Woodkid is Yoann Lemoine, previously known for his career as a video director (Yelle, Moby, Katy Perry, Lana Del Rey). After studying in London, and during a shoot in the USA, Woodkid received, straight from the hands of great American guitarist Richie Havens, a banjo that immediately replaced his piano, at least for a while.
After relocating to Paris, Woodkid released the Iron EP (produced by Woodkid, Julien Delfaud and Benjamin Lebeau also from The Shoes) in 2011. The lead track, Iron was arranged by Gustave Rudman. The self directed promo video features model Agyness Deyn. The track was also remixed by Mystery Jets and Gucci Vamp.
Thanks to Woodkid
Pierre Olivier S & Matias C
I will mainly work on the album with my friends from THE SHOES. I have a few video projects and some collaboration plans with other artists, but nothing is confirmed yet.
How do you proceed to create a song? Writing or composition first?
I compose first, I look for chord progressions and harmonies that bring out some emotions in me. I often record my tracks in some kind of broken english and then the lyrics come naturally afterwards.
We have noticed that most of your songs are often played on the piano and the violin/cello. What do these instruments represent for you?
Piano and cello are all-purpose instruments, but in terms of emotions and frequencies, they are very compatible with my voice. I love the warmth of this combination. Most of my songs are defensible within this format. Before being a very produced title, Iron is above all a fairly simple and accessible song.
We do not forget that you are also versatile and a music video director as well, besides you have directed Katy Perry, Taylor Swift or Mystery Jets. You even made your own video. What inspires you before making the video of another artist?
Is the approach the same when you make it for yourself? I’m often given a brief that I have to start from, it’s much easier than in my musical approach where I’m actually before a blank page when starting a song. I usually let the title turn loop in my ears, on headphones, and I browse images and visual references websites, I let myself go until I find an alliance picture – sound that speaks to me. From there only I begin to write.
With which artists that have inspired you would you like to collaborate?
Even if they are dead! There are many artists that I admire. In terms of songwriting, Rufus Wainwright remains a reference for me. I’m also a big fan of Kanye West, Andrew Bird, Jon Brion, Philip Glass, Angelo Badalamenti…
What can we wish you for this year?
Make a beautiful album, and stay true to my desires, and have time to do things well.
And finally can you name 5 songs that have inspired you to make music?
Pruit Igoe / Phillip Glass
The Riverman / Nick Drake
Joga / Bjork
The only living boy in New York / Simon and Garfunkel
Colorblind / Counting Crows