Lazlo is Paul Hézard, a French electronic producer from Marseille (France).
He just released his first album on Chin Chin Records, one of the best label for electro swing, lounge and nu jazz as they have signed some great artists as Bajka, Bebo Best, Club des Belugas, Jojo Effect …
Lazlo take his influences from Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman
His music is a blend of minimal house music with organic vintages samples from the 30’s. His first album simply called Lazlo is great with lot od dancefloor anthems for the electro swing scene.
If you like electro swing, you cannot miss this album.
Can you describe yourself ? Who is Lazlo ?
I’m a 27 years old music producer based in Marseille, France. Lazlo is the electro swing and vintage sounded side of my music production. I took this name out of Casablanca’s (movie) character Victor Lazlo.
When did you start to make music ? What is your musical adventure ?
I started to make music when I was fourteen and first heard Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album, then I took guitar lessons for two years, I also tried bass, harmonica and piano. I started composing on my computer (six years ago) using Reason.
What did your parents listen too when you was young ?
The music my parents were listening when I was young is the music that made my passion for it. My mother mostly listened to classical music, jazz and folk so she introduced me to Bach, Mozart, Ella Fitzgerald, Cat Stevens and America; my father, while he was listening quite the same music as my mother, he introduced me to rock, reggae and french song so I’ve been rocked with Bob Marley, Dire Straits and Georges Brassens. These musics have been the roots of my musical journey; that’s why, when I got older, I digged pop/rock, jazz, reggae and classical music discovering Queen, Pink floyd, Deep Purple, the Beatles then later the swing of Django Reinhardt, Benny Goodman, the reggae of Ernest Ranglin and Ken Boothe. Then I got into Blues music, funk and soul and as I growed I opened to hiphop and electronic musics.
What kind of jazz fan are you ? who is your jazz favorite artist ?
There’s two jazz style I particularly like: the first one is rather groovy, soul and funky (Donald Byrd, Charlie Rouse, Billy Cobham, George Benson..) the other one and I guess my favourite so far is the swing jazz and all the forms it took over the years; making a list of my swing jazz favorites would be too long so I’ll just say that Django Reinhardt and Glenn Miller were the ones that opened me to swing music and Benny Goodman and Bille Holiday conitued my jazz learning giving me some of the best musical times I had so far.
What do you think about the electro swing scene ?
I guess the electro swing scene is wonderful, personnaly it gave me the opportunity to express myself melting these infuences I cherish with today’s way of sounding. The scene has an incredible diverity, that’s what i like the most concerning e-swing, you can go from hiphop to techno, from minimal house to dubstep; you can sound electronic or almost 100% acoustic. The music offers a very wide range of possibilities that no other musical style can give. And I guess the e-swing scene is like this, very eclectic, versatile and inventive as can be using new ways of interpreting vintage sounds, that’s why it’s growing bigger and bigger.
How do you make music ? What kind of machine or software do you use ?
I make my music using mainly my computer. I also use some instruments such as my guitar and bass. I don’t have any machines except a midi keyboard and a soundcard. I use Ableton Live.
What is the process to create a song ? from sample ? a melody ? a beat ?….
The process is never quite the same. It often starts from a sample but this sample is only a starting point, very often the first sample is not even on the final track. Mostly my inspiration comes from listening to hundreds of tunes from all kinds of style and picking here and there some ideas.
Sometimes I pick a beat that I find interesting, inventive or just very efficient, then I reproduce it and make it evolve in the way I like it to sound to fit the style I want the track to be. Sometimes I notice a melody or a chords grid and take it as a start for a tune. There’s not only one way for me to create sound, sometime I just want a tune with a certain instrument or a certain mood, then I use my little fingers and try to compose the tune that’s in my head.
The most important thing for me is to have a reference, I know it may sound a little backward-looking but my music has always something to refer to, especially when I make e-swing, the music I love the most definitely comes from the past and for me, making sound is sharing the music you love with the largest possible audience.
Can you describe how to you get signed with ChinChin records ?
One of the best label in jazz and electro swing sound.
I contacted Chinchin very easily by sending a mail to their contact mailbox with 5 tracks of mine, they mailed me back a few days after asking me if I wanted to do an album. I sent my demo to several labels but I’m very glad ChinChin was the first to reply ’cause as you said, it’s one of the most influencial label in jazz & e-swing with artists such as Club des Belugas and Tape Five; it really is an honnor for me to be part of their family now :)
Can you tell us more about your first album ?
This album is quite the same as my vision of the e-swing scene, even if it’s mainly influenced by the minimal house and the vintage swing I love, it browses diverse musical genres being not only electro, not only swing music, at some point it goes Ska, hip hop, even disco :)
The aim of this album is to make people dance, have a good time sharing with them my love for that music.
What is your next project ?
The next step will sure be to make my music evolve, I’ll keep on using vintage sounds but I may want to explore other genres I like such as blues, rock, funk or soul in an electronic and joyful way; I also have a side project with my musical mate N’to who’s a very influencial French minimal techno producer. We’ve known each other for ten years and made our musical adventure together, so now we want to make some kind of electro acoustic music, a music halfway between his love for electro and mine for organic sounds.
Can you tell us about what music do you really like now or old tunes you love ?
It’s impossible to say which old tune I like unless we take all the night and as many beers to dicuss it, so my “coup de coeur” will go to Pretty Lights and their remix of John Denver’s “Country roads” that I can’t stop listening for one week, these days I also fell in love with Roysopp’s “This space”.
Thank you Don Mescal ! That was a pleasure answering your questions.