Photo: André Rainville

Laroie Catches Up With Her Collaborators Ahead of New Remix Collection

The Montreal artist breaths a second life into her latest EP, interviews producers about their remix process. 

by Gab Godon

When I decided I wanted to create a bundle of remixes from my Speed of Life EP, I had a pretty good idea already of who I wanted to approach for the project. The various collaborators who worked on the remixes are artists whose work I greatly admire and whose careers I have been following for a while now. All invested in the electronic dance scene, they each have a particular edge, something of their own. For example, Honeydrip has more of a left field sound, Gene Tellem and Gab Rei are very deep house, Bootyspoon has that modern touch, and THe LYONZ embrace an electro-soul vibe. 

The collaborators each chose the song from the EP they wanted to work on, without knowing who the other artists were on the project, and weren’t given any musical or artistic direction. It’s important for me to leave a lot of creative freedom in my artistic collaborations. What’s really interesting is that in the end, we really feel a deep and common need to reconnect with the dance floor – a nostalgia shared by all to dance until sunrise.

Listen along to my SOL REMIX SELECTION EP while you dive into my conversations with these amazing creatives I had the pleasure of collaborating with.

HONEYDRIP

Why did you choose to remix “Elevate”? 

I loved the synths and the siren sound. I chose to give my remix a deep purple colour, and all of my music is slightly metallic colour-wise.

Does the remix art help you stay connected to your fellow artists and your musical scene?

Yes, this was the first remix I have ever officially done and it allowed me to discover Laroie as a person which was great! I feel honoured when an artist trusts me to remix their music, it’s an intimate connection to me. 

How has everyone and the scene evolved in the last two years? Are there newcomers who emerged over the course of this two-year pandemic?

The scene has changed a lot. The new generation of artists in Montreal are presenting themselves through collectives rather than individuals. They have a multi-faceted approach by blending music, fashion, and DIY events. I also feel like the artists in Montreal who are now in their late 20s and moving onto new chapters of their lives are playing out less. 

Who are some artists you follow in the Montreal scene that we should know?

SIM, Ouri, and Gayance.

GENE TELLEM & GABRIEL RAE

Why did you choose to remix “Moonlight”?
The original track has some Balearic and playful elements that we thought would be interesting to enhance. Without having any clear idea of the direction that we wanted to take with the remix, we started by listening closely to the stems and let them guide the process. That led us to mess around with the song’s signature guitar loop, and we then slowly built up from there with some 90s Chicago flavoured drums and synth patches.

Does the remix art help you stay connected to your fellow artists and your musical scene?

It is indeed a real pleasure to have the opportunity to work with other artists, since producing music can often be a solitary job. Doing a remix or a new collaborative composition not only allows us to stay connected with our fellow artists but to experiment, learn and meet great people.

How has everyone and the scene evolved in the last two years? Are there newcomers who emerged over the course of this two-year pandemic?

We usually benefit from a healthy balance between working in the studio and playing out in clubs and parties. Since the past two years, this lack of back and forth has impacted a lot of music producers in many different ways. We strongly feel that the absence of gatherings made it clear that dancing and going out is not frivolous, but a necessary part of everyday life. As for newcomers, we feel like Laroie is a perfect example of an artist who made it through gracefully after two years of pandemic. She was able to keep a real sense of excitement around her music without the benefits of live performances. Now that venues are *hopefully* slowly opening back up, we hope to experience live music again soon.

Who are some artists you follow in the Montreal scene that we should know?

Priori, Dawn to Dawn, and Pascale Project.

THe LYONZ

Why did you choose to remix “Can’t Let Go”?

Terell McLeod Richardson: We’re fans of the whole EP so it wasn’t an easy choice but “Can’t Let Go” was definitely one of the tracks that I would catch myself singing often. Now we can sing it some more. 

Does the remix art help you stay connected to your fellow artists and your musical scene?

TMR: I think it’s amazing! Having people that enjoy your sound put their take on it. Maybe they’ll create your new favourite track with the pulse from your own creation, it’s always exciting to see what other artists see or hear.

Anthony SalvoDefinitely. 2022 is the year of the remix for me! I’ve been hitting up artists I know to try to remix their stuff. It opens the door to future collaboration and is just a musical hat-tip to the original creator. We also have our own remix project coming out soon featuring some really great artists remixing songs from our last album.

How has everyone and the scene evolved in the last two years? Are there newcomers who emerged over the course of this two-year pandemic?

TMR: The Montreal scene is always growing further and further outside of the city. I think the lockdown got everyone thinking outside the box more than ever. You can feel it in the city. 

S: It seems people really got to work during the pandemic. Tons of music that was being made during those cold months of lockdown got released over the summer and it was a perfect display of how hungry Montreal artists currently are. It’s not easy to stay creative during a time like that. Luckily we had the natural competitive spirit of the scene to motivate us.

Who are some artists you follow in the Montreal scene that we should know?

TMR: I keep my eyes on as much of the city as I can. Laroie, Skiifall, Gayance, Kaytra, Kallitechnis, Gene Tellem, TDJ, Planet Giza, Blue Hawaii just to name a few, but the list is getting pretty long these days, which is exciting. 

Listen to Laroie’s SOL REMIX SELECTION mix.

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