Seasoned vocalist/producer Luis Dubuc should be an artist on your radar, if for no other reason initially than his album Forever, which was released this week, and features “Number 1,” a duet with Brandy and yes, Nile Rodgers. A groundswell of support that covers a decade-plus (with three years of meteoric rise) has finally ended “here,” with here being an album of pop, not dance and dance that defies 2014’s traditional dance-pop expectation of lasers, drops and plunging basslines. This is great music for great music’s sake, an album of well-crafted and matured music. Soulful, yet still fanciful, his sounds demand a listen. In this interview, topics covered include working with Nile Rodgers, Dubuc’s intriguing classic inspirations, and his aspirations moving forward in his career. Enjoy!
Obvious first things first. When you realize that you’re about to work with Nile Rodgers on a production, did you have a Chic bassline in your head that you were hoping would become a piece – in some way – of what you were making, or was there something else in his catalog of which you’re a fan? As an addition to that, did you have any studio time with him, or were you working with guitar tracking that he had already recorded?
The way the whole thing came about was so out of the blue so it was very unplanned. Basically the guy who had signed me told me he was meeting with Nile and that he would play him some of my tracks. About an hour later I was on the phone with the man himself and a week after that we were in the studio tracking. I had made the track beforehand and the moment he played on it we knew it was meant to be.
With over a decade of musical experience behind you, has the process in putting together your major label artist album felt similar in any way to your solo/collaborative experience or in the earlier days of the Mystery Skulls project?
Actually not at all. This experience was very unique and a total roller coaster. My experience helped a little bit but ultimately it was a total learning experience. I’m very proud of the record I made. Forever is the culmination of that experience.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGe7pnbRctE
There’s a value-added musicality to what you’re doing with Mystery Skulls that I feel deviates it from the norm of being either pop or dance. Is this the intention, and to who/what do you look for the inspiration in creating the unique sonic spaces in this project?
Wow that’s an amazing compliment. My intention was just to make something that could actually make your feel almost invincible just by listening to it. I find most of my inspiration from watching old performances on YouTube. There are an infinite number of classic Motown performances on there and each and every one of them could be the inspiration.
Well, now that Brandy’s checked off the list, who are the vocalists that inspired you as a creative that you would be most interested in really being able to explore working with them on an album project?
If I had to give you an answer right now, off the top of my head I’d love to do a track with Bjork.
Which of the tracks on your album do you feel most closely mirror what they felt/sounded like in your head at the start of the recording process as compared to the end. I’m aware that sometimes these tracks go through so many edits/changes, but which one from beginning to end stayed the closest to form?
The final song on the record is a song called “Every Note.” My friend and frequent collaborator, Cory literally begged me to put it on the album, so it’s basically the original demo with some nicer mixing. In the end I’m so happy that song made it and it’s a perfect way to end the record. I’d have to say that one stayed the closest to its original form.
What do you feel is the most exciting part of the live touring experience with your material? Is it the moment when you feel the crowd getting behind the new material, or that euphoric thing that happens when the people hear the song they’ve been waiting for all night? Or is there another one that wasn’t mentioned?
I’m still a new artist and most people are just coming around to my music, but sometimes I drop the right track at the right moment, and it’s one people know and I’ll hear some cheers and people actually singing a long with me. It’s an indescribable feeling but I feed off the crowd as well so it’s just as exciting for me as it is for the audience.