3 years ago ex-Adam Kesher member and plastic artist Perez was releasing his French pop electronic debut record Saltos. Unfortunately, despite its critical success, the record failed commercially. Since then, he left Universal to go solo and release his new album Cavernes produced by Strip Steve (Boys Noize) with a distinctively underground and electronic sound. We met him in his Parisian apartment to talk about the evolution of his music and how it’s like to be an independent artist.


You are coming back with a second album which is more electronic than the previous one, why this radical change?

Every record I make is linked to a particular moment in my life. I’ve also learned a lot from the first one and I wanted to go into this dark and electronic sound. The first album gave me so much experience that it was very easy to decide which direction to follow for this one.

The fact that you left Barclay (Universal) influenced you to make something more underground?

Yes, I’m releasing this one via my own label Étoile Distante, and I wanted to be completely independent both in terms of sound and visuals. It was a very natural desire to make something totally underground striped of any mainstream sounds and singles. The fact that I don’t need to argue with anyone about having a “commercial hit” is very encouraging!

How does it feel, being completely on your own?

It feels fine! I knew that Barclay (Universal) wouldn’t release this record and I completely understand it, it’s not easy to push something that doesn’t have a commercial vibe when you’re with a major. With my own label, I have time to question myself on ways to release and promote it!

Now that you own a label, are you thinking about signing other artists?

For the moment, I’m more focused on launching my new record which demands a lot of time. In the future, I would definitely love to produce and help other artists, I want it to become sort of an experimental lab.

This second album is more electronic like you wanted to experiment the dark side of your creativity. How did all this happen?

I wanted to recruit Strip Steve (Boys Noize) and create more clubbing and nocturnal music. I’ve got the lyrics and some melodies written for a while and I knew that wanted this electronic sound but I realized that it was impossible to make it by myself. I was thinking to make this record with someone close to me and since I and Steve hang out a lot together, we decided to work on it in Berlin and Paris!

The first single of your new album is called Niki, so who’s that Niki?

It’s a tribute to all Niki…Nicki Minaj as well as Niki de Saint Phalle.

You are also a plastic artist, it’s important for you to mix both, music and art?

In the beginning, when I started doing plastic arts it was just to take a break from music. I love doing more experimental sound like 2-hours long tracks for example and at some point, I wanted to mix both disciplines.

And what’s next for Julien Perez?

I’m currently working with artists like Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Flora Moscovici on some music and art performances.