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INTERVIEW: Jean Tonique

French producer and multi-instrumentalist Jean Tonique is a white-hot talent with a raw, organic sound. He has multi-faceted influences, a love of '70s funk, and has remixed everyone from The Kooks to Outkast, while being a regular on the Hype Machine Top 10. His upbeat, old-school music brings joy to tracks on dancing around the world and labels like Partyfine. and now Circa '99.

Jean proves his chops once again here by returning to his French house roots on 'Simple Things', a track lit by gloriously colorful and free synth loops. The vintage filter sound is detailed with catchy hooks and sleek beats that glow with retro-future warmth while strings and synths add a luxurious touch.

The fabulously enjoyable 'Simple Things' is another new offering from this vibrant label.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing Jean, and this has been the result.

Hi Jean, thanks for joining us, how are things with you and where about in the world are you right now?

Hi! I actually just came back home from the hospital, as I just became a dad. So I'm now at home, in Paris, taking care of my son, and it's awesome. How would you describe your music to someone who doesn't know you? I'd say it's a blend of a lot of inspirations and music I really love : house, disco, funk, indie, pop... that I digest and make my own. Also it always has a ray of sunlight inside of it, it's not always happy, but there's always something in there that shines! Your new single is coming via Boston Bun’s Circa ’99 label, how did you get involved with the label? I've been friends with Boston Bun since we met while touring with Etienne de Crécy a few years ago. I had these house songs that I thought would fit really well with Boston's vibe and he was thinking about giving the label a new impulsion around the same period. I'm really glad to be a part of it, and I can't wait to see what Circa'99 will become. What can you tell us about your writing and production process? Do you have any favourite pieces of studio equipment or software? Recently, I've been working a lot with my friend Léo (Mi Man), we started a new band together (Tonique & Man). In order to write our debut album, we went to Normandy for a week and wrote all the demos over there. We started with the instrumentals and the toplines, then we came back to Paris, wrote the lyrics and recorded some strings and other instruments. Then we started the mixing process. So this was a quite classic way of producing music, and it was pretty new to me. But when I do house music, I do everything at once, mixing everything while producing, trying different things as the song comes to life simultaneously. I'd say my favourite piece is my Juno 60, I use it a lot, it has an incredible sound and it always finds its right place in the mix. Away from the studio and club, what are your interests and passions? I love cooking, I started a bakery with my girlfriend during the pandemic, called PANDEMIE (we have a bread in France called "Pain De Mie"). I cooked some Japanese shokupan at home and we delivered it to people by motorbike. Also I love to cook pizza, I have a wood fire oven at home and I love to try different flours / hydration to get the best dough possible. What was the last record store you visited? And what did you purchase from there? Ground Zero! It's a great record store owned by friends. I did a release party there with a live show back in 2019 for the release of my album "sunny side up". I think the last record I got was "Nuova Napoli" by Nu Genea (great record!). How do you feel about the rise of AI and it’s potential affect on music production and the music industry? I think there's a hype around AI right now but I'm not sure it'll affect music in the long term. I didn't really check out what it's capable of doing music wise to be honest. I heard it can do pretty impressive stuff but I feel like music, or any type of art, will always need a human touch to it. I'm sure it can become a really useful tool if it's used properly though! What do you have planned for the rest of the year?

We have our debut Tonique & Man album coming out in september, and we'll have some live shows around it.

Also I'll be releasing more music as Jean Tonique through Circa'99 and will be touring as a DJ.

And I will take care of my newborn son!!


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