Monday, April 28, 2008

The Confessional | René-Frantz Durosel

René-Frantz Durosel, between Montréal & Paris | Behind every great album, is a great producer. René-Frantz is behind two that have changed French R n’ B (Corneille’s Parce qu’on vient de loin & Gage’s Soul Rebel). He could easily be the poster child for the new breed of successful young mavericks in the Music Biz but by all accounts, this Soul provider is much more than the epithets associated with fame.

You’ve been semi-critical of my blog. Should I be scared of you answering this Questionnaire? Not at all. I criticized because I liked it. I don’t really waste time with things that don’t interest me.

You’re a successful music producer, a music video director and have dabbled in many facets of the music world. You’re part of that new breed of young Renaissance Men. Name two others before you who’ve had a certain influence on you. Walter Yetnikoff: The man who spearheaded Sony music (CBS) as a record company, for those who forgot. They only made radios and tape decks once! A crazy man who was true and an artist in his way of conducting business.

Sean Combs: This Man started out with nothing. But for every opportunity he made the impossible happen. Because of sheer confidence and a scoop of arrogance he changed the way of video making for all music genres and brought American black music and young black culture to the rest of the world by opening doors that weren’t opened at the time. I have to say I can do what I do because he’s inspired me to take risks.

You’ve had a public business break-up with singer Corneille, who used to be on your label. Is all fair in Love & Music? Although I don’t regret any of the decisions that led to the “break-up” one thing that I would never do again is to partner with an artist in one same company. There is music and then there is business. I’ve learn how to manage the two better.

I find that Montreal radio doesn’t represent the City at all. What’s your solution? Move, change countries. Lol. But seriously, how could they!? The city is so diverse! There is no way they could truly represent the city. If they did, it might just sound like some college radio. I do believe that they can be a bit late to stay in tune with what’s happening in the rest of the world. That’s why kids prefer the alternative of internet. Radio used to break music. Today it’s all about maintaining a certain level of listener ship, no risk taking so they can sell advertisement. They keep saying music, or cd’s will die but I’d worry about top 40 radios first.

Your label, Angel Dust, has well-deserved resounding success in Europe and elsewhere on the Globe. Does it hurt to not have the same accolades at home or do you console yourself with the old adage “Nul n’est prophète dans son pays”? I console myself with the toys I buy from the success I have in those other places. To tell you the truth, I’m quite comfortable with the recognition I’ve had in this country. My very first record sold over 1 000 000 album in the world. About 150 000 were sold in Quebec. The « Parce qu’on vient de loin record » is the highest selling French R & B record in the world EVER, the highest selling French R & B record in Quebec EVER and the biggest export out of Québec in 2006. The song “Parce qu’on vient de loin” was the most played French song in the world that year. And the beautiful win of the highest recognition for a artist at the ADISQ gala (Québec’s Music Awards): Interprète masculin de l’année (Best male performer). Not to forget that it’s the first time a black person got that honor and that was voted by the public. I’m one of maybe 5 people, I can think of, in Quebec, who can guarantee the release of a local album in a serious way out of the country. The experience and reputation of Angel Dust in France, Belgium , Switzerland and in the French Caribbean. Only other people can say je ne suis pas prophète dans mon pays. I think I did well for myself and I was only 26 years old when things blew up. I’m now 30 years old. I just started a new company called Media Angel Dust 2.0 and this year seems like it will be our busiest year ever. The funny thing is that after all that I’ve accomplished, I still can’t get recognized as “producteur reconnu” (attested producer) with provincial government grant agencies. Well…

You spend a great amount of time in France. What is the main difference between women in Paris and women in Montréal? Really? … They enjoy sex in french and it’s beautiful. The french language has never sounded better in my ears. Is that what you wanted to know?

As a Renaissance man, surely style is of the essence. What are your must accessories for Spring/Summer 2008? Silk scarves! Dark tint sunglasses. (Tom Fords’ are the best). Colorful socks! I’ve been trying to get guys into something else than white, black or grey socks. Funk it up people!!!!! Ok, last but not least: I don’t care how comfortable they are: Crocs are a no go!!!! Unless, you’re on the beach with your kids.

Name three albums that should be mandatory in music appreciation classes, in schools all over the world.

Michael Jackson’s Thriller
Nirvana’s Never Mind
D’angelo’s Voodoo
They’re just some of my personal favorites.

What is a sure turn on? A beautiful girl who acts and lives like she doesn’t know she is.

What has to stop? Racism. I’m a dreamer!

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Wow, I expected to see you 40 years ago.

You are in front of 90 000 screaming & adoring fans at Wembley Stadium. What song are you belting out? A hit song from one of my artists. You didn’t specify but in this dream I’m on the side of the stage screaming while the artist is kicking ass on stage.

On a deserted island, what do you bring besides your I-Phone & your Amex
? My photo albums.

What entity or person is in most need of a new PR campaign? The U.N. The new slogan should be. “People paid a shit load of money to act like they care”. Darfur!!! Need I say more!?

When will I see you next? Probably in the newspapers. Some big announcement coming soon !!!! Seriously, I’d invite you over but I’ll be homeless soon. I sold my place and I haven’t found my new home yet. If you don’t mind me sleeping over that would probably be the quickest way. Lol.

René-Frantz’s latest artistic directing, Gage’s “Pardonne-moi” music video :


MusicOrphan said...

Good call on radio stations in Montreal. They're all the same with different call letters. The music they play is not only the same but not current which is why I get my music fix with online radios.

Anonymous said...

He seems like a cool cat with swagger. The vid is hot. Love reading your interviews. They say as much about you than as about the subjects.

Anonymous said...

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