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Credit: Massane

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This Never Happened’s rising star Massane takes on North America (Interview)

Massane is a rising star in the melodic house scene and on Lane 8’s imprint, This Never Happened. His compositions of rich textures coupled with live guitar take you on an emotional journey of sound. He garnered attention with his debut three part EP Visage 1 (No Return), Visage 2 (Crossroads), and Visage 3(Not Alone). His collaboration track with Lane 8 And We Knew It Was Our Time gained massive popularity and is a fan favorite.

Massane continues his upward climb with most recent album Another Dawn, released June 2021. He’s been featured multiple times on Above & Beyond’s weekly radio show Group Therapy, and has gained the support of Sultan + Shepherd, Nora En Pure, Le Youth, Don Diablo, and Tritonal. Massane has set himself up to become on the leading lights in the melodic house scene.

DMNW chatted with Massane as he starts his North American tour. He will be making a stop in Seattle on April 30 at Madam Lou’s. This is one you don’t want to miss. Grab those tickets here!

DMNW: Can you tell us about where you’re from?

Massane: I was born in the south of France. I currently live in the southern region in an area close to Spain. I’m moved a little here and there, but I’ve lived there my entire life and is where my studio is now. So this will be not only be my first time touring the US but will also be my first time ever in the States.

DMNW: How has the start of the tour been and how have the American crowds received you?

Massane: I recently performed in San Francisco and Austin, and it was awesome! The energy of the crowd was so amazing. It was great to see everyone dancing and jumping around everywhere. After the length of the Covid and the shutdowns, it has been so re-energizing to be back performing.

DMNW: Is there a difference playing for crowds here versus Europe?

Massane: I think you can always push both crowds during your sets and continue to add on the energy. But I notice the crowds in the US and Europe don’t react similarly to the same kind of music. Europeans often love the darker sounds and Americans love it too, but I see that Americans can be more responsive to pop material as well. I’ll definitely need to try this is in Europe because you never know! Sometimes there is a cliché about the crowd, but it’s worth trying new things and tasking risks depending on the places and people. People are individuals and it’s never the same wherever you go.

Credit: Massane

DMNW: Can you tell us about your musical background and how you discovered electronic music?

Massane: I’ve been playing guitar for more than 15 years now. Then Guitar Pro came around which is a software that allowed me to play and write sheet music for guitar. I started playing around with MIDI too and began writing entire compositions. That was my first step diving into electronic music because I realized I could make some crazy stuff with the computer. I wanted to learn about everything behind that.

At the time I started learning all of this in France, it was not easy to have access to information because everything was in English. I would often tell French people that wanted to get into electronic music that it would help a lot to learn English first. It took me awhile to learn everything that was needed but when I finally understood, that was it! I was hooked. I had always played by ear, but I knew I needed to dive deeper into musical theory. I learned piano and music theory because I needed to close bridge between the two. As a result, it elevated my production and creativity with electronic music.

DMNW: Can you tell us about your early experiments with electronic music when you were under the name Phynee?

Massane: My first electronic experiments were with house, hip hop, and then dubstep arrived. Hip hop is huge in France. I was mixing all those sounds, but the first genre I really put a lot of effort into was glitch hop. But the more I created in this genre, the more I became attracted to the melodic side of it. I was into the complex textures of genre and an artist that inspired me at the time was Glitch Mob.

I have a lot of projects from that time and I kept coming back to them experimenting, pushing myself, knowing there was more there. My album Magnetic has shades of my influences from that time. My releases on Ben Bohmer’s label Ton Töpferei is when I truly found my sound, mixing melodic textures with that four on the floor style. It was then I decided to reinvent myself and became Massane.

DMNW: You’re hugely popular on This Never Happened. Can you tell us how you got to working with Lane 8?

Massane: I got into Daniel’s ear while I was still under my glitch hop alias Phynee. When I released on Ben Bohmer’s label, I know Daniel was receiving my music too and I got some feedback on it. Then I started to send him demos and nothing happened for several months, but I was very interested in getting feedback by someone of his magnitude. I decided to be patient and keep making tracks I knew I was confident in.

By the time he got back to me, coupled with the passage of time, I already had lots more tracks to send so I was ready. I sent him every track from my Visage project. He replied very positively to that music, so that’s what got me to start working with him and the rest is history!

DMNW: What can we expect from one of your sets?

Massane: It’s a mixture of live and DJ. I have my guitar alongside me behind the decks. It’s a little darker and heavier than what I usually do on my mixes. I think artists should always experiment and for me it has worked out well. The people at my sets enjoy the melodic vibe but they also enjoy the darker, clubby material.

DMNW: There is the artist, then there is the person. What are your interests outside the studio?
Massane: I love skateboarding but of course I’m being very careful right now because of touring. I also love video games, but more specifically indie games made by a small team of individuals. I view those as very cool, artistic projects.

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