“We just wanted to all do the same thing : getting to do a song together”, argues Ariane Moffatt, who founded the project SOMMM with the producer Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier, alias D R M S.
April 25, 2020 4: 00
SOMMM : strength in numbers
“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts”, sings Ariane Moffatt in his great success in Miami. This is the author-composer-interpreter has applied the principle in the studio, teaming up with producer Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier, alias D R M S, to form the duo SOMMM. Together, they have multiplied the collaborations with guest artists to create an album of electro-pop that transcends genres and ages.
Pandemic and period of confinement necessary for the interview with Moffatt and Dupuis-Cloutier is done by video, at home. The situation seems a bit ironic when one considers the fact that all the work that has led to SOMMM has precisely been based on meetings and exchanges.
“SOMMM, it is really the sum of human, confirms Ariane Moffatt. This is not baloney to say we have all had a contribution. The people have not been as involved as us, of course. They are passed once in the studio. But the human connection that it has occurred through this project, it made me feel really good.”
Everything had started with a simple session establishment between the two accomplices, who had shared the boards during the tour 22h22 Moffatt. “It was without purpose. We had no project in mind, the aim was just to compose a song. It has really clicked,” says Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier.
Very quickly, the duo has been longing to go in search of collaborators. The rapper FouKi first responded to this. And then the training LaF. Two fruitful exchange that gave to the captains of SOMMM the urge to open even wider the doors of their studio. In the end, Rosie Valland, Maky Lavender, Ruffsound, Clay and Friends, and Marie-Pierre Arthur are in turn joined them to give life to the parts of this first album. Creators of all ages and walks of life… And this is exactly what was looking for SOMMM.
“I find that there is so much of talent in the new guard. And I’ve always loved hip-hop, even if I do not invent MC Moffatt. I had the taste to go to the meeting of the sap-there,” notes Ariane Moffatt, who did not hesitate to assume its role before its younger guests.
“I was the first to make jokes saying that I am the cougar that invites young people into his studio, laugh-t-it. It was niaisé a lot with it, but I’ve never felt in their eyes.”
the “new guard”
Moffatt cites the example of the young group LaF, with which SOMMM started from a blank page. “It was the anthill, describes it. There was such an excitement to see everyone who writes in his corner and is a little feverish before going to save his butt. Just for a day like that, I’m happy to have made this project. This is the new guard of creators. They are full in, they are inspired, they are passionate about it. We just wanted to all do the same thing : getting to do a song together.”
On these exchanges is fertile, Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier chimed in : “Ariane is respected,” he adds. It renews itself. It has an ear and a vision of modern music. The new guard feels it, sees it. This is a trick of communion. Just for that, I think it was time that it exists, even if it had not been an official project. As a producer, it was making music with people of different generations, of different styles of music… I’ve been looking forward to it, but I couldn’t force him. It would take something like that so that it can be done.”
the method that makes school
A day in the studio, a song to create between authors, composers, performers and producers. This is, in sum, the methodology applied by SOMMM and his guests in the creation of this album. This collaborative work has made school elsewhere, while a number of the great success stories of international stars are the result of creation by committee. But outside of the hip-hop scene, it does begin to settle in the quebec pop, note Étienne Dupuis-Cloutier, who himself has taken part in camps of song writing in Toronto and Berlin.
“I wanted to find the right way to do it here, with our quebec culture, whether in French or in English, he notes. I wanted to do a product purely of quebec, but this way. When you work with a lot of young people who are from rap, or pop music, you see that it is something that is really anchored in their way of working.”
For Ariane Moffatt, the experience was more than beneficial. “It was a visceral need for me, strip-t-it. I am a girl team, but in the creation of songs, I usually stay a lot alone. It asked me for a letting go, a trust. The fact that terrée with Stephen, it makes a project that is not I-me-me. Even in the texts, there was a form of distance that allowed me may be more to expose myself in the game, in the challenge fun of always starting with the constraint in the theme of having a different guest…”