In MOAI Magazine we are really pleased to have a chat with Anthony Favier aka NTO, outstanding figure in the French electronic scene, dj, producer and label founder.
Hello Anthony, in MOAI Magazine we always loved to take a look at the beginnings and early influences of the artists we talk to. You were born in 1985 in Marseille, a town with a lot of cultural influences and your first musical inputs came from rock and jazz and some other 70´s or early 80´s flavours. But… when, how was your first memories of electronic music?
Hello and thanks a lot for this itw 🙂
My first crush for electronic music was the live album Everything Everything by Underworld ! Actually it was like a real epiphany. Then I started to party a lot in clubs in the south of France where I discovered a lot of great electronic producers like Stephan Bodzin, James Holden, Paul K (Kalkbrenner), Modeselektor … I think that’s when I really projected myself as a producer/dj. The electro seemed to me the best way to express myself with all my musical influences.
You started to play the guitar at the age of ten. What was the musical evolution of NTO since those early days? Did you play in any band, amateur or pro?
I rather have a solitary approach concerning composition. It was just me and my guitar at the beginning 🙂 I only started working with other artists recently, on the occasion of my first album whose name is still a secret and which will be released in September !
Your biography says that you lost your electronic virginity at the age of 18, when you attended the Sziget Festival and you began to hang in clubs from the south of France where the minimal techno from Germany was the main dish in the menu. You fell in love with the music of Paul Kalkbrenner (and who didn´t at the time… he was absolutely top!)
How does It feel to have now one of your tracks remixed by the Leipzig producer?
It’s like a dream to be honest 🙂 It’s one of the producers who gave me that urge to produce my own music. When I sent the original to him, he told me he really liked the melody and it was really obvious he had to make a remix ! It’s like you’re a young soccer player, on a football field with Zinedine Zidane and he tells you « hey man you got some skills ! » 😉
When I received his remix, I was like totally stucked in a loop on it, unable to realize exactly what was happening !
If we ask you about your early electronic music influences, you´ll say Kalkbrenner among them… who else would be in that list?
As I said above, James Holden, Stephan Bodzin, Underworld, Daft Punk, Modeselektor…
Now let´s talk about your creative process. Your music always has a beautiful and organic feeling, and I was a bit surprised when you said there was no hardware in your studio, just a computer and virtual synths. Can you explain to our readers a bit about how´s your time in the studio? Still no hardware at all? Which are your favourite VST´s?
Well now I use hardware synths 🙂 When I was about starting to focus on the album, I wanted to have something more organic/powerful than usual : now I own A Moog SUB 37, A Roland Jupiter and a Microfreak from Arturia and I truly love produce with these stuffs. But until this point, I was only using my computer with a bunch of VSTS like Diva from U-he, which is extremely good by the way. I also use a lot VSTS to mix my tracks (Waves, fabfilter suite…)
Talking about this… Invisible is your last release, a beautiful and organic track, with the piano of Sofiane Pamart plays a very important part. Please, tell us about how this track was born and the idea of getting Sofiane on board to play his magic in this track
Really glad you like it thanks !! 🙂 This collab came from the desire to make some variations around the original track. I wanted to simplify all the harmony into one instrument. I particularly like the work and the sensibility of sofiane pamart, it seemed obvious I wanted him to tell his story with the theme. We finally create together a last version at the crossroads of our two universes.
In the last months, we had a couple of almost mandatory questions in our interviews, unfortunately. The first one is… where do you spend most of the last year? What professional or creative activity were you able to develop or maintain? (We watched an amazing streaming in your hometown a few days ago)
It can’t come as a surprise : home 🙂 of course.. At some point, I was missing the public and the shows so much and I had to find solutions, to be creative ! So I had the idea to do a « lockdown tour », 1 live stream every week, in my studio, in the bathroom, living room and finally in my garden 🙂
I’ll keep on doing live streams to keep in touch with my audience of course but I really do hope things will soon change for the better !
The other mandatory question is about survival. In Spain the whole sector of the electronic music, clubbing, etc, almost didn´t get any economical support from the government, and now the situation is really bad. We´ve been talking with artists around the world and we´re always interested in knowing how was the situation in their countries. What can you tell us about this matter, what happened in France?
Clubs in France are closing one after the other. Lots of big festivals are postponing for the second time to the next year… That’s very sad actually…
There are a few financial helps for young structures and artists in France but it is not enough to keep up. To be honest, Electronic music is still not considered as a real « cultural activity » in France.. we have a long way to go.
Some time ago, it was unveiled your participation in a event in Marrakech next July, with some other important artists like Kalkbrenner, Plex, Monolink, your friend Joachim Pastor… We really hope that this event and many others that has been announced will take place. We really need now a little bit of “new normality”. But what are your thoughts, your feelings about the nearest future?
Hopefully, things are going to improve. I don’t know if all the events planned for this summer will be maintained, but more and more events are slowly starting up around the world, step by step… but damn… we’ve been waiting for quite some time now! I can’t stand it anymore, I need to play for REAL PEOPLE !!
We are tremendously grateful to you for taking the time to talk to us a little bit about your past, your present and this future that we all hope will be completely different from this past year. Thank you Anthony.
The pleasure was all mine !