Petit Biscuit | Interview for What the France!
After the success of his latest album Parachute, released in November, we wanted to discover more about Mehdi Benjelloun, alias Petit Biscuit. The artist agreed to answer our questions and to tell us a little bit more about his everyday life. Read our interview with the electronic prodigy from Rouen.
How did you start out making music, and what inspires you now?
I was very young when I asked my mom if I could start practicing cello. From there I’ve been training myself on the piano, the guitar, and a lot of other instruments. Production on a computer was actually the last step of my music discovery! I try to compensate what I don’t know in music theory by being passionate about making music and writing, and I think it’s all that matters today.
Last year, you travelled around the world with your keyboard, your guitar and all the other things you need to create your music. You spent for example time in Iceland and California. Can you tell us a bit more about this experience ?
It all started in 2019, I needed to take a real break from touring and from everything. Iceland was the best way to feel alone, in the middle of nowhere. And then, the US! In Los Angeles, it had a very different vibe. I’ve got a lot of friends over there. I wanted to have some good experiences and at the same time stay focused on the creative process.
We can find videos about these trips on your Youtube Channel. You show us your studio, how you spend your day, how you jump with a parachute, how you meet new people, we can see beautiful landscapes… What made you want to make these videos?
I wanted to escape, but I also wanted to keep a connection with my audience around the world. It felt natural to ask my two friends Jonathan Bertin & Baptiste Cornu to come with me and document our time abroad. In some ways it made the trip a little less spontaneous, because we had to plan the videos, but in the end I think that helped me focus on the goals of the journey, on working on my music while my friends were working on the content.
Do you feel that as an internationally renowned young artist, you have an influence on your public that you should use, such as in your video “Let’s protect our planet” ?
Of course! I don’t know how great my influence is, but I do have a bunch of followers on socials. I think it’s super important to use that platform to inform on the realities of our world, and on stuff that matters to me the most — and right now I feel like taking steps for the environment is most important. I might not be the most perfect human and sometimes I wonder if it’s OK that I’m talking about this… But then I remember that every little thing counts, and that trying to raise awareness by any means is better than doing nothing.
Do you miss performing during this Corona period ? How do you stay connected with your audience ?
Of course I miss touring and I hope I’ll be able to share the album with a live audience in the coming months. It’s tough to keep a good connection with my audience, because it all goes through social media, and our attitude with the platforms is changing every day. For the release of the album, I did a listening party on Twitch and YouTube, people were very receptive and it was really nice to get their feedback directly. We also had a couple friends come in the chat, like Diplo or Shallou.
Is there a message behind your new album?
Parachute is an album that I’ve tried to embody as much as I can. It goes through a lot of styles but I feel like my voice is what ties it all together. I just wanted to share some personal experiences as Parachute is my personal vision, how I see war, love, death. It’s a long introspection into my own self.
Thank you Petit Biscuit for your answers!