Wisseloord residency for Elephanz music duo

elephanz

What happens when an established musical duo moves for a 3 week residency? Maxime and Jonathan Verleysen of Elephanz lived and recorded at Wisseloord for 3 weeks, working with other artists to create a large number of new songs. We talk to them about their time here.

“It’s magical, you wake up every day not knowing if you’ll be able to create. But every day we have found inspiration.”- Jonathan Verleysen

We invited brothers and music duo Maxime and Jonathan Verleysen for a residency at Wisseloord through our collaboration with the French Centre National de la Musique. The goal of this partnership is to create a bridge between the French and Dutch music industry. By doing this the artists and industries of both horizons can collaborate and expand their fields. For 3 weeks, they have been working on creating new music and collaborating with other artists in the Studios.

Collaborate with other artists

“We didn’t realize what it would bring us,” says Maxime. “We are always working exclusively together, a literal band of brothers. But to come here and work in such a big studio where you interact with different artists every day, that opened up our perspective.”

Jonathan interjects: “Not only that, it also helped us understand something about our own way of working. We discovered that we share a lot more with other artists than we thought, we can bring them in to work on ideas together. And it made us very productive, we have been writing one to two tracks per day, which is amazing. It really helped that we lived on site, at the campus, so that we could record at any time.”

Writing songs every day

“The residency also felt like a retreat from our French music career, a break from the pressure and an opportunity to work on new material. We certainly got the most out of our time here, we got a lot of inspiration and learned a lot about working with different artists. We have really enjoyed this environment,” explains Maxime.

When asked about what learning or experience they are taking with them back home, Jonathan is very clear: “We are workaholics, so writing and creating good songs is what makes us happy. Leaving here with a large number of songs that are musically composed [finished] is what makes this residency a success for us. We’ll finetune them some more when we get back home, when the whole experience has settled in, and after that it’s time for the publishers to do their job: find artists to perform our songs and make them their own.”

In residence: electronic music artist TOLVY at Wisseloord

TolvyTOLVY is an artist that discovered electronic music at the age of 8 but had already started drum lessons at 4. She made her first track when she was 14 and many have followed since. She has been living and recording at the Wisseloord Studios for 3 weeks and fell in love with people and atmosphere. She has learned a lot about her music and collaborating with other artists during her time here.

“I can only work on music that has my signature; it needs to be me. That is something I discovered during my time at Wisseloord.”

Violette, better known as TOLVY, has been described as the new French hope of electronic music. She describes her music as spatial, allowing the listener to travel over wide distances, and uses a lot of orchestral sounds. The 19-year-old was selected by the Centre National de la Musique for the 3-week residency at the Wisseloord Studios.

Residency at Wisseloord

“Electronic music often has no lyrics and is therefore borderless, and that applies especially to my spatial music style,” explains Violette. “I want to discover new countries and incorporate those influences in my music. This 3-week residency is perfect for that, I’ve collaborated with 3 different artists and have learned a lot from each of them.”

Legendary collaboration

“My collaboration with songwriters of the Wisseloord Publishing rooster Lars Koehoorn and Ward Reijmerink was legendary. Working with a vocalist was a new experience for me but Lars was able to find the lyrics for what I wanted to say. And it went the same with Ward, I made the decisions but his ability for selecting and organizing orchestral music is uncanny. The three of us wrote about 90% of the song in one day! I’m really proud of the end result, the song is called Panoramic view and I’ll definitely release it.”

Learning

“My typical day at Wisseloord is pretty straightforward, I get up and get dressed before going upstairs for some breakfast. After breakfast I go straight to work in the studio. And it’s that rhythm that has really given me a lot of confidence, I’ve realized I’m capable of so much more than I thought. I can apply that at home as well.”

When asked if she enjoyed her stay a great smile comes to Violette’s face:

“I will definitely come back to Wisseloord. I’ve met so many nice people and the studios are just awesome, the whole place is just made for music. I’ll come back as soon as I can.”

DJ/producer Todi3for in Residence

Todiefor

Could you work on your music for 20 days straight? Belgian DJ and producer Todi3for did during his residency at Wisseloord Studios. Collaborating with a new artist every single day of his 3-week stay he created about 40 songs. We talk to him about his reasons for coming here and if he can highlight his favorite collaboration.

Todi3for, the stage name of Luca Pecoraro, is a DJ and producer from Belgium known not only for his rap & dance crossover music style but also for his record as a producer. We inviteded him for a 3-week residency at Wisseloord following a selection by the French Centre National de la Musique to expand his scope as a producer.

Outside of comfort zone

“What was my goal in coming here? To work outside of my comfort zone and meet new people. Every day, I’d be working with a new artist and that has really forced me to deliver. I couldn’t have an off-day or go out partying at night when there would be a new guest arriving the next day, expecting me to perform. So, it was all about the music for me.”

Inspiring collaboration

“About 40% of the artists I invited I had never met before; I didn’t know what to expect. One collaboration really stood out, working with Rapper Sjaak was amazing. He was my second studio session, the second day I was here, and we worked very well together. He’s a good worker and a really funny guy which meant that we could write some great music together.

But that’s just one collaboration, I had a great time working with all of them. I think I’ll be leaving Wisseloord with about 40 songs, of which at least 8 are very strong, and I look forward to working on those in the future. A great result from this residency.

Would I do anything differently? Well, I would take more breaks, working on creating new music for 20 days in a row is a real challenge.”

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