Orouni has been featured on Few on a couple of occasions over the past 6 months. We caught up with the excellent (and mysterious) Orouni to find out a little more about his music and influences.
“The Peanut Specialist” was a tune of the day in November last year. Vocals by: Dorothée Hannequin, Clémentine March (Water Babies – see below), Amélie Rousseaux (aka Sofia Bolt) and Barbara Silverstone.
Orouni released an acoustic version in early February 2015, quite a thing of beauty as well 🙂
We also included “Firearms” in Volume 1 of our French Music compilation.
We have been in touch over and back a few times since then.
What was the first tune you loved and why?
“Penny Lane” by The Beatles. To me, this song is as close as it gets to a perfect pop song. The melody, the piano, the baroque trumpet solo, the overall sound, the fact that it’s both happy and sad… it’s also very English. And the lyrics unite past and present, that’s what fascinates me.
What is your favorite song/piece of music that you’ve written and why?
My next album, because it’s in the making.If you want to post a song not many people have heard, there is this R.E.M. cover we did
Or this cover in French:
What song by another artist do you wish you had written and why?
“Panis Et Circenses”, written and composed by Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil for Os Mutantes.
What artist(s) has been your biggest influence and in what way?
Bob Dylan, because he: broke the rules; has great lyrics; was furious in 1965. The Beatles, because they: broke many rules; had great melodies; incorporated external elements into their pop music.
Name a song that makes you smile.
“Jekoyewa” (by Emporor Dele Ojo and His African Internationals) always puts me in a good mood.
What is the best new band that you’ve heard recently?
Water Babies. Their compositions are top-notch and the musicians are full of energy.
What’s your favourite radio station?
France Culture. The topics they choose for their programs or debates are often very interesting. It’s sometimes pretty demanding, but it’s a very smart radio, and no other station compares to it.
Who would win a fight between a drummer and a bass player, and why?
If I were the referee, I would immediately stop this fight, because a drummer and a bass player have to work together and love each other. Almost nothing is more important than the groove :-).
Your artist name- how did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?
Orouni is a word I came across when I read the French translation of On The Road by Jack Kerouac. I liked it because, unlike the majority of words, it was made up by someone not too long ago, and that person is known (Slim Gaillard).
To me, music is about coming up with content that makes sense but didn’t exist before. So this word, Orouni, is a kind of metaphor of the crazy result of a creative process.
The second dimension resides in the fact Orouni is the French spelling of what Kerouac spelt differently: Orooni. That’s why this band name also reflects the two roots of my music: on the one hand, France, and on the other hand, the anglophone world.
Today, it almost means nothing to me. I’m used to it, but from time to time, I wonder: “What the hell is this silly name you chose?”. However, I don’t want to change it. After all, I like many bands with silly names: Vampire Weekend, Dark Dark Dark, The New Pornographers… I know it can be an obstacle when potential listeners don’t know your songs yet, but once people have heard your music, it’s not that big of a deal.
What song would you like to have played at your funeral?
“Mokili Mobimba” by Grand Kalle
What question would you like to be asked that you never are? (and what would be your answer?)
Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to be signed on a label I admire, work with an awesome publisher and an efficient booking agent. I guess I would say yes.
Thanks so much Orouni – find out more here!
See Orouni live in Paris next week.
Playlists below, including interview choices, collaborators and some of our favourite Orouni tunes.