BIMM Dublin alumnus Nicolas Kluzek graduated in 2017 after completing a BA (Hons) in Commercial Modern Music-Songwriting. During his time there, he developed a fascination with studio production which complimented his work as a songwriter. Since then, the Paris-born artist has continued to showcase both of these crafts with a series of independent releases.
Operating under his own name, Nicolas has began creating cinematic electronica in the same vein as Bonobo and Four Tet. His recently released single ’95to78′, is a fantastic blend of organic electronica and ambient ‘found sounds’.
Not content with sticking to just one style though, Kluzek has also released music under the moniker ‘At Last Nicolas’, which leans towards a more mainstream pop style.
Hi Nicolas! Why the dual musical identity?
Under my own name, I show my producer side. I write a lot so I have room for even more projects. I’d even happily start a new one with Cardi B if she’d consider moving to Dublin! Writing and arranging music is what I was born to do.
What influenced you to start experimenting with ‘found sounds’?
Electronic music excites me more and more, especially when it also uses organic elements. People like Jon Hopkins, Four Tet and Helios have been a big inspiration. When I sit in front of my computer to do music I get the same feeling of freedom of when I would jump on my bike, after my homework as a kid! I started playing music at 16 in a Punk band. I’ve kept the DIY spirit of punk. The fact that, today, you can make music with a laptop, even just a phone, collecting sounds, tweaking them in a sampler, making them your own and then release your tracks on Spotify is as freeing a musical revolution as punk: it’s power in the hands of the little people who don’t have a rich uncle!
You’re planning to release further tracks under your own name in a series featuring BIMM vocalists. Can you tell us more about this?
I’m super excited about this. Collaboration is key. A singer can propel a track high in the emotional stratosphere! I’ve been producing and writing a lot with Jesse Rose (Hare Squead) and Killa Yan. Two incredible talents who both spent time in BIMM Dublin! I want to release songs with them, and many other BIMM vocalists/songwriters, as featured artists. The first one will be with Killa Yan, a tune called “Oslo Police Blues”. It mixes lots of Steve Reich’ style tuned percussions with Killa’s emotional voice, it’s a beauty!!
How did you gain/hone your production skills?
Still working on it every day! I haven’t been on a holiday for maybe 6 years. Instead, I’ve been building up my home studio set-up, watching hours and hours of Youtube tutorials, writing/recording for as many hours I can, every single day. In BIMM, I wasn’t studying Music Production per se, but I would book tutorials with Music Production tutors Stephen O’Brien, Ruth Kennington, and Ciaran Bradshaw and pick their brains. Just sitting with them, listening to how they hear and analyse music inspired me. My songwriting mentors in BIMM, Colm Quearney, and Tully Gunawardhana also encouraged me to to get good at it. I’m very thankful they did.
What was the most valuable lesson you took from your time at BIMM Dublin?
The fundamentals. You have to know and respect the fundamentals or else they’ll kick your butt!
What plans do you have for the rest of this year?
I’m working towards going full-time as a songwriter/composer/producer. I write for Media with a project called Kitty Kats Sounds which is taking off. It offers production/recording services too. I will release tracks every month or two under Nicolas Kluzek and a couple under “At Last Nicolas”. Hopefully, a good few tracks I co-wrote will also be sent out into the world by other artists. A year is approximately 365 chances to do something great, a good few are left in this one. Let’s take them!
Photo credit: James Gabriel Martin Photography