Party Guru Press

Interview: We Get to Know Anomalie Before His Upcoming Denver Show

Interview: We Get to Know Anomalie Before His Upcoming Denver Show

Kierstin Rounsefell

February 7th, 2020

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Nicolas Dupuis is the name behind the electronic future funk genius, Anomalie. This Montreal, Quebec based producer and keyboardist has been involved in music since a young age and as well, was classically trained. After the release of his first EP in 2017, Métropole, he began to gain international recognition. The second part of this project, Métropole Part II, was released in 2018.

When Anomalie performs, he brings his music to life with a 4-piece band. Anomalie Live works to recreate his own production at a higher level while allowing for improvisation at the same time. This makes for energy-filled, unique sets every single time.

A sold-out world tour and various international festival stops are on Anomalie‘s resume. Lucky for us, he is no stranger to the Mile High City. He has already graced the stages of Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Bluebird Theater, Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox, and Sonic Bloom Festival. On Saturday, February 8th, Anomalie touches down in Denver once again to perform with The Floozies, SoDown, and Since JulEYE at the Mission Ballroom.

Earlier this week, Party Guru Press had the privilege of getting to chat with Anomalie. To learn more about this talented producer, keep reading!

Anomalie and his band at Red Rocks 2018

Party Guru Press: I have a few general questions. Basically, it’s a pretty all-encompassing interview. It’s just going to touch on a few different points such as your background and your music. Then, your live shows if that’s okay?

Anomalie: Sure!

I was just wondering how you would describe your music and sound to someone that has not heard it before?

Sure. So, I perform as Anomalie, so I’m a keyboardist and producer. As far as style goes, it’s basically this sort of hybrid between several genres. But, very much electronic in the sense of the nature of the sound. Then, very performance-driven on the keyboard side. It’s like a hybrid of electronic, jazz, R&B or funk. That’s how I would define it.

Cool, thank you. Based on that, what is one song that you would give to someone who hasn’t heard you before as an example of all of that?

I would generally recommend my song “Velours“, which is off the first EP. It’s the one that usually gets people’s attention a little bit more when they haven’t heard the rest of my stuff.

Awesome, I’ll have to listen to that one too. I saw that you have been classically trained in music. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Absolutely. I started playing the piano as a kid. My mom to this day is a piano teacher, so I started messing around with her when I was about 4 or 5. Then, throughout elementary and high school, I did a bunch of contests and concerts and all that kind of stuff within the classical world. But, as much as I loved my teacher, I didn’t really enjoy that world. So, I started messing around with producing in the electronic music world as well as exploring the jazz world on the piano side. I joined a couple of house bands and played some live instrumental hip hop, funk, R&B. Eventually, all of those worlds kind of collided when I decided to start the Anomalie project.

When was that again?

The Anomalie project officially started a year prior to the first Métropole EP, so I released a single in 2016. I did the official start, as far as touring and releases go, in 2017.

Are you from Montreal, or do you live there now?

I am from Montreal and still live there as well.

You have an EP series based off of Montreal. I just wanted to know, what is your connection to the city and what inspired you to really make that project based off of Montreal?

It was pretty easy in terms of it’s always been a source of inspiration for me. I like the unique nature of the city in terms of it being the second biggest French-speaking city in the world and it’s like it’s own thing in North America. It’s still close to the states and very close to the rest of Canada, and culturally, it’s very rich in terms of the music, art, and dance scenes. The underground scene is really thriving.

Since my songs don’t really have lyrics, I don’t have a clear message to share. It’s mostly feelings, impressions, and then obviously the listener can translate that into anything he or she wants. But, for me, Montreal has been this sort of source between what I was feeling or trying to express at different times.

I really like that. That’s super unique. Already, I’m liking how you’re not using a lot of lyrics and just letting people interpret stuff how they want to, but also it’s just based off of feelings like you were saying.

Right, right. I appreciate it.

It’s a new year. I was just wondering if you have any more releases we should be looking out for, any festival stops, things like that? You were really busy last year I saw!

Yes, 2019 was very busy touring wise. For the current path of 2020, I’m taking it a bit more on the slow side. So, apart from The Floozies show, we have a small Asian run. We’re doing jazz festivals in Southeastern Asia. Until the end of the summer and the fall, I’m really into album mode, so I’m writing my next album which is actually my first full-length album, which is on the way. I don’t have a release date to confirm for that yet, but I have a very small collab EP that is dropping with Chromeo sometime this spring, so it’s imminent. It should be pretty exciting.

That’s exciting for sure! Especially, this would apply last year when you were on the road a lot, but I was just wondering what a typical day looks like for you while you’re at home versus when you’re out on the road traveling for shows.

That’s a very good question. So, at home, I usually wake up, go for a run or for a walk depending on the day of the week, then I go back home, practice on the piano, do a couple of emails, do a little bit of reading, and then depending on the priority, I’ll focus on either a song that’s due soon, or on a collab with someone, or practicing solo. So, the rest of the day is usually just devoted to production or music in general outside of practicing. At night, especially towards the end of the week, I try to go see a lot of shows, as much as possible, like friends that come through town. If there’s nothing going on, I will usually go back to practicing or in some cases go and jam with other people.

As far as touring goes, that’s where the schedule gets a little bit harder during the day. If we’re either flying or driving, I have this really small keyboard that I keep with me at all times in my backpack. I try to do a little bit of production practicing on that throughout the day, but it’s definitely harder. I try to replicate the whole schedule on tour, but it’s not as efficient.

Yeah, that makes sense. A lot of crunch time for sure. Is there anything that you specifically have to take on tour? Something you can’t leave without whenever you’re on the road?

