UNER unleashes his true potential during his performances. His DJ sets are powerful, full of energy and personality, and always dancefloor-focused. His constantly evolving set-up combines four decks, dozens of FXs, touchscreen controllers and a sampler – the only limit to his sets is creativity. In an effort to reach new ground, UNER has developed a concept of live performance with piano, synthesisers, drums and guitar in which, together with two musicians, he explores the limits of electronic music and transports his music to pop and rock levels.
In this recent 10 Questions interview, he shares with us his studio processes, life advice, and his hobbies outside of music. Don’t forget to catch him at Kilo Lounge on 22 September with Singapore DJ, Haan.
Describe your surroundings right now.
At the moment, I’m in the middle of nowhere! I’m doing a special masterclass during a week in Asturias at The Bass Valley. A house with a studio and 7 people working with me for 24 hours a day, it’s such a great experience.
What’s the most fun thing you’ve done recently?
I try to have fun with everything in any single thing in life, so it’s difficult to find a special one. But I guess I should say how amazing ANTS was on Saturday last weekend, the crowd and party is always amazing, and leaves me happy and fun filled. Music always means fun to be.
What was the first record you ever bought and what music did you listen to growing up?
My childhood was always surrounded by music. My father always played classical, pop or rock played around the house. Neither my parents were musicians but he was a huge lover of music and he was the one that showed me Jean Michel Jarre’s “Magnetic Fields”. That was the moment I was mesmerised by electronic music. Later on, I came to learn of another Frenchman, who really showed me that even more was possible than ever before, and I decided to switch my production from classical to dance music. That was Laurent Garnier, and his record “Crispy Bacon” was also the first I bought myself.
Talk us through your studio processes. Are most tracks conceptualised in your mind or the results of spontaneous jamming?
Yes. I try to do both. I always have the first step processes where I am thinking about what I want to do, how I should do it, and what kind of instruments I should use to be able to portray my emotions and feelings into the final track. Then, I start jamming some melodies with the piano, then percussions and when I feel I have the main bulk ready to go, I start on the arrangements.
How have your production techniques evolved over time?
It has changed along with the composition techniques. At the end of the day, it’s a question of always being able to learn something new every day to improve the quality of your production and to find the best way possible to express yourself. It’s also very different to how you approached your composition when you are 20 compared to 40!
What is the hardest thing you have learned since becoming a full-time artist?
How to be organized and find time for everything. It’s really important to be able to say no. I mean, it’s important to have timing structure to every day, because you can’t stay at home in a studio working for 24 hours, you have family, friends and you need to focus on your own health. To get this balance, I have to figure out what to do and what not to do each day. You cannot do everything, do choose what’s most important to you and work from there. Make sure each day as at least one thing you enjoy doing and want to do.
What’s the best piece of advice you have been given in regards to your music?
The same I say to the new producers: Just be yourself! Don’t copy others, don’t try to be someone other than you.
Aside from music, what else do you like to do?
I’m a crazy reader. I love to read all the time. But I have some different books and a very interesting choice when it comes to what I read. I love to research about Ufology, Philosophy, Occult Sciences, Religion, The Universe and our Solar System and more. You can learn a lot from books and they keep the mind active.
Do you still go out to a party as a consumer rather than for work?
If I am honest, not really much anymore. Maybe I should, but as I said before, I have such a hectic schedule every day and spend a lot of time in the studio, and at the weekends I am generally away from Thursday to Monday. I need time to see my family, and when it comes to having a choice to be at a party until 8am, I’d rather be in my studio.
If you had to listen to one record for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ludovico Einaudi – “Divenire” or Hans Zimmer – “Interstellar”