Meet Saë: the emerging artist from Paris, is an ElectroFunk music producer and multi-instrumentalist. As a solo artist, he draws inspiration from musicians ranging Prince to Daft Punk to Justice, yet he continues to forge his own signature style. As a result, he blends the Groove of the late 70s, with the French Touch genre and a neovintage flair. Saë captures his listeners with each live performance and funky vibe release including ‘All the Things’ and ‘Wild’. With performances in Brussels, Amsterdam, Manila and NYC, Saë is set for the international stage. Showcased as “Artists to watch” by France 24, Saë was invited to perform in the Philippines for the 2019 ‘Fete de la Musique’. In France, his touring lineup includes a summer concert on the mainstage at the Imaginarium festival in June 2019, alongside artists such as Møme, Myd, Folamour and Caravan Palace. Source: About Saë, Spotify.
My Kind of Music, with Saë.
An ILLUSTRATION of Mr. KOOL.
At the end of November last year, I found this really interesting, really GOOD musician, while in search for new music for my weekly updated ‘Feel Better‘ playlist. I stumbled upon today’s guest and was totally impressed with his talent. We’re going back to Paris, France, where Saë resides and after seeing him in action on social media and in his video’s, I can only describe him as Mr. Kool Himself. Starting with this song which first personal impression reminds me of the jazz-rock/ fusion bands I grew up with, adding Saë’s twist in the mix. Kool Indeed 😎
I really appreciated it, when Saë messaged me after I started following him on Instagram. It’s just so nice when a – most likely very – busy artist, takes the time to let you know, they are aware of your follow and they in their turn show their appreciation. He started with, I quote: ‘Thanks for connecting! It means a lot especially in these times. I hope you and you’re family are well!‘ So considerate and welcoming, of all the things you could do, this would for sure get my attention! Which gets us to the next song, with nicely chopped vocals and a surprisingly interchanging disco beat.
Saë asked me to let him know which song I enjoyed the most. Such a smart question, since it meant I would have to listen carefully to all his songs to be able to answer that 🙂, but seriously, I was planning on doing that anyway. Though I answered him honestly, with all the Spotlights going on and nearing Christmas, it would probably take me some time, since it was kind of busy. So it wasn’t until the second of January this year, I got around to give all his music a good listen and I shared my favorite with him: ‘Illustration’, which I also added to that weeks playlist. The rest was added to my personal playlist and saved for later. As in, Now. Watch Saë himself, giving the perfect Illustration.
Of course I did not fail to let him know I would very much like to do a ‘Spotlight on Saë’, because, come on, have you listened already?? The funky tunes Saë produces, concentration written all over his face, alternated with smiles when he’s obviously pleased with the outcome, adding his very own energy. Don’t tell me you can sit still for one moment! Watching him on Instagram, his drive and enthusiasm got to me. The way he plays different instruments seemingly easily – he can do it all – to reach his ultimate goal: a smooth, energetic, funky track. According to one of his Facebook posts, his life’s motto is: ‘Elevate Yourself‘. Well, his talents are exactly that!
While at first I thought he might not be interested, I was pleasantly surprised he messaged me back a couple of weeks later, apologizing for his late reply and saying he would be happy to do an interview. Well, that made me happy too, but now it was my turn to delay… Aah life 😂. Fortunately I have become less stressed about a lot of things concerning my blog. Everybody is busy and sometimes time is just not on our hand. It took me a week before I could get back to Saë and after some back and forth messaging, we are finally here. One thing is certain, Good Things Come to Those Who Wait! This next song is destined for the dance floor, I mean, that’s a Good Thing, right?
Here we are. Saë currently has 4 songs released on all platforms and 7 previous produced ones, you can find on SoundCloud. Since he also has a couple of very cool video’s on YouTube, I’m just switching between platforms here, to give you an idea of what Saë is capable of, in random order. The labels Saë himself uses on SoundCloud, switch between Electro/Funk and Nu Disco. As I’ve mentioned before, some genres are pretty close and might overlap, but listening to his whole catalog of music, would almost make me label his music as a fusion between the two. Saë’s music is radiating strength, discipline and definitely Funk. However still maintaining the joy and spontaneous feel, to me they characterize also as a bit…wild.
About the first three uploaded tracks on SoundCloud, there’s not much to find on Saë’s social media. Except for a comment made by another blog, mentioning ‘Night Walk’, sounds like, I quote: “A mash-up between Prince and Justice“. Those 3 songs are all labeled Electro/Funk, after which Saë announced his ‘Project Saë’ and – I assume – he started to use the known logo, displaying his name.
