By Laura Eley
Fresh from the March launch of his first full-length album, Coastline, Montreal’s Geoffroy is picking-up speed throughout the electronica universe. Spending nearly two years meticulously crafting his LP, along with co-producers Gabriel Gagnon and Max Gendron, Geoffroy – who, in his other life, works scouting music producers – joined the Bonsound family following the 2015 release of his EP, Soaked in Gold. Citing his full-time gig as the reason he’s been able to not “put too much pressure” on himself while creating his sound, Geoffroy is eager to remain strategic about his performance choices; recently, he played at Canadian Music Week and this summer will take the stage at Osheaga.
Spending a few minutes with QUIP prior to his CMW performance at the Supermarket Bonsound showcase, Geoffroy shared his thoughts on his latest album, writing process, and how travel inspires him both creatively and spiritually.
Laura Eley: Tell me about making Coastline.
Geoffroy: It took two years; eight months of composition, four months of writing, and then eight months of crafting and polishing, production. I put a ton of effort into it. I became friends with my producer super quickly; we locked ourselves away in a cottage for four days, spent a whole bunch of time in a studio in Old Montreal, and just took our time.
LE: Travel’s a big part of your life and your music. What appeals to you about it?
G: The fear of commitment. I’ve thought about this a lot; the fear of commitment drives me to leave often. I also love being in a place where I don’t know anyone and everything is new. You know, there’s that moment when you’re traveling and you meet the right person, and the setting is just right, and I want to relive that moment all the time.
LE: Any travel highlights?
G: Right now, I’m really into Berlin, Amsterdam, and Valencia. I lived in Spain for about a year four years ago; I did a master’s there. I’d been making music all my life, but more as a hobby; I wasn’t disciplined and focused. After living with musicians in Spain for a year, I decided to become more serious about it. I also decided to do The Voice back home – the Montreal version – and it was weird; it just wasn’t me. But, it did show me that there was an interest in my music and sound, and I thought maybe I should get more disciplined. My friend called me up, he’s a house producer, and together we released our first EP. Then Bonsound came on board and I gave myself the objective of writing a full record.
LE: Your video for “Sleeping On My Own” has incredible scenery. Where was it filmed?
G: We wanted to do ayahuasca in Peru, but we only had a week. Shamans were also a bit hesitant to involve camera crews, and I didn’t want to be disrespectful. An important thing you learn when you’re traveling is know your place and be nice; you’re not at home. My other plan was to film in Mexico, in this little village called San José del Pacifico. It’s 4,000 meters above sea level and just beautiful. The community there lives on mushrooms, and they do a ceremony with a shaman. You go into a little cave with boiling water and medicinal plants, like a steam bath, and it’s like being reborn. Then you spread honey and mud on your body, so your body is purified, and take the mushrooms to purify your mind.
LE: What’s it like being part of Montreal’s music community?
G: Montreal’s a big city but we all support each other and know each other. The reception from the crowds at home is crazy; there’s interest and eagerness to go see live shows. It’s really rewarding.
LE: What’s up next?
G: The idea would be to have the right partners in Europe, the right partners in Australia, and then play amazing festivals – big stage, the Sun coming down. That’s on my list for sure. Then, I’d love to write more and produce; past 40 I don’t know if I want to do this lifestyle. I want to live in nature and have a flip-phone.