Insight Interview: Uppermost

France’s Uppermost is a serious name in electronic music – and listening to his incredibly diverse catalogue of expertly crafted, beautiful, soulful sounds, it’s not at all hard to see why. We caught up with the man himself recently. Check out his story here…

Hey Uppermost, thanks so much for agreeing to an interview. Where are you based? Do you tend to travel a lot, or are you firmly rooted at home?

Hey, thank you for this opportunity. I’m from the suburbs of Paris, I don’t travel that much but anytime I do I wish I had the time to keep going on backpacking trips around the world. Making music is a way for me to express this need for discovery.

Can you recall your first real exposure to music? 

At the time I was a teenager, I remember spending all my free time standing in front of a radio K7 recorder at home, with the urge to capture the music that moved me the most.

How and when did you first begin writing and creating music?

It all started around the year 2007 when I discovered software that I could create music with. I’ve always been looking for a way to express myself and this tool gave me the opportunity to do so in a creative and personal manner.

How did you decide upon the name Uppermost?

I like the idea of being constantly reminded that I will always be able to reach for a higher point, the name of my project is a way for me to dedicate everything I do to this beautiful reality. I’m not meant ever to reach the top – my passion is to always be climbing in the name of my values.

Can you describe your music for us?

My music is the expression of my vision. It’s something that goes beyond anything I could ever explain or describe. My creativity is always ahead of me. In a way I’m just the translator of what happens in my heart and soul.

Have you played live recently? Would you like to do more shows or tours in future? Anything coming up soon you’d like to tell us about?

A few weeks ago I worked on a little live jam at home with different midi pads and keyboards. It really had a huge impact on me since I felt that there is a real potential in expressing myself live, not just through a composition I built and finished alone. I’m excited for the tour of my upcoming album because it will be a completely new experience (this time I’m with a live guitarist and bassist!).

What have been your biggest influences?

Like many of your readers I’ve been a big fan of Burial for many years. I also listen to Apparat and his project with Modeselektor a lot. I listen to Moderat too, almost every day. There’s something about his music that’s very deep and mesmerizing but very minimalistic at the same time that always inspires me.

Do you think producing electronic music requires technical or creative skill? Or both?

As with every tool made for human expression, I think you don’t need to have huge skills right from the beginning. Everything is in the process of practicing your craft until you become good enough to turn creative ideas into quality music.

Do you tend to find the creative process a cathartic or therapeutic experience? Has creating music helped you cope with difficult times in your life?

Music is without a doubt one of the best ways for me to say things that can’t be expressed in any other way. So many times in the past I was frustrated because there were painful feelings I wasn’t able to put out of myself. It’s incredible how powerful and liberating a song can be in a moment of big distress.

Any collaborations, remixes or joint projects on the horizon? 

Not for now, but that’s definitely something I’m looking for next year.

Any new genres or musical styles you’d like to explore in future?

I’ve recently been listening to a lot of UK Garage and Deep House tracks, there’s something addictive in these genres that instinctively speak to me and inspire my creativity.

Do you have any thoughts on the future of electronic music? Do you think the scene will evolve further?

I like to think that nothing can be anticipated when we talk about the electronic music scene. Like any other form of art, it all depends of the upcoming revolutions created by the mind of passionate artists.

Any new releases coming our way?

I’ll put out a new single on October 13, as an introduction to my upcoming album to be released in the Spring of 2018. I can’t wait to share this new project with the world, the whole process really felt like writing a very personal book.

Any artists or other individuals / collectives you’ve not worked with yet that you’d like to work with in future?

I’m really inspired by the work of artists such as FKJ, Pogo, Tycho, Parcels, and so many more.

Do you have a favourite track / song of all time? Favourite artist?

Probably ‘Archangel’ by Burial or ‘Rusty Nails’ by Moderat.

It’s been said that a life in music can be a hard one. Would you agree with that? 

I’d definitely agree, especially when it comes to independent artists who fight to keep their true passion alive while constantly facing financial obstacles and manipulation from private interests.

Do you have any words of advice for aspiring young producers?

I think the most important thing for those just starting their musical journey is to practice while having fun. It’s very easy to fall into the trap of judging yourself negatively, being obsessed by your lack of skill, so in the first years it’s just a matter of surrounding yourself with the things that inspire you the most, slowly building skills and self-confidence. In a word, don’t think: feel.

Any other projects on the horizon that you’d like to tell us about?

As I said above I am very excited for the tour that will follow the album release since it will be the first time that I will play my tracks with a live band with a carefully crafted lightshow.

And finally – are there any tracks / artists that are relatively unknown that you’d like people to know about?

There are many talented people that definitely deserve more recognition! Some that I have the pleasure of listening to are Deccies, Poetically, Pogo

Thanks so much Uppermost! Best of luck with the forthcoming album and tour.

Thank you for inviting me!

Uppermost’s music is available here and here.

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