Starting with ‘Night Walk’, followed by ‘Manga’ and the third ‘Before Dawn’. ‘Night Walk’ and ‘Manga’ are pretty uplifting, the synths taking you to better places, operating under a certain synthwave flavor. ‘Before Dawn’ has a bit of a darker opening and mood, though surprises with a turn right after, in my opinion referring to a blasting, radiant sunrise. All in all, the three songs seem to be a good start and experiment for what is coming after. They already show Saë’s signature synth sound and heavy bass.
With ‘Elevate’, Saë opened the mentioned project while staying – and touring! – in NYC for a little while in 2018, gathering inspiration. The song was followed by ‘The D Train’ – they are both labeled Nu Disco. And though the synths are definitely carrying the track, That BASS! You all know I’m a sucker for it. I guess I wasn’t really that far off, saying Saë’s music has kind of a ‘wild’ streak, because while announcing the song on Facebook he states, I quote: ‘Hey folks ! My new live video is out ! Ready to join me on a wild ride? New track “The D-Train” is about to depart!‘ The song has speed written allover, without losing track. I suspect this is where Saë’s sound was firmly founded. Watch it!
Saë has been invited to play in several countries and has performed live at numerous occasions, clearly enjoying being on stage. You can see enough proof on social media if you’d take the time and look him up. He also got some real special experiences along the way, which I asked him about and he will sure want to tell us all about. Leaves me with one song left, which is ‘NeoVintage’. By now Saë’s sound should be recognizable to us all, it seems he has found a recipe for success and cooking up stuff that makes your head spin and your feet wanting to move. Trying for a ‘music-for-dummy’s-translation‘ 😳, NeoVintage could literally mean new/old, But Fashionable, mind you! And it’s pretty astonishing, how Saë finds a way to sound like the re-invention of Oldskool Funk himself. Saë takes his music seriously and integrity seems to cling to every track he releases.
Well, it’s time to let Mr Kool himself tell us all about what moves and inspires him to create his special kind of brand! But of course, before we go there, I want to say: BIG Thank You Saë! Finding your music was a revelation, because of the way it stands out! I love how you create your own musical world and how your drive and love for music is reaching out through every song. I wish you all the blessing for the time to come, vibing and creating new tracks. I will add you to my Spotlight page, where you will stay indefinitely and I will do my best to update any new release in the future.
Let’s start with the obvious: can you please introduce yourself and tell us, who is Saë? When and how did you get started in the music scene? You’re also a multi instrumentalist, which ones do you play and do you have a preference? (I sure love that funky bass 😉)
‘Hi I’m Saë, a French Electronic music producer and multi-instrumentalist. My love for music started when I was a teenager. People around me used to listen to all kinds of music and genres. Which led me to listen to various types of music and play in all different bands (Rock, Metal, Rap, Jazz, Blues, Pop etc…) Ironically, this solo project is my first funky project although it has always been my dream to play in a funk band!
I play guitar, keys / synths and bass and choosing between them is like choosing who’s your favorite child haha. Keys / Synths can produce all kinds of sounds Guitar and Bass can’t, plus, it’s easier to find chord progressions you would have never thought of. The bass will help me to lay down quickly a solid groove. And guitar is like a combination of the 2 previous instruments: you can play chords, melodies easily and syncopated groovy riffs at the same time. Conclusion, I love them all!‘
I’ve seen you describe your music as NeoVintage, you even titled your last song the same. Maybe you could elaborate on this? Who are / have been, your greatest influences, where do you get your inspiration from?
‘For me, NeoVintage means a combination of the best of old and new technics. In my case, it means recording some traditional instruments (Guitar, Keys, Bass) but applying some modern music production thanks to DAWs (Digital Audio Workstation). For example, sometimes I resample some of my old or actual guitar recordings, as if it was from another artist, and add it on a track I’m working on.
So many artists influenced me! Basically all the french touch artist like Justice / SebastiAn / Daft Punk. All the Disco-Funk of the late 70s early 80s like Chic / The Brothers Johnson / Delegation. And also some new artist like Haywyre, MNDSGN or Engelwood.
To go deeper into this NeoVintage vibes, visuals are very important. That’s why I made a track called « Illustration ». The video was shot in an old Parisian studio filled with some vintage equipment and synthesizers but also with modern equipment (like a sampler, laptop and MIDI keyboard).
My collaborators understand this vision and help me to realize it (photographers, videographers, sound engineers and manager). They are also part of my inspiration haha. I also keep an eye on what’s happening in the photography (Analog and digital), movie, and fashion fields as well‘.
