We recently caught up with successful French producer, composer, and songwriter Petit Biscuit. He is known for his unique electro-pop production and constant maturation and evolving sound. His debut album Presence charted worldwide back in 2017 and he has also amazed audiences all over the globe at the likes of Coachella, Lollapalooza, and HARD.
In 2019, Petit released the song “We Were Young” which gained more than 40 million streams alongside a nostalgic music video. Petit was even awarded Best Live Performer at the NRJ DJ Awards in 2018. The multi-instrumentalist has over 1 billion Spotify streams to date, and his latest track “Drivin’ Thru The Night” has been making waves. The music video for the song is set in a cinematic, retro-futuristic universe and was shot on the outskirts of Paris. The rising performer discussed his latest track with us, as well as his upcoming album Parachute, his 11-month hiatus, his viral debut single “Sunset Lover” and much, much more.
Well done on your latest single “Drivin’ Thru the Night,” which features a club beat and soul-searching lyrics. How did this track come about?
I started the instrumental almost 3 years ago and came back to it when I was in Iceland. I’ve never felt so free during this trip. It inspires me a bunch of lyrics for “Drivin’ Thru the Night”! These are the only « moody » lyrics on the album, other tracks are way more like an introspection. I’m very happy both about the track and music video.
The cinematic music video for “Drivin’ Thru the Night” was directed by Jean-Charles Charavin and is set in a retro-futuristic universe. What is the inspiration behind the visually dynamic video?
Got few movie inspirations like Drive or Blade Runner, also Enter the Void, for Drivin’ Thru the Night music video. But, you know, at the same time I was writing lyrics, I was already feeling that retro vibe in my head, it’s part of the sound. So, it was just super natural to follow that path.
You’ve come such a long way since your beautiful breakout single “Sunset Lover” in 2015. It’s hard to believe that you were only fifteen years old when releasing that track! What has been your biggest learning curve whilst making music since then?
I’ve learned so many things as an artist in the business. It feels like I’ve been living a whole life in 5 years. First, it’s super important to learn lessons from what you’re facing every day. Artistically, I’ve learned that I have to be in peace with the old tracks that I’ve made to make better art. Every artist hates their first hit, that’s a fact. I’m not saying that I love Sunset Lover, just that I’m in peace with it. I’m happy that Sunset Lover has existed. And all the other tracks. Even if it’s not well-mixed etc. it’s part of an era.
Your music has an aesthetically pleasing nostalgic vibe, as well as having whimsical vocals alongside shimmering electro-pop production. Who are your staple musical influences?
I used to get influenced by a bunch of artists. But I know that today, I’m just inspired by the music I’m listening to. I needed a kind of mentor in the past like Flume or Madeon was. I’m now putting things in perspective between songs that I love to listen to and songs that I would love to write. I know you want some names so I’ll mention a few ones: The 1975, Joji, Brockhampton, James Blake!
You released the emotionally charged track “I Leave Again” with your longtime friend Shallou back in May after an 11-month hiatus. Do you value quality over quantity when it comes to your music?
For sure. That’s interesting cause even in the production side, quality doesn’t mean a certain quantity of instruments and layers. People do think that’s a good production is a lot of texture. I used to think like that. But in time, I’ve been learning that it’s all about sensations that you have while listening. I often say: produce less, mix more. About your question, I just didn’t feel like I needed to release something. I was just composing a lot and I kept like 1% of all the demos that I’ve done in 2 years for my album. I got my whole life to release more music, so no need to run.
The track speedily made its way up to 22 million global streams and received global support from the likes of triple j, Sirius XM Chill, and Virgin. Did you expect it to take off like it did?
Not at all. And I don’t expect anything in the future about my music. I used to bet a lot on which track will hit, which ones will not. But yeah, it is not a science. It’s very random. Anyway, thanks to all the radios who’s playing my tracks, putting their trust in me.
What was it like being locked down in Iceland due to Covid-19? Would you have preferred to be back home in France?
Well, I wasn’t locked down in Iceland! I was home with my family, so it was alright. I was putting last touches on the album, working out, drawing…
You recently announced that your upcoming sophomore album Parachute is set to be released on October 30th. What message would you hope your listeners take from it?
My fans know that I’m regularly evolving into other kinds of production and universe. I want them to forget for 35 mins what they know about me and discover a new part of myself.
I had a sneak peek at the album and was a big fan of the bohemian, club-beat track “Burnin” which track was the most fun to create?
Thanks! My favorite moment during the process was when I’ve created Constellation. It took me less than a week to finish it, and it’s probably my favorite from this album. A very personal one.
How did your collaboration with Diplo come about on the mantra-like song “Pick Your Battles”?
Diplo sent me a DM on Instagram while I was traveling around Iceland. We just said, “Okay let’s try something when I’m coming in LA, April 2019.” I met him at his house. We’ve been in the studio listening some stuff and working for a few hours on different demos and yeah that one called to pick your battles started with that guitar which is very stylish. We’ve sent each other lots of different versions of that song and Diplo came in Paris before lockdown to finish the song. He’s one step ahead concerning the music industry, but he’s very open to trying new processes of productions so yeah, great collaboration.
You posted the album cover on Instagram this week, it shows you kneeling on the ground holding a parachute and is extremely cinematic! What sort of mood did you want your album cover to have?
Parachute brings me some cinematic emotions when I get to listen to it. But the story behind is way more personal. It’s is the result of a 2 year creating process. At this time, I was a bit lost in my life, but I was denying, always thinking that everything’s good, I was partying too much. Since the end of my world tour in 2018, I’ve learned a lot about myself and I evolved so much. I’m now much better with myself and it’s thanks to the break I’ve decided to have, to both trips in Iceland and the US. I’ve been introspecting a lot. “Parachute” helped me to take some height with the life I was living.
Lastly, if you could go on a parachute that would take you anywhere, where would you go?
Iceland. Once again. I need to live what I was living there, once again.