Name: Jean-Yves Prieur aka Kid Loco
Occupation: Producer, songwriter
Current Release: Kid Loco is part of international collaborative electro-pop project Gates of Light. The band is lead by Louise Quinn and also features Bal Cooke, Scott Fraser (London), and film/art director Tim Saccenti. A vinyl edition of their self-titled debut album is out now via Shimmy Disc.
[Read our Louise Quinn interview]
If you enjoyed this interview with Lid Loco and would like to find out more about him and his music, visit him on Instagram, and Facebook.
Where does the impulse to create something come from for you? What role do often-quoted sources of inspiration like dreams, other forms of art, personal relationships, politics etc play?
As a composer, I can start a track with some guitar or keys chords, an instrument sound. As a writer, I can start some lyrics because of sentences from books, movies things heard in the streets, even my own mind.
I’m not a dreamer anymore, so for sure politics will help a bit.
For you to get started, do there need to be concrete ideas – or what some have called a 'visualisation' of the finished work? What does the balance between planning and chance look like for you?
I’m not an artist but a craftsman. So the concrete idea is to finish something I’ll start working on.
I wake up every morning and have to do my job. Is this what you refer to as «visualisation»?
Is there a preparation phase for your process? Do you require your tools to be laid out in a particular way, for example, do you need to do 'research' or create 'early versions'?
Guess I can start from scratch. I started out playing acoustic guitar in my bed room listening to the Clash's first album, got an electric one and then a proper band. Went from very cheap studios to really expensive ones. Tapes to computer. Real instruments to plugins.
Anything is OK with me.
Do you have certain rituals to get you into the right mindset for creating? What role do certain foods or stimulants like coffee, lighting, scents, exercise or reading poetry play?
I would say the right mood. So smoking weed is kind of perfect.
What do you start with? How difficult is that first line of text, the first note?
Nothing is difficult, everything is possible.
When do the lyrics enter the picture? Where do they come from? Do lyrics need to grow together with the music or can they emerge from a place of their own?
I’ve done both. To write lyrics and just lyrics as words or as sounds part of a music piece. It depends.
What makes lyrics good in your opinion? What are your own ambitions and challenges in this regard?
«I don’t know what I want / But I know how to get it» - the Sex Pistols.
Isn’t it ace ?
Once you've started, how does the work gradually emerge?
I get submerged.
Often, while writing, new ideas and alternative roads will open themselves up, pulling and pushing the creator in a different direction. Does this happen to you, too, and how do you deal with it? What do you do with these ideas?
If I want to express something specific, I keep control. If the lyrics are just words coming from my mind, I let them get their way.
There are many descriptions of the creative state. How would you describe it for you personally? Is there an element of spirituality to what you do?
I’m a romantic anarchist blended with some communist spiritual guy.
Especially in the digital age, the writing and production process tends towards the infinite. What marks the end of the process? How do you finish a work?
Even in the stone, silver and gold ages, it was understood that after you fought you had to rest, wasn't it ?
Once a piece is finished, how important is it for you to let it lie and evaluate it later on? How much improvement and refinement do you personally allow until you're satisfied with a piece? What does this process look like in practise?
I get my three daughters and a few friends to tell me that it’s OK.
What's your take on the role and importance of production, including mixing and mastering for you personally? How involved do you get in this?
I’m a producer and mixer, so I want complete control of these parts.
Mastering is really something else.
To produce is to record the music of somebody, to «master» is to make the recording listenable.
After finishing a piece or album and releasing something into the world, there can be a sense of emptiness. Can you relate to this – and how do you return to the state of creativity after experiencing it?
It depends on how much money I (or we) need to feed the family.
I’m a working man, I don’t need or can handle any emptiness.
Creativity can reach many different corners of our lives. Do you personally feel as though writing a piece of music is inherently different from something like making a great cup of coffee? What do you express through music that you couldn't or wouldn't in more 'mundane' tasks?
Come here, to Belleville. I’ll cook you some Aligot.