October 28 - November 3, 2012: Issue 82
Malo is an 18 year old musician. A vocalist and more then apt on piano and guitar, he has known from an early age that he wanted to be a musician. Leading a group of Pittwater musicians, his lyrics and music won the first Youngbloods competition earlier this year and his EP’s have sold in excess of 160 thousand copies so far. Long term professionals such as Paul Robertson, who initiated and runs the Northern Beaches Music Festival, when announcing he and his band as winners, also told the audience that this was someone to keep an eye as he could see great things in this young man’s future. This week we took the opportunity to speak with this young man who calls Pittwater, as much as France, ‘home’.
Where were you born?
Caen; a little part of Normandy. It’s like a little city. In France it’s not the same as in Australia. You have Paris, which is the main city but where I was born it’s just a little city.
You have a tradition of music in your family, your father Gael Legardinier used to play. What kind of music did he make?
He used to play different styles. He began with punk music; I used to go with him to concerts. I lived with my grandparents but they also travelled around the world and when they were away I would go with him. He moved on to playing Folk and Funk and he used to play Metal as well. Then he got back to pop music.
He has a bit of a following in France?
Yes. He used to manage a few bands in France too, bands that have done really well.
So he moved into the management sphere of the music industry after being a musician?
Did this help you in learning how to be a professional musician?
Not really. Of course he helped me by always including me and when I was younger he tried to teach me guitar but I wasn’t really interested in learning how to play guitar in the beginning. I made up my mind when I was very young that I wanted to play music. I have always wanted to be a musician.
When was your first conscious musical moment; that moment when you knew this was for you?
When I was about six or seven, six I think, when my dad was touring as part of the festivals and I was watching them all on stage, he was a guitarist, I could feel so much love coming from everyone in that place. I was like ‘yeah’ (this is it).
The year after this, when I was seven and touring with my dad when he was managing a new band, we stopped at Bergerac which is close to the border. The band were playing their gig and I don’t know why but I decided to join them on stage at the end of their gig to play a song and people really liked it.
They applauded and you realised that you liked it?
Yes. I could feel their love.
What was the name of this band?
How big was the audience?
A little audience, maybe about 200. That was great.
Can you remember what you sang?
Yes, that was funny, because I didn’t know how to speak English and I just started to sing “One, two baby.”. It was very bad (my singing in English) but also good for me to experience that.
What inspires your music?
I draw inspiration from everywhere. I used to listen to many different kinds of music when I was younger, for example, my dad used to make me listen to Classical music; I listened to so much Classical music when I was young and I loved orchestras, all the different sounds you can get from orchestras.
When I was about nine or ten I started listening to Marrandi music which is a different style, there’s lots of pickup in that. I like different styles of music, I’m open to listening to soft music as much as the harder songs. My main influences; I really like The Doors for all their different dimensions, The Rolling Stones as well obviously.
You have just recently released an new EP called ‘EP’; was this choice a tongue in cheek one or does EP have another meaning for you?
Not really. It’s called EP because I didn’t really decide on a name.
How many tracks are there on EP?
Which is your favourite track and why?
It’s hard to explain this; for the EP and for the first album I recorded them myself, I didn’t go to a studio. When you’re recording them yourself you are listening all the time to the same song and by the end you can’t listen anymore it’s such a long and involved process. So I don’t have a favourite track but I do like ‘Crazy Mind’; it’s one that I can’t get bored of. It’s a very different style; It was something I wanted to do as well, it’s a bit of trip-hop music.
What’s trip-hop music?
It’s a bit of hip hop and electronics fused; you know Portishead?; That’s trip-hop music.
NB: Trip hop music fuses several styles and has much in common with other genres; it has several qualities similar to ambient music, its drum-based breakdowns share characteristics with hip hop, and it also contains elements of house, dance, R&B and dub reggae.Trip hop. (2012, October 27). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopaedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Trip_hop&oldid=520077002
Your music is rating very well on iTunes charts, it just keeps going up and up; we’ve seen recently a chap from Korea as a phenomenon and being listened to by millions but you’re rating really well against such numbers. How does it feel to see people appreciating your music?
It feels great. My first album and my EP are something very special to me; I just started and did these by myself, I put so much love into them; I couldn’t really expect that they’d be that successful. My first album has been very successful in France and it’s great to see them keep going up and up. I’m so happy about this but it’s something I really didn’t expect.
You have established a growing audience in Australia and France. Are there other countries where people are becoming aware of your music?
We’ve been able to see that people in the United States, Mexico and a few in Canada are getting the tracks. Canadian people like my music.
What do you do when you decide to have a day off music?
I like going to the beach or somewhere where it’s very quiet. Somewhere that’s calm, hearing the sounds of Nature, closing my eyes and relaxing. I really love one of the places here in Avalon – Paradise Beach.
Paradise Beach is your favourite place in Pittwater?
Why is that?
Because it’s so quiet and very very peaceful. It’s so beautiful and it’s the best place around.
If you could be a feathered, furred or finned creature what would you be and what would you do?
