If you just listened to his music, you would have probably thought you stumpled upon one of Cassius’ or Étienne de Crécy’s unreleased gems. However 21 year old producer, Brett Ewels, knows all about people mistaking him and his work for the likes of others. Better known by his French influenced name, Louis La Roche, he has broken onto the French house scene with his refreshing productions in an era being termed the ‘revival of disco.’ Louis La Roche has garnered immense internet popularity ever since his track “Love” leaked all over blogs in 2008 which was inadvertently mistaken as Thomas Bangalter’s of Daft Punk. Since then, Louis La Roche has been trying to define himself as one of the top French house producers with his own unique style and flavor. His music is perfectly defined by French house as he incorporates a groove and a funk that is often overlooked in today’s electronic music. Already with EP releases such as Me & Her, Super Soaker, and My Turn, it looks as if Louis La Roche is hard at work bringing back disco! We were fortunate enough to catch up with LLR in this Techibeats exclusive interview.
It just sounds good! A French name for French Touch house music. I always liked Stuart Price’s alias Jacques Lu Cont, so I guess I was inspired by that.
There’s absolutely no denying that your music is inspired by the French house scene, but what are some artists outside of electronic dance music that have really influenced your work?
Michael Jackson is a huge influence, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles. Good song writing. I’ve really been getting into Todd Rundgren and a lot of Krautrock recently too.
French house is all about sampling, what are some of your favorites?
I love Roman Salzgers & Lifelikes sample of Kim Carnes in ‘Radio 84′. It’s one of those loops that you can never get bored of. Also Armand Van Heldens sample of Gary Wright for ‘My My My’ is a great sample. I remember first hearing that and being blown away by the vocal! The original track is so slow too, AVH had a good vision for that track.
The closest I’ve come to contact with Daft Punk is Play Paul, Guy-mans brother or Fab G (label owner, he used to promote DP before Homework). I’m almost 100% sure they have at least heard my name. It’s weird, I guess most producers have been inspired by Daft in some way. Some more than others. When I made ‘Love’ I was only 17, an amateur, I didn’t know what I was doing. I’ve always had the love for the old French Touch scene, so in a way I tried to re-create that feeling. Being 21 now I’ve progressed so much musically. I don’t depend so much on samples anymore, but when I do sample it’s in a more creative way. Not so direct.
Most of your releases are solo works, are there any collaborations in the works for Louis La Roche and who might you be interested in working with in the future?
It’s not that I haven’t tried to collaborate. I just think producers of today are more focused on doing their own thing. I’ve worked with Patrick Alavi and Thomas Gandey (Cagedbaby). They’ve both been around for at least 10 years so I think they’re more open to working with other people. I wouldn’t want to force a collaboration though, it needs to feel natural and that level of respect needs to be there for each other. On my album I have a few guest singers and a awesome guitar solo from a childhood friend. It changes my style slightly and I like that, being able to mix my sound with someone else’s.
What software/hardware are you currently using?
My main DAW is FL Studio but I also use Ableton for recording audio. As for hardware, I swear by my Juno 60. I love the sound of it. If there’s a sound in my head that I can’t make on a VST, I’ll know I can come close to it on the Juno.
Typically your music is so upbeat with its funky bass lines and groovy melodies, what motivated you to create such a contrast in style with your alias “Ewe?”
I guess it’s to give myself freedom as an artist. I love IDM, whether that’s Aphex Twin or Boards Of Canada. When I’m not writing French inspired music, I tend to write either more ‘Clubby’ music or more chilled, progressive music. The EWE album is split into two halls. One half is called ‘Out With Anger…’ which is the heavy club tracks. The second half is called ‘…In With Love’ which are relaxing, atmospheric, using more ‘real’ instruments. It’s too early to say when it will be out though. ‘Out With Anger…In With Love’ has been a title stuck in my head for at least a year. I don’t think I’ve told anyone the title yet, so there’s a little exclusive for you!
Electronic dance music has taken the United States by storm with sprawling scenes in Las Vegas and Miami. EDM is certainly not going unnoticed; this year’s Grammy Awards is evidence of that. Do you think this a step in the right direction for electronic dance music?
In the words of Simon Cowell, ‘DJ’s are the new rockstars’. I think it’s fair to say that on a commercial sense, guitars are dead. When was the last time you saw a guitar band in the top 10? Dance music and RnB dominate the pop charts. Is that a good thing? In the long term, no. When a new ‘sound’ comes into play, dance music will be pushed aside. I think EDM has just been lucky in the last few years with the rise of ‘David Guetta style’ RnB and Dubstep becoming more popular. I think if a new guitar genre or sound is unique enough, bands will make a come back.
What is your biggest accomplishment in your career thus far?
That’s a hard question! I’m proud of all the things I’ve achieved so far in my career. I guess remixing my heroes like Basement Jaxx or DJing with Duck Sauce. To be considered as good enough to do those type of things, it’s incredible and I feel very lucky every day.
What are you doing when you’re not making music or performing? Is Louis La Roche just like any other 21 year old?
Yeah I guess so. I struggle a lot with my shyness, I’m not as bad as I used to be but it’s still a problem for me. I love meeting new people but it can be difficult to express myself sometimes. I guess thats why I’m a musician, I express myself through my music. When I’m home, I catch up with friends, play on my PS3, go shopping, the usual stuff. There’s no Mrs Roche yet though!
When can we expect a US tour from Louis La Roche and what should fans look out for in 2012?
If things go to plan, I’m hoping I’ll be over to the states for this summer. I don’t have a US booking agent, so it’s hard to get a tour together at the moment. I’m hoping someone will sign me up soon though! As for what this year holds for me. Lots of new music. I have a new single coming out in a month or two called ‘Untrue’. The LLR debut album ‘Hello You’ is out this year and a few little surprises here and there to keep the fans on their toes!
Thank you for your time Louis, Techibeats.com wishes the best for you in your career and in your search for Mrs. Roche!
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