You’ve been asked to play in several countries and last years March your track “All the Things” was featured as the Official Soundtrack for the eurofilmfest 2020. if you would have to name a couple of highlights, which ones would that be and why?
‘2016: This ElectroFunky project started after staying a month in NYC. This city is a hot spot of inspiration and vibes. I met so many artists and people who gave me the strength to begin this solo project.
2018: My manager organized a tour in NYC. It was the first time I played in NYC and connect with my US audience (the birthplace of my project).
2019: Thanks to the NYC tour, Clubbing TV CEO, France 24 and Alliance Française of Manila, invited me to play in the Philippines for the « Fête de la musique ». What an incredible experience to be invited to play in a foreign country and to be labeled as « Artist to Watch ».
2020: My favorite track « All The Things » was selected to be the Official Soundtrack for the eurofilmfest. It was so stunning to go to the movies and hear my track being blasted before the beginning of every movies !
2021: « NeoVintage » was playlisted in the Editorial « Future Funk » Spotify Playlist. What a surprise, since I was listening randomly to the playlist at 2am. At first, I thought it was some kind of mistake but thankfully it wasn’t.’
Can you tell us a bit how your creative process works? Do you have like a certain way to go about things, or do you ‘go with the flow’? And are there any parts that are specifically challenging for you?
‘First of all I search for chords on the piano or guitar and do all the structure. Then I start producing and arranging which usually gives me a lot of new ideas (too many haha). The bass is always the last instrument to be recorded. If I start with the bass, the track will be focused on the bass (and that’s not my goal).
Lately I’ve been writing lyrics and singing melodies, which is not really my strong point but it helps me keep a full control over the track and explore an other side of music. In the future, I’d like to produce and write more for other artists.
For the challenging parts, I would say singing as I mentioned earlier haha, overcharging a track with too many ideas, sometimes finding a particular sound I have in mind and lastly, finding a balance between producing something I like and something people would expect from me’.
You seem to have developed a unique, distinct sound, how hard is it, to have found that? And would you say you would experiment with more / other, genres in the future?
‘Knowing what kind of music I wanted to do wasn’t that hard. The difficult part was learning all those instruments and music production. Like other artists, I pick up some sounds I heard in multiple records or tracks, try to reproduce them with the equipment in my possession and I add it to mine.
Definitely, I’ve been listening to a lot of Pop (Dua Lipa, Charlie Puth, for instance) and Hip Hop (Pell, Young Franco and The Kount). Two of my future tracks will be more pop and hip hop oriented but still with a touch of funk and groove. Synthwave is also a genre I’d like to give it a try. There are other genres which attract me but I guess I will experiment through collaboration (like indie music / chill hop / lofi)’.
One of the things that really got to me, was the fact you reached out to me, after I started to follow you on Instagram. Not many would do that and I really liked that sign of appreciation from your side. How important is social media for you, or better: how important is the interaction with your fans for you? How much of their opinion would reflect in your music?
‘Yeah I really value getting to know my followers and new subscribers and I try to connect with all of them. Some of them have become friends, some support me with good vibes. Connecting with the fanbase helps me a lot to deliver the best content I can. And it’s amazing to discuss with people all around the globe. You learn a lot of things ! Some of them make me discover great artists. Plus, you kind of travel haha.
Social media is really important for artists today. It enables us to connect with one another, with the fan base and show quickly our artistic universe. That’s how I use it. Thanks to IG, I met some of my collaborators. It’s all a matter of finding a good balance because it’s easy to fall into scrolling rabbit hole down your feed instead of working on your tracks haha. Making music, at first, was something really personal but with time you also do it to share things with others and social media is great for that’.
What’s in store for the (near) future: are you currently working on something new? Any dreams or goals you hope to achieve this year? What is it you hope people will say / experience, about your music?
‘Definitely ! New tracks will be released during summer. If the pandemic situation gets better, I envision playing more live performances a bit. More collaborations are to be expected. Dreams: Produce more music, collaborate with more artists, sharpen my musical skills, seeing my music being used in series and films. I hope people will have a good time while listening to my music!’
Is there anything else you would like to add / share, with your fans / the readers? (Maybe something I did not ask you about?)
‘Just wanted to thank my family, friends, collaborators, students and fans who support me. For those who just discovered me through this article, subscribe and I’ll send you a nice welcoming message with good vibes ! Cheers Saë’.
Again, big thanks to Saë and how awesome he made such an effort answering the questions! I do hope you, my dear reader, will be thoroughly encouraged to look Saë up and enjoy his music!
Wishing y’all a funky week, Get Your Groove On & Enjoy ❤