Retour sur l’événement ° Festival Crossroads
Written by english on 16 septembre 2019
12 – 13 September 2019
Crossroads festival was back again this September for its 4th edition, and it did not disappoint. The festival was launched in 2016 with the aim of promoting emerging musical talent from the Hauts-de-France region and the rest of Europe. The event – which took place in Roubaix – brought 30 artists to the stage, representing a variety of genres from Rap, to Electro, to ‘Organic Bass’.
Although Roubaix may appear a random choice of venue, the decision reflects the greater values of the Crossroads project; the festival is situated right in the centre of the Paris-London-Brussels triangle, echoing the border-breaking and intrinsically European character of the event.
Whilst the performances were a great opportunity for the up-and-coming artists to reach a greater audience, the festival also facilitated the networking of music professionals from all over France and Europe – ‘discovery’ is the concept at the heart of Crossroads.
To bring the ‘Crossroads experience’ to our listeners, Euradio broadcast live from the festival on Thursday 12th and Friday 13th September. Bella Jewell and Katherine Wood interviewed 10 artists from all over Europe, as well as Quebec, who shone a light on their music. The variety of genres on offer is testament to the richness of Crossroads Festival.
To kick the show off, our first interview was with Belgian artist, Manu Louis. Having just just released his EP Cream Parades (2019), he spoke to us about where he finds inspiration when creating his distinctive electronic music, and how he avoids the ‘mental deserts’ brought about by TV and nature. Listen above to hear about the new album he is working on, and how Bella might have accidentally named the LP – watch out for ‘Pixel Market’ everyone!
Next up was Bartleby Delicate, the Luxemburger artist who launched his debut EP, Whatever You Find Suitable To Compare this year. Our first question, of course, was about the intriguing stage name. Bartleby described his journey from front man of ‘Seed To Tree’ to launching his solo project; the name, and inspiration behind his lyrics, comes from Herman Melville’s ‘Moby Dick’, and the famous quote “I would prefer not to.” Bartleby’s departure into the land of solo music comes from his realisation that he would rather write and perform for himself as opposed to being “a weird representative of a collective.” In the above interview, Bartleby talks to us about his struggles to channel authenticity in his music, as well as vague his plans for a new EP.
N U I T
From indie pop we were transported to the world of electro by N U I T, a group from Le Havre. Having released their third EP, Hurry (2019), in January this year, we spoke to the group about how they came together, and where they find their inspiration. Check out the podcast above to hear about the group’s anglophone influences, and their ambition to create a new type of music.
Kids From Atlas
Having sprinted from their set, we greeted a rather out of breath and overheated band, it was Kids From Atlas. The indie rock group from Lille had just performed at the Theatre Pierre de Roubaix, playing the track ‘Lights’ – a single which has just been released ahead of their upcoming EP. Kids From Atlas promises to recount “a story” to continue on from their 2017 LP, ‘Deluxe’. Listen above to hear about the trio’s fascination with the universe and their desire to escape the confines of the earth.
Les Rappeurs En Carton
Energetic and playful, Les Rappeurs en Carton love to ‘faire de la vie une fête.’ With a 10 track EP, 4 clips, and a packed live schedule, the ‘hip hop drum’ Les Rappeurs en Carton are establishing their own genre; a more light-hearted form of rap. In the above interview, the group talks to us about an album they are currently working on, ‘Original Volume 2’ which will be released in 2020.
Next up on the show was Lou-Adriane Cassidy; the first female and Québécoise artist we spoke to. The young artist, who came to fame following an appearance on The Voice, channels intimate emotions through her music. We spoke to Lou-Adriane about how she prefers to cover songs written by other artists to performing her own material, as she believe they can express her true self more effectively than she can. Listen to the above interview to hear about Lou-Adriane’s musical journey, and the process behind her latest album, C’est la fin du monde à tous les jours (2019).
The George Kaplan Conspiracy
The electro-pop band, The George Kaplan Conspiracy, were next to speak to us on Euradio, and gave us some fascinating insights into their creative process. The band name comes from the Hitchcock movie ‘North by Northwest’, and gave the group a sense of freedom to experiment with their music. Inspired by old french artists like Daft Punk, they are always searching for a balance between melancholic – writing about the experience of loneliness – and up-beat dance tempos. Listen to the interview above for a flavour of The George Kaplan Conspiracy’s ethos.
Next we interviewed our second Luxembourgish artist of the day; we spoke to Maz, a 20 year old rapper looking to break boundaries in the genre, and defeat outdated stereotypes. Disdainful of the conventional subjects of rap artists – sex, money, and drugs – Maz believes that rap is a form of poetry which can impart important messages about love. Ahead of his Sleep Walker tour which began with Crossroads, Maz told us to look out for the Sleepwalker EP which will be coming soon…
It It Anita
We spoke to one rather lonely member of It It Anita, Damien Aresta, ahead of their Crossroads performance. Visual performance is important to the group of four, whose performances are deeply energetic and free flowing. To compare the softly-spoken and well-mannered singer to his performance style is quite striking; on stage the group ‘let go’ and ‘scream’ into the mic ‘like an animal’. To find out more about It It Anita ahead of their tour this season, check out the interview above.
Ghost of Christmas
For our last interview of the day, we switched languages to speak to the ‘Organic Bass’ duo Ghost of Christmas. Producer Gael represented the pair, speaking to us about his process of composition; he was clear that the group do not have live performance in mind when they write. Sound and fluidity are the most important aspects of the group’s work, with lyrics having to adapt to the preexisting music. Having watched their performance, the use of light combined with their sounds produces a ghostly atmosphere to live up to their name. To find out more about their work, as well as their third EP The Difference (2018), check out the interview above.
A big thank you from Euradio to all of our guests who gave up their time to speak to us, as well as the Crossroads team for hosting us. See you next year!