Video Visionary Woodkid Makes His Own Soundtrack

20_WoodkidPhoto: Courtesy of Woodkid. Illustrated by Ammiel Mendoza.
Even if you don't know his name, chances are you'd recognize Woodkid's work when you see it. Lana Del Rey's bloody crash in the "Born to Die" video, the bucking bull in Drake and Rihanna's "Take Care," the charging warriors in Woodkid's own "Iron." Born Yoann Lemoine, Woodkid is both a visionary video director and ever-growing solo music presence. His new album, The Golden Age, is made up of 14 epic tracks whose sonic arrangements are just as powerful as his trademark visuals. We caught up with Lemoine to talk the relationship between music and video, future collaborations, and Kanye West.
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Sound and Vision
"I never really planned on being a musician to be honest. I've always been fascinated by art in general and, more specifically, film and video work. I like to translate sound into visuals and visuals into sound. I don't really have a specific process of working, but whenever I'm inspired by something, I generate content that can be translated [to visual work]. If there's a specific sound or chorus, like a church organ, it will generate some kind of nostalgia, or happiness, or regret, or hope. This can be easily translated to visual work in my head. And, the opposite works, too. Visuals will evoke a texture of sound or production element or lyrics."
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Getting Personal
"When I recorded 'Iron' in the studio, I already had all these visuals printed in front of me. I tried to base myself in this environment I was creating. It was already in the direction of the video. I knew The Golden Age would be a journey about the transition from childhood to adulthood, and I knew the story would be a translation of my own story. Whenever I approached the tracks and did videos, I always connected to my own experiences and sensibilities. All the elements were genuinely authentic; it looks like me. The story couldn't really be any way else."
Dream Jobs
"We're actually discussing it right now, but I would love to create a project with Philip Glass — he's one of my biggest influences and inspirations. People like Kanye, I'd be very interested to work with. I like the impact that he has, how me manages to impact people no matter what he does. His behavior is very interesting to me."
BBC Bound
"I'm very excited about the show at the Brixton O2 Academy in London. I played at [London music venue] The Roundhouse a couple months ago, which was an incredible show for us. I was very anxious about playing in London — they have possibly the best music in the world. People went bonkers and got crazy; it was so intense for us. I'm very eager to play the Brixton Academy, because I know I'm going to connect with the people who made it such a nice evening. And, I'm going to be playing with the BBC Orchestra, which is a great honor. When we play with an orchestra, it brings the music to another level. It's very powerful and emotional."
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