Updated: Mar 4
“I love great music. It has no color, it has no boundaries.” – Michael Jackson
If we come to think of it, musicians do not belong to a country, they do not belong to a genre, they do not belong to a race. Musicians belong to every heart and mind that feels their music. The world has produced many such artists over and over again whose music has traveled across the globe, becoming a part of different cultures and generations.
Half Step Rock this month covers one such refreshing voice from France, crossing borders with some unique style of Neo-Soul Jazz, Funk and Hip-Hop – HYLEEN.
This upcoming singer, guitarist, music composer from Paris has taken her music to different corners of France, Japan, UK and most recently India, with her fellow musicians on her current project, Nicolas Viccaro (drums), Fred Dupont (keys) and others. “I met Nicolas in 2014 in the south of France during the Nice Jazz Festival, where I was playing. Since then we’ve played during different jam sessions organized around the festival in many clubs and that’s how the alchemy started. My current project started two years ago when I came back to Paris after more great feelings with other musicians in the clubs, along with Nicolas. The interesting point of this collaboration is our complementary and diversified musical influences,” shared HYLEEN.
Having worked on her debut album “U&I” released in year 2014 with likes of Omar and Frank McComb, HYLEEN talked about her ongoing project, upcoming album and her live performance drive across countries - “the mix of our universes inspires me to compose every day and makes the project sound like us. Playing this music live became quickly a vital necessity, so we decided to hit the stages and clubs as much as possible to experiment this new material. After many months, we felt we were ready to record the album in studio with this particular sound we found after all those live gigs.”
Independent music industry in different countries has a different flavor and structure and now more than ever, artists from different parts of the world are trying to learn, explore and experiment with music formats, channels and platforms to bridge the cultures of the world and offer universal music to the interested audience.
In her exclusive interview with Half Step Rock, HYLEEN talked about the similarities in medium of music used in France and other countries - “I think it’s quiet the same here in France as everywhere else. Young people (like us) are curious and the easiest way to discover new stuff is on all the social networks. So we use social media a lot to build a kind of personal connect, more the traditional way of communication (magazines, radios, music stores etc.) Also, all the clubs and live performances bring us a great exposure to promote our projects, especially in Paris as people love going to clubs here which brings us great opportunities. With this it becomes imperative for us to be social media savvy because it is a real part of our job too. We really have to be careful with everything we communicate on social media through our videos, photos etc., it’s not easy but certainly interesting and motivating.”
HYLEEN’s take on her India Tour this year and more – “India has been an incredible experience. We didn’t expect this amazing reaction from the audience to our shows. For me, it was the first time. I knew that you guys were aware with many many kind of music, but feeling the way we did about what you gave us on stage, is truly something indefinable and so inspiring. We just loved it! We aim at continuously bringing our music to you.”
With a brand new album coming up next year and many more live gigs lined up in India, HYLEEN is surely an Artist to Look Out For.
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