It’s been one of the albums neuroheads have been waiting for, and now it’s finally here. On September 1, we saw the release of Redpill’s debut album Genesis. “I’ve been working like crazy all summer and I’m really happy to have it released,” the Toulouse artist tells us. The album tells Redpill’s origin story, and it’s a magnificent one. Genesis shows neurofunk like you haven’t seen it before, as the album contains melodic vocals, rap, soul, and much more. The artist takes you by the hand and tells his very own story through these 12 songs.
Or should we say 13? Some fans might have noticed it, but there is one more song left to discover, and it’s for the lucky ones. “To celebrate the album release, we will be releasing my first Redpill t-shirt soon, which has a QR code on it. If you scan this, you get the 13th track. It’s super engaging, and I very much like the idea,” Redpill reveals. It will be available on the Blackout Merch store. That’s not the only easter egg he hid in his debut album, as his major inspiration for the visuals came from Cyberpunk 2077. His inspiration, his journey, his creative process and more, that’s what we were curious about. So we asked him.
Congratulations with your debut album! How has the journey been?
I started this album after Covid started and at first I made about 40 tunes for the album. As you can imagine it was a difficult selection, but these are simply the best ones out of the bunch. We wanted to make all of the tunes unique in some way, we don’t want three tunes in the album who are exactly the same. We want to really bring something new, every tune is carefully written.
How was it to collaborate with all those different artists that are featured on your album?
I’ve been working with Coppa for a while now. We’ve played a lot of gigs together, but we hadn’t worked together on a track yet, so this album was a good opportunity. I asked them to make some kind of album introduction, so this is a special collab for me. It’s such a special track, ‘Genesis’. It introduces my album, my new sound.
Then Anna Vaverková, she did amazing vocals for ‘Let Go’. I think we did a nice job in the melodic side of the neurofunk, she brings something very emotional which I really like. I like putting emotions in the music, because neurofunk can be cold and technical sounding. Another mad collab was ‘Executionist’, a collab with Virus Syndicate and Black Sun Empire. When Black Sun Empire and I started the collab, it was clear we were gonna need a vocalist for the track, and they asked Virus Syndicate, and they were up for it. I love this track, and I’m very happy it made the album.
For ‘Frogs’ I worked with Burr Oak. They are my Toulouse friends and also my favourite producers at the moment, so I’m really happy we worked together. I’m sure we’ll make more very soon. We have a really similar sound. The last collab I did was one with Ed Rush for ‘Interlinked’. I’m stoked to have him on the album, he’s a legend and big influence.
How has it been working with Blackout?
It’s great. I had the producer’s vision of what I wanted for the album and they helped me to polish the plan more. Their experience really helped me, they brought another point of view, they made me grow a lot on that side of things. When I started to make drum & bass I was already a big fan of Black Sun Empire and always wanted to work with them. I was really happy when they started to sign me, and this album is another milestone.
Genesis covers the whole spectrum of neurofunk, why is that?
I think it’s exciting to bring something new, that really was something I wanted to do with the album. Trying to find some new ways to work, some new sounds, and follow my vision that I’ve had for years. I also wanted to make it more interesting to people, depending on what they like. Some people prefer to listen to music at home for example. I wanted to make tunes that can be listened to anywhere, also outside of the club. That was my aim here, it’s something different than I’m usually doing. I was lucky to work with all these amazing people and legendary producers.
Why did you want to make music not for the dancefloor?
Don’t get me wrong, all of the tunes of the album are primarily dancefloor, but I also tried to make them also easy to listen to outside of the club. It’s nice to have tunes to play live, but sometimes we’re not in that mood, sometimes people don’t have these conditions to listen to music. It’s making the music more accessible.
I am also working on short music videos, with A.I. you can do crazy things and I like experimenting with it. I’m currently doing something between a music video and visualizations. The aim is to bring video and music together to make something more impactful than just the music, because the music can sometimes be a bit aggressive sounding. Those videos can make the music more interesting.
You say you want to tell some kind of story, which one is that?
A friend and I have been writing a short novel in the cyberpunk theme, which I very much like. It’s in the Redpill context, and I’ve been sticking to that. The novel is a story of an android who is evading from a clone factory, It is the story of a journey and finally he will find something that will change his destiny, that’s the short story. It’s the vision I’ve been following throughout the whole process, it’s nice to have a concept. Even if I make tracks that didn’t follow this line, it’s still nice to have an overall idea. It’s all coming together.
I’ve also been working with Kasaey, a visual artist from Toulouse, from my hometown. He made an amazing 3D visual, he also made the main artwork for the album, as well as the singles. Basically the idea was to make a 3D mapping of my face, with lots of implants and other stuff. The influence is Cyberpunk 2077. We made lots of photos from every side of my face, and he made some incredible 3D art with it already. He is so talented and his work matched perfectly with the vision I had in my head.
Earlier you said you’ve been working on this album since the start of Covid, so I can imagine you’ve got quite a thorough writing process. How do you start writing your tracks?
I usually start with the drops, because I think that they are the most important part in drum & bass. When I have a solid four or eight bars loop, I try to find a theme. I don’t like tunes that don’t have a theme to work around, because then you just get one of those tunes that don’t stand out. I always spend a lot of time finding something unique.
Connection wise it was quite a journey, because I started it in Ableton Live, my first DAW. After a while I changed to Bitwig though, so I had to relearn everything. This changed my sound a lot. I relearned to produce music and found new ways. That inspired the album name Genesis, like a new beginning. That’s how I feel at the moment, I’ve been grinding the techniques and the production, learning the new DAW. With this album I’m starting something new, with my new sound.
In what way has it changed your sound?
When I was using Ableton, I was using a lot of plug-ins, so when I went to Bitwig they weren’t there anymore. I have a lot of different plug-ins that I can use now, experiment with, try out new possibilities. It’s all about evolving. The DAW industry is evolving, and I do my best to keep up to date with it, to always look for newer technologies. This album is full of new approaches to drum & bass.
Any final thoughts?
I would like to thank UKF for the interview and for having uploaded Executionist on their Youtube channel, everyone at Blackout HQ, and especially Jelle the manager for his dedication. I hope you will like the album as much as I do!