What happens when you take a kid, make him travel around the world, introduce him to classical music, to Michael Jackson,teach him the piano, and tell him bedtime stories about ghosts and spirits? You get Alex Aikiu.
Born in Paris but brought up in Africa, The Aikiu was introduced from an early age to Western pop culture. However, The Aikiu never disowned his origins and continues to draw heavily from his dusky childhood memories of Africa.
Hungry to learn, eager to see the world, and take his thirst for music further, he teamed up with his renowned friends Julien VICHNIEVSKY, Barnabe NUYTTEN, Fiodor DREAM DOG and give birth to a band, The Aikiu.
Thanks to the Band
Julien Vichnievsky: We are « The Aikiu », coming from Paris.
And this new EP « FOOLS », excerpt from our album « Ghost Youth » coming next spring, means a lot to us.
Barnabé Nyutten: I guess that we are fools in a fooling world.
Alex Aikiu: We are friends and we make music… besides we’ve just released an EP « FOOLS »… which is not bad at all.
Where are you answering our questions from?
BN: From my laptop of course… But to be more precise, I am writing to you from the dormitory of an old boarding school.
JV: From polar and cold Paris…
AA: From my living room unfortunately!!! I’d rather be in the sun.
Do you think a label is still relevant in 2013? What do you expect from a label today?
BN: A label should always be relevant as long as it is like a big loving and caring family that supports and understands what you are trying to set up.
And willing to lose money for it as well…
JV: Yes, I find it still important to rely on a label as, even though anyone can make music nowadays, it is still essential to rely on a good team that will promote your music thanks to image and marketing to name but a few…
AA: I think it is difficult to release music only through the web as if by magic and especially if you want to make it work on the long term, you need a team to work things out then yes a label is very important… then you need to find the right people, to share the same interests… that is another story…
How is the scene in Paris at the moment? Any good band we should listen to?
AA: I am not that aware of the latest musical news but I do like « La Femme »… They seem very genuine with true convictions. I have listened to one of their interviews recently, they remind me of Elli and Jacno, the stinky toyz, Gainsbourg when they were young, with a very 80’s parisian « titi » (lad) charm when they speak.
BN: Paris is hot at all seasons ! So there are many things you should listen to… « La Princesse Au Petit Pois » of Mustang is a nice song to start with. Hypnotic !
JV: Personally, I have to admit I don’t listen to that many french bands.
However I shall highlight some close friends’ projects : Fiodor Dream Dog, Madame Monsieur and Secret Hands
How has internet and the new media changed your way of working as an artist? How do you use it on a day to day basis? What tools are you using the most online?
JV: « Youtube » is to me the most important tool. It’s like an unlimited collection of videos, of musics, of all types of lives at your fingertips.
Hoping though that one day all this works in the respect of the rights related to all those works;)
AA: I am not an internet fan at all!!!! I feel like a Personal Assitant, it’s quite horrible
But I have to say it’s very handy… and even rather extraordinary… but wait until 3D printing revolution!!!!! then it will be anarchy.
I use youporn a lot.
BN: I hate being so dependent… I wish that i’d spend more time working on my music rather than on the net but somehow they are complimentary. It’s another legal drug I guess !
Do you think that giving away music for free (as free mp3 or streaming) could help you sell more physical or even digital releases?
BN: Whether you like it or not, music is given for free everyday and it always has been this way. I used to record tapes of tracks I liked on the radio and it never kept me away from buying albums… Because I also liked the object and its artwork.
JV: Yes and no, it depends on how everyone respects music.
However, it’s better to download a free track than to do it illegaly, so on this respect I think it’s a good idea.
I rather think that when selling a CD, it’d be better to give away even more exclusive insight into the artist’s world involved, as to justify this purchase (cheaper concerts, T-shirt, free private concert?)
AA: Once again giving away free stuff does help and is generous (Being generous is good) but at the same time doesn’t benefit small structures amongst others, that contribute to the elaboration of an album/EP, the video makers, graphic designers, they have no choice but to work almost for free… is that normal? But people don’t care less… Sad
Now the new EP is out. Is there an album on the way?
There is ! « Ghost Youth » will be out this June so that you can all dance to it this summer…
JV: The album » GHOST YOUTH » is coming this spring.
AA: The album is almost done, it will be out in June and we are almost happy with it… well it’ll be rather good. There will be some little surprises…
5 recommended music sites (services, shop, blogs…)?
NB: Napster, eMule, Youtube, Virgin and Coca-Cola !
We couldn t end this interview without talking about your last vidéo. Who has Got the idea to mix scènes From band alterned With porno movies? What are first feedback From this ?
NB:That’s exactly the point. Who the f**k has got this brilliant idea ? It’s awesome !
AA: The famous Panteros 666