Taking the leap from Paris to Brighton 3 years ago, Arnaud Bernard or BLOWSOM, has been growing its French musical roots to become a reference of the electro pop genre in England.
Probably not a coincidence if he decided to leave his hometown, Paris, to move to Brighton since his main influences are the "French", who left their country to grow within the music scene as they are Phoenix, Cassius and Justice who are recorded on the head of the 20-year-old musician. In the same way, it is inspired by influences such as Metronomy or Foals and hopes to find in England the same inspiration.
Speaking a bit more about Bernard's music, he has realized his creative potential, and he only needs his voice, guitar, keyboard and sampler to disconcert the audience and captivate them. His immersed youth led him to explore music in all its aspects, from progressive rock bands to disco, funk and R & B.
How did you started?
The BLOWSOM project is not very old, I created it 3 years ago. I started playing the guitar at 7 and took 3 or 4 lessons, until my teacher stopped showing up. I learnt few months after that he actually went to jail… (true story).
I kept playing by myself until the age of 13/14 when I took part in my ﬁrst rock band, with which I played my ﬁrst gigs in Paris. That's how I began writing songs and also started playing other instruments like drums or keyboard, then joined an experimental pop band later at 17.
Befor that I got my Baccalaureate and left France to study music in Brighton, UK.
That's where I truly discovered electronic and computer music. I ﬁgured out that I was much more productive and efﬁcient alone and decided to launch a solo projet. This is how BLOWSOM was born.
Which are your music inﬂuences?
Most of the time, when I discover new music, I usually focus on 2 or 3 artists that I will listen a lot for a bit of time.
The ﬁrst music that I listened was my father's collection. Bands like "The Doobie Brothers", "Prefab Sprout", "The Rolling Stones", and of course "The Beatles". My dad being an absolute crazy fan, then discovered by myself bands like "Red Hot Chili Peppers" or "Muse" that I listened for a long period.
I also fell in love with British indie music and artists like "The Kooks", "Two Door Cinema Club" or "Foals".
The French touch and electronic scene grandly inspired my music as well. "Phoenix", "Justice", "Yuksek" etc. Lately I've been a lot into the new french rap and hip hop scene that is so interesting and fresh, but the main artists that had a big impact on my music in general would be "Tame Impala", "Foals", "Phoenix" and "Metronomy".
How would you describe your music?
I would say that my music is a mixture of french electro and British pop, electronic and organic sounds. When I compose I try to create emotions, but also to keep a strong rhythm section and grove to give energy. I dedicate a lot of time trying to ﬁnd melodies, in my opinion, good melodies are actually what make a song good, that you will listen non stop.
What do you think about the French electronic dance scene?
It's great, with the explosion of french electronic music in the late 90's, France proved the world it could bring something new. Before that, France had not known any real worldwide music success. We have a lot of great producers and DJs who are now considered as some of the biggest acts in the world. What is great is that electronic music now declines in so many different genres and this allows a lot of diversity.
We love your latest EP "Last Call" What can you tell us about the production process?
Last call was created basically during the ﬁrst 4 months of 2018. I was quite preoccupied with music because I just broke up with my ﬁrst label and I knew that everything will be tougher by myself. I started writing a lot of new music and it gave me conﬁdence.
Then I decided to selfrelease this second EP, I wanted something more pop, but also more electronic than the ﬁrst one. I was also discovering new production techniques so it opened new doors.
The EP mainly deals with nostalgia, maturity and also the fear of growing up. For instance, the song "Old 21" is about the Peter Pan syndrome, which is a pathology that reaches people who refuses to become adults.
If you could only hear a single disk in your life which one would it be?
With no big hesitation I would pick up "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix", released by Phoenix in 2009. This is my favorite album of the last 2 decades, produced by Philippe Zdar also 1/2 of Cassius that I love. There are sad, dancy, progressive, experimental tracks in the album. I literally can't get enough of it.
If you could choose, in which country / festival would you like to perform and why?
Few years ago when I was following my favorite bands and saw they were all playing at Glastonbury, I think playing there became a dream and a goal. I've lived in Brighton for 3 years so I would also love to cross the Atlantic. Going on tour to meet your listeners and fans, seems so cool that I think it's always a fantastic experience, wherever you go.
Which is your favorite music label?
I don't really have a favorite music label, but I could mention Edbanger, which is the most popular french electronic indie label. The founder Pedro Winter seems to be one of the most respectable guy in the french music industry, as a manager, label owner and musician.
With which artist would you like to collaborate?
I havent done many collaborations, and usually I like working by myself and lead a track alone. Of course I would love to work with Phoenix and Zdar, also Flume for his creativity, and Kevin Parker.
But I don't even know if it will work, sometimes it's with the most surprising people that you get the best out of a collaboration.
Which are your plans for this year?
I have a lot of new music on the way. Also a new team and I want to give the project some fresh air. We are currently working on the image, the visual aspect of BLOWSOM. A lot of great news might come this year.
Apple Music or Spotify?
Spotify ! Especially for artists, we all like to check our stats and Spotify offers a lot of info on streams, where you are played, monthly listeners… I think we naturally use it to listen to music as well… But I love Apple Music too.
Vinyl or mp3?
I love both of them. My father owns a big collection of vinyls, which is great. MP3s are a bit outdated today ahaha. It's true that for a daily usage, streaming platforms are very smart and easy to use.
Live Show or Dj Set?
As a musician I prefer live shows of course. Playing instruments live is so satisfying. Working hard in the studio to ﬁnally play live is an incredible feeling. I see dj sets more like a club thing that doesn't necessarily need a full focus of the crowd. But doing dj sets is something I really love to do. A lot less stressful than a full live show.
Disco or House Music?
I love both of them but I would say House because Techno has become so popular in Paris that I feel like some people only listen to Techno to blend into the masses, without really knowing why. It has become something else than just music, like an habit to go to club with hard drugs and listen to techno until 6 am.
Do you know something about Mexico?
To be honest not a lot… I've never had the chance to go there. But I have to admit that you guys seem to enjoy music a lot, on Spotify I've seen that "Mexico city" gathers a lot of electronic indie fans. You guys listen to a lot of my favorite bands! I think you're also on my top 5 city, it would be great to have the opportunity to play in Mexico someday.
Your own deﬁnition of after?
After is what comes next, something unknown. Everyone has once wonderned what is the future made of and it's very exiting to think about how we can interact to reach our goals and make things happen.
What can you tell us about your mixtape?
It's starting slowly with some chilled frenchtouch tracks from Yuksek and L'impératrice, who are so good at doing chill electronic pop tracks. Then I've put some great remixes of Phoenix, Her, Metronomy and Tame Impala, that are longer and more progressive cuts. Hope you'll enjoy it !