INTERVIEW: Pastel

INTERVIEWSMUSIC

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Following a staggering seven original releases in 2019 alone on the likes of Kitsuné Musique and Boys Next Door, über-talented French-Polynesian singer and multi-instrumentalist Pastel now kicks off the new decade in the same emphatic fashion, as he unveils his impossibly smooth new single, ‘Let You’.

Out now, including a super cool new music video to boot, ‘Let You’ sees the remarkable London-based talent – often touted as the next FKJ – continue from where he left off, as he delivers another flawless, funked-up vocal cut, this time alongside long-time friend and Taiwanese artist, Haoting.

We sat down with Pastel to find out more…

Hey Pastel, welcome to WOTN and thanks so much for taking the time to speak to us!

Hey, thank you so much for having me, it’s a pleasure!

How has 2020 been for you so far?

It’s been a good start of the year yeah thank you! I’ve spent 2019 readying new songs, traveling and getting inspired. It’s great they see daylight for this new decade 🙂

For those of our readers who may not know you, please can you introduce yourself?

I’m Yann a.k.a “Pastel”, Producer, song-writer and multi-instrumentalist French -slash- Polynesian on my mother’s side. I grew up in south of France and came to the UK five years ago to pursue music on a professional level.

I grew up listening to a lot of different genre going from R&B/Funk music from my older sister to Polynesian/Tropical songs from my mum. Music is a big part of the Tahitian culture, everyone can play at least guitar over-there and mainly communicate with songs. I grew up playing in different bands from being a drummer to a singer/guitarist and wanted to explore more by producing my own songs. 

Where in the world are you right now?

I’m in London right now, the weather is cold but I guess I’m used to it now haha. Can’t wait to go back on tour, I’m sure the weather will be warmer 🙂

Congratulations on your brand new single ‘Let You’. Can you tell us a bit more about this record and how it came about?

Thank you very much! 

“Let You” talks about a kind of relationship/friendship anyone can go through in their life, where you don’t really know how to describe it. It also highlights a feeling that this person can have while chasing for the dream lover. An innocent Love Story…

We probably wrote the main part in a few days and took the rest of the week working and polyshing the rest of the song. I remember having to go to the dentist for a very painful tooth ache 3 days before I left and had to record some of the vocals with the worst pain ever… haha

Can you tell us about how you came to work with Haoting?

Haoting and I met 3 years ago when I was on tour in Taïwan, he offered to show me around the city and we became really good friends. I then had a show in Taipei (Taiwan) last year and eventually crashed at his place for a week or so.

He’s often touring with his band (Sunset Rollercoaster) and he luckily had 2 weeks off during that time. The vibe was really easy and chilled actually – Haoting has studio facilities at his house and I think the excitement of being together after all these years made this song special.

You’ve remixed for the likes of Camila Cabello, Bazzi, Otzeki and Jarreau Vandal to name a few. Can you talk to us about these projects?

Yes I’ve been lucky to work on remixes for these amazing artists. At the time I was releasing a lot of “unofficial” remixes on SoundCloud, I love making my own version of those big hits. Eventually I caught the attention of Jarreau Vandal and has the opportunity to release it. 

All of these were a great experience since you have to the chance to get very creative around already great pieces of music alone. It’s a challenge adding my flavor to it and yet something I’d love to keep doing.

Your new material seems to be different to some of your previous work. Have you made a conscious decision to change your style and if so, why?

Good call, indeed. I haven’t taken any decision really, this came naturally to me. As I’ve been listening to quite a wide range of music genre and explored different project I tend to reduce the “Producer” side in me towards the Musician. These experiences really helped me define the way I want to shape music now, working in more “complete” way by incorporating more influences I love such as Bossa Nova, Neo Soul or Funk.

And will there be more new material from you this year?

Yes – My next EP will be out just in time for summer! Lots of surprises there, really hope you’ll like it 🙂

Who are your top three favorite artists / producers right now?

Right now I’m in love with Tyler, The Creator; Jakob Ogawa; Free Nationals, Pomo for the recent ones. And I’ve always been admiring artist like Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, Serge Gainsbourg…

They influenced me a lot in my music.

Any final words for our WOTN readers?

Thanks so much for the support!

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