Interview: French Visionary Yuksek Talks Partyfine
Music impresario Pierre-Alexandre Busson, aka Yuksek, is one of France’s finest exports since wine. And his label, Partyfine pairs like Roquefort cheese to a sweet Bordeaux, his talent making an equally big stink. The imprint, powered by a collective of like-minded individuals and highly skilled artists, are all brought by Yuksek’s cunning sonic vision.
Since the label’s conception a year ago, Yuksek has assembled a family-like unit of producers and vocalists, all of whom are in keeping with the Partyfine ethos, which is to provide quality music that always maintains heart and substance. Luscious synths, sweeping vocals, emotive melodies and powerful ballads all have a place on the label and its compilation, Yuksek presents Partyfine Vol.1, celebrating 12 months of musical outpouring, and a roster representing all of its artists for a topnotch retrospective. There are tracks from family members Villa, The Alexanders (Yuksek & Alex Metric), Black Yaya, Peter & The Magician (Yuksek & The Magician) and Crayon. Friends of the label are also included, with exclusive cuts from Clarens, Darius, Get A Room!, Michael Garçon, Chassol & Poom all included and further promoting the Partyfine feel.
Listen to the comp below (own it here) and check out VIBE’s exclusive head to head with Yuksek after the jump.
For those that may have not come across Yuksek before and your label, Partyfine, how would you describe both yourself and your imprint in five words?
Yuksek: Positive, fine, passionate, friendly, free.
Your label Partyfine has been called the new DFA. A pretty big statement, but having heard the music we would have to agree. Has James Murphy and DFA been a big influence to you and the label?
Wow, I didn't know. Great. Murphy is a huge influence for me as a producer, but the biggest influence is his entire career and vision. The common point with DFA is that I'm producing most of the songs released on Partyfine, every artist comes to my studio and we work together on the song, so the label has a coherent sound and vision more than just focusing on one musical genre. I love so many sounds that I didn't want to reduce the label and be stuck to just one.
How did Partyfine come about?
I have produced many bands and artists over past five years and wanted to use that skill and those relationships to start a label. It's an idea I've always had, even before Yuksek happened in my life, but for the last eight years I've been working non-stop on my music, releasing EP's, albums, touring live, as DJ, etc. And last year I wanted to take a break so I jumped on the label project and started composing music for films.
You have just released the mighty compilation Partyfine Vol.1, which is a collection of previous and future releases from your label, Partyfine. Collaborations come from artists including Alex Metric, The Magician and Villa. How do you go about choosing the artists you work with?
It depends, my project with The Magician is a long term relationship, I have known Villa and Chassol for long time, but only Crayon and Getaroom for a couple of years. At the moment the label is about working together with people I like musically and as people, that's the main thing, trying to have a good time and help build a story with guys I like. Juveniles is a good example of the relationship we're building. I've been asked to produce their first record, they spent three months with me in the studio and we had such a good time that we decided to carry on. They actually introduced me to Clarens, a new artist I just signed to Partyfine- easy and friendly.
You have unearthed some amazing new talent such as Clarens. Can you tell us a bit more about what many are calling France's answer to Blood Orange? We love his track “Trust.”
He's a really great guy and talented young musician. We're gonna work hard with him to make it big! I love 'Trust' as well, it's the first track he gave me to listen to and I said, "yes" after one minute. It's futuristic with roots, cold and hot, really sensitive and sensual.
As a producer, you are very busy working on all the tracks you put out on Partyfine, as well as producing for other artists and making remixes. Where does the magic happen? We hear you have a very special studio…
I have a wonderful and quiet place to work from, full of great equipment, tons of vintage hardware, a big venue in a theater with many great people working around me...the perfect surrounding. I also have a house for the guys to stay in cause I'm out of Paris, it's like a family - a musical Bed & Breakfast.
What are you plans for year two of Partyfine? It's going from strength to strength at a very rapid pace.
Thank you! I honestly have no idea as to where the label is heading, but I want to move fast and not plan too much, so I'm sure many good surprises are on the way! At the moment we're going to release Getaroom and Clarens EP's and certainly some new Villa as well.
When will you be touring in the USA next?
At the end of the year I think. We have a lot of offers in Europe and Asia and I try to stay in the studio working on my record as much as I can. It's hard to build a proper tour in the US, I feel like many people are vibing off what we do but our music is not commercial or aggressive, so it needs to be in the right place at the right time. The last live US tour I did was amazing.
What would you advice be to anyone wanting to set up their own record label?
Find talented people to work with and don't count your time...