Well, I think the small keyboard is a very good example of that. By extension, my laptop as well.

You already mentioned The Floozies show in Denver, but that’s your first live show of the year, right?

Yes, it actually is. That’s right.

What are you most excited about getting back out there and playing a live set again?

I really, really like Denver in the first place. This will be our fourth time playing in the city. It might be the fifth, I don’t know. We’ve played a lot of times. And then, we’ve already shared a stage with The Floozies as well which I enjoy. I’m excited to see this venue, which I think is pretty recent? From what I’ve heard?

Yeah, it opened last summer.

Right, that’s amazing. I’m just very happy that we get to start the year with the live band in a context like this and, of course, in Denver.

This is an all-encompassing one for anyone else that’s trying to get into producing or get into the music industry to start strengthening their skills. I was just wondering what words of wisdom you would want to give to anyone that wants to start a more professional path in the music industry?

Right. I think it’s a really good time to be in music. Yes, there’s obviously more acts that are doing their thing more than ever before, but at the same time, there are so many resources available online to learn, practice, get them inside whatever scene you’re in or whatever artist form you’re in. I think that’s really, really exciting.

I would say, whatever you’re doing, of course, there’s nothing like doing it every day. That’s really crucial, no matter how long it is. The act of repetition is really important. And as far as the industry goes, of course, there’s like some really specific marketing stuff. Being a little bit good or having someone that you trust that’s gonna find it is also really important. But, most of all, just surrounding yourself with people that you vibe with, that you trust, and that are generally good people. I think that’s the key.

A lot of people will say “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”, but you’re kind of just saying that it’s a little bit of both?

It’s a little bit of both, and specifically for the “who you know” part, that it’s good people first and foremost because it’s also very easy to be exploited or taken advantage of, and I think having someone that you trust that’s also your friend is important.

I like that. So, you said you’ve already worked with The Floozies before and you have a collab coming out with Chromeo. I know you’ve had a pretty large list of artists that you’ve already worked with. Is there anyone that you’d really like to work with again?

Yeah, so there’s a pretty extensive list of collaborators for the album, so I don’t want to name drop. I don’t think I can at this point, unfortunately. But, I can say someone I’ve worked with, in the past few months is Masego. It’s been one of the most inspiring work experiences as far as music goes that I’ve had a chance to experience because he’s very down to Earth, quick to come out with ideas, and very generous of his time and just his attitude. It’s always good to see that some people are really genuinely cool like that, even when they’re on a higher scale of success.

When I was looking at your [social media] profiles, I noticed that you have been consistently recording and uploading videos of you playing the keyboard. That’s been for 4 years almost. What prompted you to really start doing that consistently?

I kind of came by it naturally. There were periods of time where I was doing it more consistently, then if I was working on a record or something it would be a little bit more spaced out. It’s been, basically, especially at the start, the main reason that I gained traction and built a follower base that eventually led to the first EP and second EP, the extension to that success. I really owe it all to those clips and just social media in general, but it’s such a great tool today. Also, to take it with a grain of salt, for mental health and all that kind of stuff, just in general, even if you’re not in music. But, it’s a great tool and I’m grateful for those platforms.

It’s hard like you were saying nowadays because there are so many people doing music. You have to pick and choose different ways to stand out, but you have to use it to your best ability. I do think that it is good that you have something unique like that under your name.

Yeah, absolutely.

I just have a few questions left at this point. Since you’ve been classically trained, then you’re probably familiar with a lot of composers. I was just wondering if any composers or anyone else musically really inspires your composition and sound. Are there any genres you’re drawn to more than the others?

For sure. I try, especially nowadays, to keep my listening habits as varied as possible. I like to try to “do my homework” and try to stay up to date with what’s going on in several scenes. As far as composers go, I usually go towards the later ones or the more recent ones. As far as classical goes, that’s like the early 20th century, so like, Brahms, Stravinsky, and Rachmaninoff, that were also exposed to the start of jazz, which you can kind of hear in their music. They’re usually my references for that type of music.

For jazz, I really like Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and Chick Corea. During high school, I was more into EDM so my big references were Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner, and Skrillex. I am also heavily influenced by my peers, so producers would be like Tennyson, Haywyre, Pomo, and then Tom Misch, and Kaytranada. Those are the ones that I can name off the top of my head. I’m also heavily into R&B and soul, so D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Robert Glasper, and then obviously J Dilla from the ’90s who basically shaped that whole scene. I just try to stay on top of what’s going on. I’ve been listening to a little bit more Latin music recently. I think that’s pretty much it for now.

The last question I have is just what is one of your favorite songs or projects that you’ve produced, and why?

Oh, right. That’s really hard. Not to sound pompous, but I think I’m specifically happy about the first EP. Not because it’s my best work or something like that, but just because of what it meant as a symbol or sort of phase that really brought me to where I am today. It kind of started with that, whether it’s something I produced for someone else or myself, that was sort of like the turning point. So, really not musically, but just for what it represents, I think I’m gonna say the Métropole EP, the first one.

Okay! That’s all that I have. At this point, is there anything else that you wanted to touch on that I didn’t ask you yet?

It was perfect! I don’t have anything to add.

Perfect. Well, thank you again, so much, for your time. Have a good day; it was good getting to know you more.

Thank you for having me, thank you so much! You too; for sure, take care.

Anomalie 2019

If you haven’t secured your tickets to see Anomalie and The Floozies at the Mission Ballroom this Saturday, click here. To stay updated with everything Anomalie, follow his social media accounts below!

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