French producer NxxxxxS (N-Five X-S)’ is an insanely talented and unique artist who handles his own engineering, production, and creative direction. Get to know him better with this VIPER interview…
What five words define your sound?
It’s conflicted: Intuitive, Research, Conceptual, Real, Synthetic
Tell me something unique about your creative process?
I have to work with waves of inspiration and energy. If possible, I want to make and finish each song in one session. I try as much as possible not to go back on a song after I start it because I want it to represent one exact moment in time and one exact feeling. If I go back and re-work it, the feeling or what I had in mind at that exact moment when I started, the song might become confused or blurry. Of course, it’s not always possible, especially when working on features, or when a track actually needs more work, but I’m trying as much as possible to keep the work that came from a particular moment in time intact.
Which song of yours would you like people to hear first?
What inspired you to make that song?
Just sounds, I was trying to make a song with a lot of emotion but without using any emotionally-driven chords or music tricks. I don’t exactly know how to explain it but I’m trying to make really sober music but at the same time it is really extravagant, it’s contradictory but it translates well what’s in my mind and I feel like people could understand that while listening to this track.
What’s the most vulnerable you’ve allowed yourself to be when writing/making music?
To be vulnerable when writing a song you first need to pass the technical and inspirational barrier. Meaning that for me, it’s going to be impossible to be vulnerable if I’m struggling to make something or if I’m making something for another purpose other than just creating music as an artist. I’m saying that because I do two types of music, one that’s to keep my career going and one that’s my real music, people who’ve been following me for a long time and love my music can tell the difference. Then if I pass all that, all my real music is vulnerable because as I said before I try to translate exactly what’s in my mind/ my feelings of an exact moment into my songs.
What’s the best/worst experience you’ve had on stage?
Best experience on stage is DJing in random dark clubs in small cities in Germany at 3am. People don’t care, they just enjoy the music and you can play whatever you want. The worst experience is DJing in concert venues, it’s the worst. I remember DJing at a concert venue in France, just a DJ booth on stage, no screen, no smoke, no staging, this shit is just stupid to me.
What is your favourite song to perform?
My song « ‘What Would I Do, Without You’ » on my album « ‘Blood Rage’ » is a love song but filled with anxiety and anger that was pretty vulnerable I guess, and I think the music translates it well. I love to play ‘Gmail’ by Sheck Wes.
Which artist/song/album made you want to make music?
When I first started it was 9th Wonder. I was just listening to all of his beats on YouTube and wanted to do the same. I always loved his way of using samples and keeping the voices on them. And his drums, you can recognise his drums instantly.
What’s the meaning behind your name?
When I started making beats on YouTube my name was Nbbeats, which was trash, if you put some X in the middle it writes NxxxxxS And people told me your name is NxxxxxS for NicolaS (my name) so it also works but it was random.
If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be making videos, direct or try to be just a video artist like Bill Viola or Nam June Paik.
What’s success to you?
Waking up whenever I want, having free will in my life without having money influencing too much of what you need to do. Every day I consciously think that I’m lucky to be able to do what I love, there is not one day where I don’t think about it.
What moment in your life/career forced you to change direction?
I finished studying my Master’s degree in art direction and had to find a job, I started one that I hated. At the same time I was just starting to be able to almost make a living off my music, I took the risk and quit the job to fully focus on music.
Where can people keep in touch with you?
Check out ‘Short Term Agreement’