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Interview. Deluxe at the Ferté Jazz festival: “It’s going to be a party!” »

The Deluxe group is part of the program for the 11th edition of the Ferté Jazz festival (Seine-et-Marne). (©Gwenaelle Gaudy)

They started in the street to climb the ladder one by one… streets of Aix-en-Provence to biggest stages in Franceuntil the creation of their own label, the career of Deluxe, a group of six music-loving friends (singer Liliboy, saxophonist and pianist Pépé, Soubri, the DJ and percussionist, Pietre the guitarist, Kaya the bassist, and Kilo the drummer) with hip-hop, soul, funk accents, jazz, groove, is remarkable. They released this year their sixth album, Gracias Mustacheand will be this Friday, June 2022, 24 in the evening on the stage of the Ferté Jazz festival, as part of their tour.


News: So you will be at the Ferté Jazz festival this Friday, June 24, for those who don’t know you yet, how would you describe your musical style?

Grandpa from Deluxe: It’s a mix of genres. We make a lot of different music, music we listen to, and we all listen to a wide variety of artists. For example, there is a classic piece on the last album, more festive music, more hip-hop, French, English, songs, instrumentals, there is really everything and everyone styles between pop, hip-hop, electro, jazz, funk… There are no limits. The music is so eclectic that it’s great to be able to mix everything.

And your energy on stage?

Grandpa: On stage it’s a show, with lots of events, it’s festive, we get people involved, it’s actually sharing. We love to play, that’s really why we do it: to be on stage at some point, so clearly it’s party time! That’s really the idea: you put your brain down, you dance, you have a good time and it makes you forget everyday life a little (laughs).

You released your album at the end of January, Mustache Gracias, the 6th, maybe a little more chill, a little more intimate. Can you show it to us?

Grandpa: It’s complicated, we don’t necessarily realize that. An album is always the continuity of something and in addition, there was the Covid in the meantime, we composed a lot during the pandemic, maybe that’s also what makes it seem more intimate.
In this album, there are more titles in French. It is even more eclectic than those before while keeping our Deluxe touch. It was more us than Boys and Girls who were very electro. We had worked with 20Syl from C2C ​​who did a lot of productions. It was a great experience, but maybe a little less us. There we met. What we said to each other with the confinement was that we wanted more to be in the game, to record together, the organic. Maybe that’s what makes it seem more laid back, more intimate at times.

We imagine that it’s already complicated to create at six, it’s an album that you made during confinement, how did you work?

Grandpa: We all have workstations with gear at home so we can all record at home in good quality. We started sending each other prods, songs. Kaya put down the bass, Pietre put down the guitar, I did the horns, we did the vocals… We did everything and we had the recordings played and there are a lot of these tracks that are remained on the album.
From the second confinement, we had the right to work so we ended up in the studio to be able to work. We played the songs, we re-recorded some things together… A lot of that started. Even though there were songs like Flowers and Monday, which had already been around for seven years and which we had almost released on the Boys and Girls album but which were not ready and we ended up releasing them there.

Videos: currently on Actu

On this album, as on the previous ones too, you offer featurings, we find you with Oxmo Puccino, -M-, IAM, Taiwan MC, and there, more precisely, Youssoupha, Féfé, or La Rue Kétanou, what is does it mean to you to work with other artists?

Grandpa: It is an opening to the world. Working with people who aren’t part of the band means opening doors, both musical and human, because they always have things to teach us. And then it’s an exchange because we also have to teach them in a certain way. It’s super interesting to be able to do that because it takes us on paths that we wouldn’t necessarily have taken if we hadn’t had these encounters. The fact of singing all in French with La Rue Kétanou, it allowed us to feel legitimate to sing in French, it conquered us. Same with Féfé and Youssoupha, Liliboy (the singer, editor’s note) wrote raps in French and it was the first time. It’s great, it always brings something. In life in general, not just in the arts, it’s important to see how people around, how they see life, their philosophy… It’s always enriching.

Are there other artists you would like to collaborate with?

Grandpa: Sure ! There are plenty. I am thinking of Orelsan for example, or Americans. With Fatoumata Diawara we would also like…

“Gracias mustache to all those who followed us, who are there and who helped us to do this project”

grandpaThe saxophonist and pianist of the group Deluxe

Let’s go back to the title of the album, Mustache Gracias, is it a thank you album for your audience after this long period?

Grandpa: Absolutely yes, but also to our featurings, to the technicians, to the people who followed us, who are there and who helped us to do this project… It’s Mustache Gracias for everyone!

On the cover, in the name, we find once again your emblem, your trademark, the mustache. So why the mustache?

Grandpa: Because we all wear it! (laughs) It’s our emblem, our lucky charm. It’s our clothes, our costume, what makes our characters on stage!

Do you have a favorite song in this new album?

Grandpa: It’s complicated, it’s as if you were asked which of your children you prefer (laughs). I don’t have a preference, I would say that the important thing is the whole project. To understand Deluxe it’s good to listen to everything, and to come and see us live, to discover the personality of each member.

After the long period of health crisis, I imagine you were in a hurry to get back on the road and get back on stage…

Grandpa: Absolutely ! We were looking forward to this! This is the heart of our business.

Artistically speaking, did that period bring you anything?

Grandpa: Yes of course, in any case there is no chance. We live in a crazy world that goes 100,000 an hour. Besides, it’s back like in 40. It allowed you to focus on yourself, to understand things a little, to take a step back from life and from what is happening. It’s true that it was impressive and important to experience that. A lot of people have changed jobs, we asked ourselves a lot of questions, it makes you think…
Within the group, we take more time, also for us, each to work or enjoy. We really work together, but also in a different way, from home at certain times… It allowed us to tell ourselves that we could do a lot of things musically, that we shouldn’t deprive ourselves.

For the concert on Friday, what should we expect?

Grandpa: It will be a mix of all our albums! It’s going to be a party, it’s going to be cool (laughs)!

You did the Printemps de Bourges, you will be in Garorock this summer, is it important for you to also attend less renowned festivals?

Grandpa: All concerts are concerts. The public is there. We don’t say to ourselves that it is better to play at Garorock than at Ferté Jazz. We will give exactly the same. It is important. The festival-goers move, it is our public too. There is no reason to do less or otherwise!

Before, you were on the Chinese Man Records label, you created your own in 2015, Nanana Production. Why this change?

Grandpa: We have always dreamed of independence. We wanted to be able to make our own choices! Luckily we’ve been there. It got us started, it helped us on a lot of points, we learned so much with them, but it was the logical continuation of things.

After the success of filling halls, creating your own label, having a super loyal community like you have, and being on your sixth album, you sometimes don’t miss going to concerts in the street ?

Grandpa: But we continue! With each album we try to tour several cities in the street to present the new titles. We love ! There are no limits, we can do anything, that’s what’s great (laughs). It is important not to rest on one’s laurels!

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