MILK.XYZ International: Petit Biscuit is A 17-Year-Old Prodigy
If you haven’t heard the name Petit Biscuit and the music that belongs to it, prepare yourself for a new addiction. French DJ and music producer-composer Mehdi Benjelloun is the overnight sensation taking the electronic and pop music industry by storm. Two years ago, at only 15-years-old, he released his track “Sunset Lover” on SoundCloud, and he’s now getting ready to release his highly anticipated debut album Presence.
A modern, infectious, and by all means talented artist, Benjelloun is anything but an ordinary teen. We chatted with the 17-year-old prodigy about his forthcoming album, being a teenager, and what exactly it means to go “viral”. Peep the interview below and the audio for his newest track “Waterfall”.
Can you take me back to the very beginning of Petit Biscuit and describe a bit about life before becoming viral.
Yeah, yeah. When I was five years old I began classical training of cello and guitar and when I was around twelve I started composing music at home with my synthesizer. Then I started browsing Soundcloud and you know when you’re on Soundcloud and you find users who post their own music without any expectation of following and are putting remixes or their own stuff out there to fuel their passion?
I thought to myself: why not me? And after spending a lot of time studying my computer and it’s relationship to sounds, I composed Sunset Lover and that was the start of the project. It was the beginning of everything because it went viral fast… really, really fast. I mean people listening and then sharing my music is total magic, but one million listens in two weeks? That’s crazy.
Your music is extremely layered and detailed and feels very sensory. Are you a detail oriented person outside of your music as well?
Oh yes. Attention to detail is crucial for me especially in my producing music. When I started making music I pushed myself really hard to not mimic or follow the current wave of electronic music and listen to myself and make an authentic sound. I spend and spent so many hours with my synthesizer, finding the perfect sounds before plunging in the nexts steps of producing.
And your authenticity totally comes across within your sound, which is killer. On the subject of sensory elements, which senses do you gain the most creative energy from?
Oh well with music, obviously sound but my music is very, very visual. I’m young, yeah? I’m only seventeen years old. I’m discovering the world and many things for the first time. I love to travel and experience all the different ways of living. Most of my inspiration come from landscapes I’ve seen and experiences I have lived and so successfully translating that into my music is where I find creative challenge and that is most inspiring to me; finding that perfect melody that makes anyone listen to my music connect with their own experiences and all share a communal vibe.
Who is an artist or artists, from any discipline, that have really spoken to you and have helped shape or influence your work and yourself as an artist?
Flume is an insane artist and huge inspiration of mine. His music is incredible but I’m most inspired by his way of creating something totally different. When you first listen to Flume you think you understand his vibe but then after the third or fourth listen, you catch moments you didn’t before and it’s smart. That’s one thing I take with me in my music, creating music that is really smart. Also Bon Iver. The same way I’m very interested in finding odd sounds and instruments, I feel like he’s doing the same thing. He takes unexpected or unlikely sounds and infuses them into what he’s creating and makes something totally beautiful and really fresh. Electronic music that just sticks to its own sound just isn’t cool to me and so I’m really loving this new genre of music that is blending electronic music with pop and rock.
What is your social life like?
My social life is really different than most people my age. I have friends and we hang out and go out and party like normal teenagers do but it’s different for me. I have lots of work. Actually I don’t like to call it work. I spend a lot of time with my music. You know that thing with best friends where you only talk or see each other once every six months and it’s fine because you know each other better than anyone else so nothing has changed? That’s what my social life often feels like and it’s totally ok because my music is forever.
You just released your new track ‘Waterfall’ with Panama and it’s sick. What was the songwriting and collaboration process like?
For ‘Waterfall’ it was interesting because Panama is in Australia and I live in France. What is super great about the work we did is the actual work we did. Panama is super professional and everyone I collaborated with on my upcoming album is professional. What I mean when I say professional is artists with multiple understandings of how producing music works. So when I sent the track to Panama and he quickly sent it back with vocals on top and then we had great creative conversations on how to make the track better and tweak certain elements that maybe just a singer who knows nothing about producing wouldn’t be able to have. Also his voice is incredible.
Are there any other collabs we can expect to see on the album?
We just released the preview of tracks on iTunes! So some of the other artists I collaborated with on this album are Lido, Isaac Delusion, Sonia, Bipolar Sunshine and Cautious Clay. I’m really excited to release this album and get new music out there. We have already released ‘Gravitation’ that has Isaac Delusion and was co-produced with Mome and now ‘Waterfall’. I’m really proud of this compilation of work.
You’re releasing the album on your 18th birthday and then what’s next?
Yeah yeah. ‘Presence’ comes out on November 10th which is my birthday which means the release will definitely be a party with a great after-party in Paris. Also, we have some awesome dates on the books. We are going to tour around France and then have four dates in Europe. After that I’m going to be traveling to North America in December which I’m super excited about. A lot is happening and I’m ready to get more of my music out there!
Stay tuned for more youthful waves.