allows me to be alone in front and interact with the people the way I want, without being stuck behind a keyboard. They have helped me to do it live and accentuate the electronic side by giving me a hand to find cool transitions between songs. In addition, they are very good friends who are really trustworthy, ready to swallow a monster job without fuss. They also have an excellent sense of humour, which is totally required to work with me!
With this cold winter ahead what will you be warming our houses with in terms of projects whether it is with Juveniles, Partyfine or solo with Clarens?
We will need to wait a bit for something new with Juveniles. I’ll come back soon with a song that will succeed ‘Trust’ that was released last May. This years main event is that Clarens will play at Transmusicales Thursday 9:30 p.m. Hall 8.
We are really uI know you like photography quite a lot and despite the days that are now beginning to be busy, do you manage to still dedicate a little time to it?
To my dismay I don’t have a lot of time to devote to photography these days, especially as I take more when I go on tour. But I do manage to publish one or two films from time to time on ousseynoucisse.tumblr.com!
In an interview given to Kostar, you said you didn’t care about fashion, or thereabouts, yet you must have a second hand shop where you go and hunt for all of your gear? I want the address;)
I do not care about fashion in the sense that I don’t buy fashion or lifestyle magazines, I’m good in my world and at this level but I would not be able to dress without the advice of my girlfriend … I buy my clothes everywhere, but there’s a very cool second hand shop in Rennes called Antoine and Colette, not far from Blindspot.
Finally, if I give you the word “music” can you give me a quote ..
“Whatever may happen tonight, the music will be triumphant! “
– Thanks to Ouss – P.L