Tuesday, 25 June 2013


Firstly I would like to thank the guys from TOYS (or is it Toys?) for taking the time to answer the questions of my "lazy interview". It is very much appreciated.

ANYWAY. Yes, this time around it's Paris duo TOYS firing over their answers to my carefully constructed questions. After hearing and writing about their Natural Plastic EP last year, I was almost literally gobsmacked at their unknown-ness: they had a completely unique sound, coupling dirty beats and noises with aching-heart pop vocals and melodies.

Now, following the release of new song 'We Are', the duo's sound has retained those same sensibilities - rough, urban production, pop melodies, and a kind of retro nostalgia - yet with this song it's a richer, fuller sound. I suppose we will all find out how things have changed properly until their new EP release later this year.

For now, however, have a little read and find out what makes TOYS tick.

Who are you? Where are you from? What do you do?
P: I'm Paul, I'm from Paris and I'm a songwriter.

B: I'm Bastien, I'm from Paris and I'm a music producer.

Why did you decide to start creating music?
P: I started classical guitar when I was 6, then I discovered the piano and have been sticking to it ever since. I studied arrangements and music theory through jazz for years. Then Toys made me apply music theory to production work.

B: I started music as a DJ in the hip hop scene, this is how I got into music production. It became my job. I worked on others' albums first before focusing on the Toys project.

How would you describe your sound? What makes you and your style stand out?
B: We try to make a music that suits us, sounds from the past, a production a little dirty because I guess we like ghetto music, and dreamlike melodies showing our attachment to pop music.

P: Toys is one of these projects that intentionally uses a lot of codes and tries to get an original sound and identity out of the arrangements and the mix.

Although we are two to write and compose everything, we see Toys as a band. Electronic music can sometimes look and sound rigid and lifeless. This is why we like to use acoustic instruments too. On stage we play with 2 other musicians (rhythmic section) without whom it would be impossible to perform our songs.

Is there a perfect time and place for listening to your music?
While driving, in bed, at work, in the subway, in a club, we try to make a music that can be listened to anywhere..

What inspires you most when writing a song?
Difficult question. We like when music brings us into a nostalgic mood. This might be something that drives our songwriting.

What are your favourite three songs at the moment?
B: TGNHT - Bugg'n
Kendrick Lamar ft. MC Eiht - m.A.A.d City
Christine and the Queen - Loving Cup

P: S O H N - The Wheel
Kendrick Lamar - The Art Of Peer Pressure
Jai Paul - Jasmine

Who do you most admire in the music world?
Daft Punk for being able to make the whole world agree on their music, all generations considered.

In your opinion, what is the future of music?
En dépit de la crise du disque, nous pensons que les gens vont continuer à produire de la musique de qualité, et ca de plus en plus..

Despite the music crisis we are living in, we hope and believe that people will keep on producing quality music independently, more and more..

What's the future of your music - what do you hope to do next?
Our next EP in September and a tour to follow..

What, aside from music, is most important to you?
Our girlfriends, our families, our mates, bad jokes, good food, good movies, good daily moments we can share with people we like..

So there you have it. Two different people from different musical backgrounds making music together could go one of two ways I suppose: very bad, or in this case, very good. The mix of Paul's classical and jazz influences, as well as skills in arranging songs, with Bastien's DJ/production experience and penchant for hip hop has resulted in a great sound. It goes to show that individual differences are important within the music world, not just between bands and artists themselves, but even within bands. Out of the relative chaos comes order - in theory. Is that too deep?

Either way, I fully respect and endorse their views on people making music independently. If you want to do it and you feel like you can do it, just do it - if it's good, people will pick up on it and share it (that's not to say it's easy, however). I hope that you've had fun reading this anyway, whoever you are, and I hope that you check TOYS out. Like they said, their EP is coming out in September - it feels like a long time, but we'll be boogying to their sounds soon enough!

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