CLOSE YOUR EYES – IN CONVERSATION WITH THINCŒUR

Independent Parisian artist Thincœur has recently released his debut EP entitled ‘close your eyes’. A reflective journey that commences with an invitation to meditation, diverse in genre, the project is stuck together with spatial moods. Exploring the hushed tones of ambient to the bold harshness in bouncy hip-hop, to garage, drum and bass, Thincœur takes control on everything from production to writing, arrangement, mixing and mastering. Having released several singles in the past, the young artist has been working on the EP for the better part of several years. Redesigning the boundaries between genres, he builds a hybrid of hip-hop, complete with imagination inducing lyricism. Check out our conversation with the multidimensional Parisian artist below.


YMX: Can you tell us about yourself as an artist? Where are you now, how you started, and what are your goals?

THINCŒUR: Well, I never really ‘started music’, I was always doing it. As far as I remember, the first toy I had in hand was a tape-recorder. I guess my life path was supposed to be this one. In school, I did have some teachers trying to pull me away from this dream, but I just dived back in as soon as I was responsible for myself. So I’m 23 now, and 5 years ago I decided to drop everything in order to build my career in music. It took many roads, giving me the opportunity to discover every role in the industry and mature my sound. Now, I’m at a moment where I have the resources and the skills to produce everything by myself and to engineer it. I’m surrounded by a family of creatives, the NEUF Artist Lab, that’s giving me the opportunity to have a whole cohesive artistic universe, and not just good music. It would be diminishing if I only talked about my goals as an artist, cause with my collective, we have this vision to shape the artistic landscape in the music industry. We want to challenge reality in merging genres and codes, in finding a way to take niches into popular art, and make it accessible. The dream is big, but I’m only 23 haha.

YMX: Some of our readers might not be familiar with you yet, how would you describe your sound?

THINCŒUR: My sound is quite hard to put in words, but I’ll try my best. In this project, the idea was to invite the listeners into meditation, to ask them to close their eyes and let themselves be submerged by the music. The reason is that I consider music as something sacred. It’s a direct link between the conscience and the emotions. It can root out the pain in a poetic way. It can pass you fierce energy, anger, euphoria, but all those emotions are yours. Music doesn’t provide emotion, it’s just a medium to understand ourselves better. To answer your question, I want my sound to push the listeners out of their comfort zone, to surprise them, to be honest with them as I express my own experiences. So it’s creative, it’s bold, as my inside world speaks, but it’s portioned and polished, to make it communicative.

Photograph: @daiyakudo

YMX: Who have been your biggest influences so far?

THINCŒUR: I know a lot of people won’t follow me on that one, but I’m gonna go with Kanye West. It’s still today my first example in music and production, and in carrying out mastermind projects. I wanna be able to reach that level of achievements. I’m also inspired by FKA Twigs, she’s such a complete artist, and everything she does is heart-opened. She created a strength out of her vulnerability, just wow ! In the same vein, I really admire James Blake. He’s been doing whatever he likes and sharpening his sound. I’m working on it, but I hope one day I’ll be able to use my voice as precisely as him. I could go on for long with the list of music that inspires me, I guess I’m just gonna add one cause it deserves acknowledgement : JiL. Their album ‘Emotional Heat 4 A Cold Generation’ is a masterpiece, no other words.

YMX: You just released ‘Close Your Eyes’. Could you tell us how the project came about? 

THINCŒUR: The ‘close your eyes’ EP, as said earlier, is a meditative voyage. The tracks are telling the experience of an incarnation and the discovery of the self. It’s part of the process of accepting who I am. So, It’s a fight between madness, joy, pride, desire, disappointment and melancholia in the search of wisdom. In the adventure, I’m thinking to himself, talking to the universe, dreaming of fame, painting surrealistic romances, meeting my demons and feeding my needs of power and protection. These musical experiences were created out of pieces of my life, reflexions, and also something more spiritual. As I recorded or wrote the songs, I just let myself slide without being aware. I feel like, this is where the emotions are the rawest, thus can be passed on without a mind-filter. The making of this EP, since it’s my first, took me about 4 years, and I wouldn’t forgive myself if that first real project wasn’t at its best.

YMX: 2020 has been a hard year for everybody, especially for musicians such as yourselves with the absence of performing live. How have you been coping this year? musically speaking. 

THINCŒUR: Well, I guess I’m still coping with that, since we got locked down again here in France. The first quarantine was a good experience for me as I was doing so many things before, and was working on so many projects that I would’ve never took that time off. And it was an opportunity for me to really work on making better music. Actually the EP was ready before the first lockdown, but afterwards I was just like “I need to re-do it all over, I can’t get it out like this” haha. So musically it was good. In terms of money it’s a strict disaster, but we took advantage of the first lockdown to get serious with that NEUF Artist Lab business, to build the whole structure and to prepare the launching. Which happened now, so that’s good. I guess, in the end, we can always see how things affected us positively.

Photograph: @louise.le.pape

YMX: What does playing live represent for you? a way to make yourself known or a way to express yourself?

THINCŒUR: Uh, live shows, what a distant memory! I love live shows, I did many of them with my former band, I did quite many as Thincœur, as well. I’m on stage with Moma Flower Ranger, an amazing drummer and composer. On the last show we did back in February, we managed to bring a real consistency on stage, with outfits and make-up, we invited Megarare (the singer on ‘vague’) to participate on few songs. I love when shows are a sort of communion. I’ve performed alone before, and I find it livid. Having the support of a team, bandmates, it gives you that space where you can be your best and not care about the rest. It also passes the energy on to the audience, it’s way more communicative ! I obviously see shows as a real experience to let go in front of people, and to be able to know the real reaction of strangers to what I do.

YMX: Finally, what are your plans for the future? in terms of releases, live streams, gigs?

THINCŒUR: I just did that EP move, so it’s still very fresh for me. I want to make it live several months at least, so right now the plan is promotion, promotion, promotion… I’m presenting all the visuals of the project bit by bit, on my Instagram, they’re made by my dear friends and geniuses Thibaud Desmergers, graphic designer, and Louise Le Pape, photographer and video director. I’m going to release a music video for ‘luna’ in December, directed by Randolph Lungela, another genius. I also released some fashion merchandising to give another medium to the project (it’s not basic merch). But after that, I really want the next project to be an album. ‘close your eyes’ was all produced by me, which was a great experience, but in the future, I would want to see how it is to gather various talents, instrument-players, sound experts, vocalists to work on my project. I want to take the best out of everybody and incorporate it in a project that will not only be me, but would represent all participants. I think music that is made by many touches many. My plan for the future is to keep sharpening my expertise, my sound, and to express myself on deeper levels. Each step of my growth in life is observable in my music.

artwork @funisthegun

Check out ‘close your eyes‘ and follow Thincœur below!