Louis Vivet is not your average electronic project. Claiming Los Angeles and New York as their residence, the two producers seek inspiration from sections of history and bodies of music that most wouldn't dare touch. This all starts with their name, something they explain much more in depth in the interview below.
Inspired by one of the first mental health patients to be diagnosed with dissociative personality disorder, often referred to as multiple or split personality disorder, Louis Vivet seeks a concrete theme and duality in their music that goes well beyond just making people dance.
We premiered their most recent single "Nightfall" back in May, and since then have become obsessed with their balance between brighter and more euphoric sounds and much darker influences. It's a juxtaposition that appears in the exclusive mix they created for us, and also the music they release.
Stream their diverse mix and read our interview below, and get an idea for a group that is taking inspiration well below surface level. You will hear everything from Gesaffelstein to Glass Animals To Alina Baraz, showcasing a diversity not often seen in modern dance music.
What about your personalities make you a perfect fit for making music together?
It’s a myriad of things actually. For starters, we were both great friends before we even started making music together. We have similar tastes in music, which is one of the factors that drove us to work together in the first place. The biggest dynamic, however, is that we both hate playing it safe. When it comes to music, we’re always trying to make something new and innovative, which any artist knows is not always the easiest route to success.
But at the end of the day, we both want to make music that we truly love. That involves taking risks, which we try and embrace in every project. Robert Frost said it best: "when two roads diverge, always take the road less traveled."
What stood out about the story of Louis Vivet compared to others that led you to choosing your name?
Honestly, we were really lucky to stumble across his story. As we were trying to characterize our act with a name, we stumbled upon an article about a man named Louis Vivet. When we started reading about his story, we were instantly hooked. If you read his story on Wikipedia, you’ll see that his life plays out like a science fiction novel. Just imagine: one day you’re minding your own business and a snake attacks you.
The next thing you know, boom, you don't remember a thing in your life and you've suddenly got ten different personalities. You can’t make this stuff up! There’s a reason why his story was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. His story was fascinating.
Does anyone close to you suffer from a similar disorder that inspired this?
You would think that based on the way this guy’s story has shaped the core theme of our project. Thankfully though, this disorder does not run in either of our families. If you ask our managers though I’m sure they’d tell you that we’re both a bit mental. We like to think it makes things much more entertaining. But really, we’re looking more at an inherent human duality: the tension between our external, public personas and our internal, private thoughts.
You release both darker and more uplifting tracks. How does this play into the project's theme?
It partially goes toward the duality of this project, but it’s also reflective of our desire to take risks and experiment. We don’t want to feel constrained to making one style of music. A lot of artists get caught up thinking about “catering to your audience” and not “confusing your fanbase" but to us, art is about self-expression, social commentary, and creativity. As individuals, we are constantly growing and evolving, the same way the world around us is in a constant state of flux.
With that comes varying sources of artistic inspiration, which manifest themselves in different styles of music. The vision for our live performances is where it all comes together: we want to curate an “experience,” where we tell a story to the audience by weaving between our melodic, uplifting tracks, and our deeper, darker ones. Also: so the tech/deep/underground fan boys don’t immediately discredit us when they hear actual melodies in our more upbeat music.
How are you planning on bringing the "visual sensations" side of this project to life?
We’re actually developing our live show now as we speak. The concept of Louis Vivet revolves heavily on immersive visuals and storytelling. We want our live shows to take people on an “emotional rollercoaster”. One of the things we are doing in the immediate future is creating a series of illustrations to go along with one of our future releases. Nick is an amazing visual artist so we wanted to make the story of the track come to life. We think our fans will be very pleased with what they see.
To us, artists are story tellers. And unfortunately, too many performers have lost sight of that. So we’re hoping to bring that emphasis back through our live performances. (Some artists who have great live performances: Claptone, Eric Prydz, ZHU)
There's an undeniable indie feel in your music and this mix. What artists in that field have inspired you?
Yea, we’re both huge fans of indie and folk music. Glass Animals, Tame Impala, and Of Monsters and Men are a just few off the tops of our heads that really stand out to us. These guys have remarkably well-written songs, which is what I think attracts us to their music. Generally speaking, dance music doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on song-writing. It’s really sad, because as an artist, you’re leaving so much on the table when you don’t prioritize song-writing. For instance, if you listen to "Dirty Paws" by Of Monsters and Men you can hear how lyrically and melodically brilliant it is.
It’s written as if someone was right there telling you a story by the campfire. With that, the concept of Louis Vivet is heavily predicated on storytelling, which is why we love songs that are able to convey an entire story in a brief few minutes.
Can you tell us a little more about the song selection of this mix, and what you were going for?
Curating mixes is honestly one of Aria’s favorite things to do. He would probably be satisfied in life if he could curate soundtracks to people’s lives. If only that were a paying job *sigh*. But I digress; our mixes you’ll notice feature a wide range of different songs, from darker dance tracks to more downtempo indie tracks. With such a huge difference in these types of songs, we feel it invokes a greater emotional response from our listeners. In the end, we want our mixes and future live shows to take our fans on a journey and leave them thinking ‘what the hell just happened’. That is the greatest compliment we could ever receive.
How has the Insomniac Discovery project impacted your music careers?
It’s given us a huge platform to start from. Also, the validation was big for us. When we won, we hadn’t publicly released a single track! It was a great feeling knowing there were professional tastemakers out there who appreciated our work. It’s a little more satisfying than mom and dad telling you us how much they love our music.
Are there any musicians, literature, or movies that have really helped developed this project?
Drive is one movie that always comes to mind. The soundtrack for that movie was perfectly tailored for it. We often go into a song thinking how can we tailor this to a visual narrative, like a movie or music video. The concept of Louis Vivet is very visually based, so it’s a natural thing for us to focus on. Also, the Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson. This is not so much of an inspiration for us, but rather just an amazing piece of art. The attention to detail that Wes Anderson crafts in his movies is truly awe-inspiring. If we ever make it big, we're calling him to design our houses (and shoot our kids’ Sweet Sixteen videos).
What can we expect from you guys in the near future?
Lots and lots of new music of course. We have three unreleased tracks in the mix. They’re all very different from each other but they help tell the story we’re trying to convey to our fans. And hopefully some live shows around the end of 2015. We’re still perfecting the concept behind our live performances, but we’re getting closer and closer every day. We want it to be well-polished before we debut it in front of a live audience.
What is the ultimate goal and overall intention of Louis Vivet?
This may sound cheesy, but our goal is to make timeless art. Music is just a sliver of our creativity and we want to expand the way people experience music as an art form. If we could be forever remembered for immersing people in a carefully curated atmosphere born out of our creativity, we would probably sleep very well. If we make money and gain some notoriety in the process, great! But it’s not really our primary objective.
We wouldn’t have put this much time and thought into the themes underpinning Louis Vivet if it was just about getting rich and famous. The project is a reflection of who we are as people, and we want to share that with as many fans of art as possible.