I would be a duck because ducks area amazing. They can fly and swim; they can go in the water, across the land and they can also fly.
Do you like eating duck?
Oh yes, it’s great. Yes, they’re good for eating as well.
What is your favourite food then?
In France I really like the Mussels and Chips. On the coast, each region has a specialty dish and in Normandy there’s this place on the coast called Cabour and they make this; it’s amazing. Everywhere you go in France each place has a specialty dish. When I’m in Australia I really like the Sushi and Thai food.
You have recently been signed by French record company Atmosphériques. How did they happen?
I received a few offers from different record companies in France because my first album did so well in France. The first offer was the beginning of March, about two weeks after I released the album and I was on the first page of Deezer which is a huge website in France, similar to YouTube except it is for music only, like Spotify too; there’s 8 million people everyday on this website.
One morning, just before I went to school, one of my friends called and said “Dude, you’re on the first page of Deezer!”
I said “No way!”; I knew that people would be possibly listening to my music in Deezer but I couldn’t expect that I would be on the first page. They contacted me and after looking at what they planned I knew they would be best for me and accepted their offer.
What does being on the first page mean?
It means you’re getting a lot of hits or people listening to your music; if they like it then they talk to others about your music and you get more people listening or ‘hits’.
I did have an agreement, a publishing agreement with a little record company; they didn’t do any promotions or anything like that but then Diesel discovered my album and loved it and decided to put it on the first page. Thanks to that I got a lot of people listening to the album. There was 160 000 listeners and people who bought my record which was fantastic.
What does your contract involve?
It’s a five year contract. I explained to them that it may take a little bit longer for the next lot of music as I’ve just put out my second one, the EP called ‘EP’, and they said that’s fine; we’ll do another EP, three or four songs, and then an album, but when I got back here this time I have had so much inspiration that I have written about 15 new songs and next week I’m going to record a Demo.
I will send this to my record company and if they like it, if they like the 15 songs, then I’m not going to release an EP I’m going to release an album. I may record this in Los Angeles; the boss of my record company is a great guy. He likes to send his artists everywhere around the world for recording their albums; he looks at what is going to work best for them, for the music.
Do you think it’s very important for an artist to be supported financially so they can get on with and focus on their work?
It’s vital. For the first album I didn’t have much money and made it all myself. I bought one microphone and did the best I could with what I had.
How old were you when you recorded your first song?
I was 12. I met this guy who managed me for five years and taught me how to record yourself as well. He was a very important influence in my life; he taught me how to mix songs and all the very important aspects of sound engineering. He would leave me alone all afternoon in the studio and tell me “record yourself”. He was a producer and I started to record an album with him when I was 13. I had to move around then so that stopped completely.
The name of this song was ‘Cours’ it means ‘run’.
When you compare that song to the music you’re making now can you notice an evolvement?
Yes. The songs I did before were not very good, horrible.
What was Cours about?
About running into life, embracing life; 'run, run, don’t stop'; I always have thought that you have to enjoy your life as much as you can, realise all the dreams you can because you may be dead tomorrow.
You knew that at 13?
I always knew that because my dad, I think I had a very special but odd childhood, was always taking me into pubs and I’d see so much of life. It’s not like here where you cannot take children into such places, or then, where you could go, in France, into smoky pubs.
What was it like growing up going on tours with your dad, did you have a tutor?
School was always second for me, music was first. When I was young dad was like ‘don’t waste your time on homework we have so many other much better things to do’; the teachers got a bit annoyed with him because sometimes I was in the class and sometimes I wasn’t due to being on tour with my dad. He knew reading and writing was important but being in school wasn’t a priority, experiencing life was an education as well.
What plans do you have for the future?
Well, if my music doesn’t really work I’d like to keep learning and one day open my own record company so I can help people with their music. Next year, in 2013, I’m going to do a European Tour, so I’m excited about that. I remember when I toured Tasmania it was great, I had some of the musicians I’ve worked with here on that.
What did you think of Tasmania?
It was great. I went to this amazing place called Wine Glass Bay, it was beautiful. We were there for a week and a half with the Barrenjoey Music Band.
How long are you in Australia this time and are you doing any gigs while here?
I’m going back to France at the end of November. I’m doing a solo gig tonight at the Chelsea Teahouse and another at Avalon Market Day as the last music before the DJ in Dunbar Park. We’ll be playing for an hour or so.
So what does a week’s work involve at present?
I’m working at present with my record company on re-releasing ‘The Old Way’ the first album in France, it’s going to be available in shops. This will happen around January 2013. We will be doing some video clips to support this. I’m also doing interviews and promotions at present, as well as working on the new songs; it’s a full time job. You have to approach it with a professional attitude as much as have passion.
What is your ‘motto for life’ or a favourite phrase you try to live by?
“Vis ta vie et profite de chaque instant!”
English: “Live your life and enjoy every moment!”
You can listen to Malo's Music HERE
Copyright Malo Legardinier , 2012. All Rights Reserved. Photos by A J Guesdon.
Paradise Beach, Pittwater.