It’s the story of a French little girl who would watch her dad playing music, and quickly understood that musical notes could spring up and fly away from her arms, her hands, her fingers. The music was a part of her. With this revelation, the sky opened up to her.
After several years spent at the Conservatory, she went back to her hometown, where alone, she learned from her new strange friends : keyboards, machines, and computers. She worked. A lot. With strength and temper, pleasure and ease. This young woman progressively became DeLaurentis.
DeLaurentis settled in the French capital, Paris, in 2015, and released her first two EPs. She started to get noticed then, with her unique universe and music videos. Major French publications such as Trax, Rock & Folk and Les Inrockuptibles started talking about her music, and soon after, some of her songs were featured in national commercials, and her single “A Big Part of A Big Sun”,intheTV series “How to Get away with murder”.
Contemporary and vintage synthesizers mixed with the piano, loops and arpeggios creating sound walls around her melodies. DeLaurentis builds a wall around her melodies where old and modern synthesizers, pianos, loops and arpeggios mix together. Her universe is described as « electro-cinematic » music, bright and dark at the same time.
Who, musically, is one of your bigger influences?
My musical inspirations are electronic, contemporary and cinematic at the same time. Like any artist, the link between music and image is essential for me.
My main influence is Laurie Anderson, one of the first women who pioneered electronic music and my favorite film music composer is Ryuichi Sakamoto. In the most contemporary, I listen a lot Max Richter and Oneothrix Point Never
One thing that I’m always interested in, when I sit down and chat with artists is, what their defining moment was that they knew that they wanted to be in music… What was that moment in time for you?
I’m from the south of France, my home town is Toulouse, a city of jazz music and when I was young I would watch my dad playing piano. He has been arranger for Claude Nougaro and i had the chance to grow up listening and singing jazz standards. So I quickly understood that music was a part of me, a means of expression as important as speaking.
“Life” was the first single to be released, in October 2020. The song symbolizes the birth of Unica, narrated by a handshake between a human and a machine. The music video combined 3D technology referring to Black Mirror and contemplative scenes of nature, inspired by Terrence Malick.
Do you mix and master yourself or do you have an engineer or a producer that works with you?
I learned music at the conservatory but I’m a self-taught producer. I compose, produce and record all of my tracks for years at my studio It’s very important for me to be alone when I’m exploring and searching inspiration deep inside. Besides after all this time bonded with my machines, I finally developed a connection and mystic relationship with digital worlds. I call it Unica, my digital sister.
That’s also the name of my future album !
(New album to be released in September 2021 : Unica)
And for the first time I collaborated with other artists and it was a wonderful experience : Dan Black, Yaron Herman, Daymark, Fabien Waltmann and one of the song has been recorded in collaboration with an artificial intelligence developed by the Spotify CTRL research lab, supervised by SKYGGE, a true pioneer in the AI world. On the other hand, concerning mastering, I have been working since my first EP with the grandmaster, the one and only Chab.
The production of her first album began in the summer of 2018. She spent two years in a spacious and luminous studio on the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris, continuously intensifying her relationship with her instruments and technology. This is how DeLaurentis created her digital sister : Unica.
The 2 singles released earlier this year, off the album, “Life” and “Pegasus”, were praised by the media all over Europe : Rolling Stone magazine and major radio stations such as Radio France and RFI featured the songs, and EDF used “Life” in their television commercials nationwide.
I, myself, personally think that there’s too much social media out there to keep up with. I understand why it’s necessary but there’s a ton of it out there. What are your feelings on social media and music today?
Dr Dre said “Social Media ‘Destroyed’ Artist Mystique” and, I understand him… Even when I love an artist, I like to take the time to wait for his new album as a new event. I like the mystery that surrounds great artists and I prefer to read anecdotes of the studio recording, of the creative process rather than their private life.. but paradoxically, social networks are today a powerful communication tool and essential to promote our music, our project.
For example, on my networks I only share information related to music, my favorites artists or album, inspiring sentences and new songs. That’s all 😉
I grew up in the 90’s, I listened to everyone from Dr. Dre, to Weezer, to Pink Floyd, Metallica, Cypress Hill and back again. I truly believe that the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for original music. Which era of music is one of your favorites?
ha ha it’s funny because I also grew up in the 90’s and I totally agree with you the 90’s were one of the greatest era’s for music ! My biggest influence in electronic music is Trip Hop : Massive Attack, Portishead, Björk, Tricky, Archive, Craig Armstrong.
If you could swap yourself into a different artist, who would it be?
Everything is allowed? I can dream?
So, Brian Eno. He has been a great artist as well as a great producer and album maker, his music ranges from pop songs, film music to electronic music and he has created a new musical genre : Ambient. His music goes through decades and it is still so modern and he is a beautiful and humble human being.
DeLaurentis states: “Sun, light, joy, calm and tranquility, gentleness, kindness, serenity, harmony, gentleness, love, friendship, tenderness.” as her sources of inspiration in both her professional and, personal life.
Notes on the video, “Pegasus” – “Pegasus“, was released in February 2021. The song represents Unica’s emancipation. As a young artificial intelligence, she grew up and observed our compulsive lives by imitating our human behaviors and thoughts.
Do you create music often? When can we expect another release?
Yes i make music everyday but I need to produce a lot of stuff before I find it good enough to release it! I have been working on my next album which comes out in September for 2 years! It’s called UNICA and I can’t wait to see him live his own life now 😉
DeLaurentis states: “Work hard daily. Being an artist, a musician is a job… like a craftsman who goes to his workshop every day. Be curious and when you have difficult moments then turn it into musical creations.” on advice that she would give the artists who are new to the game.
— What’s my 2 cents? Tell you what, I’ll give you more than the 2 cents, I’ll give you the whole dime. DeLaurentis is going to go places. She understands that to make it, you have to treat yourself not only as a musician but, as a brand as well. For those of you who know me, you know that I love indie music… to a fault probably but, it is seldom where I’m just completely blown away and set aback with something that I hear. I got to listen to 3 amazing singles and, I spent the better part of about 3 hours on YouTube examining the music. I cannot wait to spin this on the Underground Show for all of you to hear.
There is a Daft Punk vibe that I feel but, that’s not it… Daft Punk meets Massive Attack? – Too simple. No, the music truly is her own even if you can feel the influences in it. It really drags your mind off into another dimension. Another state of being, more than just being in a trance but, more of being intoxicated with the music and, the visuals of the videos themselves. Everything is so simple yet, so complex at the same time. It’s not just about listening to the music but, understanding and feeling the soul of the music too.
I want to thank you for this Q&A, Is there anything you want to say to everyone out there? Shout outs?
Thank you to you for these interesting, funny and relevant questions and thank you to those who will read my answers! And maybe that will make you want to listen to my music!
Shows coming up for DeLaurentis:
– 16 June 2021 : FGO (Paris) w/ Romane Santarelli
– 3 July 2021 : Roof Plouf Festival (Paris) w/c Saycet & Joseph Schiano di Lombo
– 3 sept. 2021 : Release Album Unica Showcase (Paris)
– 3 sept. 2021 : Release Album Unica (Live stream event)
– 13/14/15 Oct. 2021 : Mama Festival (Paris)
– 17 Oct. 2021 : Tedx masterclass (Toulouse) : “How i became friends with a music machine”
– 1/2/3 Dec. 2021 : Bars en Trans (Paris)
– Date TBD : Ableton Masterclass event (Hollywood, CA)