Electronic Groove shared an interesting conversation with the Swiss DJ and producer Simon Vuarambon in his Buenos Aires studio. Next to the release of his upcoming single ‘Alcyon’ on All Day I Dream, he tells us about his artistic career and his relationship with music.
EG: Hello, Simon, thanks for your time today. Tell us about the origin of your relationship with music?
Simon Vuarambon: Thanks for inviting me. Maybe the first childhood memory I have about music is my father showing and explaining me his home collection. At that time, I was around 6 or 7 years old. We used to listen to different genres for hours. At a very young age I started to play the guitar, then I took music lessons, and later on, started to produce my own tracks.
EG: Which artists influenced you as a musician?
Simon Vuarambon: At home we listened to all kinds of music, from 70’s rock like Led Zeppelin, Queen, Pink Floyd, The Police, among others… to blues, funk and 80’s disco.
On my mother’s side, I was inspired by classical composers like Bach, Schumann, Debussy, Ravel, to name a few. Then living in Argentina, I discovered Luis Alberto Spinetta, Charly Garcia and Gustavo Cerati, along with some 90’s bands like Radiohead. Nowadays I listen to a lot of jazz pianists like Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Brad Mehldau, among others.
EG: What elements do you find interesting about these jazz pianists?
Simon Vuarambon: Even though they’re very different genres, expression and improvisation are two things that I find interesting in jazz.
EG: How did you link to electronic music and music production?
Simon Vuarambon: It was a very natural process, because when I was 9 or 10 years old, living in a small town and playing the guitar I founded difficult to make friends of my age that shared the same musical ideas; to maybe start a band or some musical project, so then for practical reasons I started composing and producing music on my own, without having to depend on anyone else, electronic music was perfect for this.
“I follow All Day I Dream since their first release, so I feel very grateful to work with them”
EG: Which were your first steps as a DJ and producer?
Simon Vuarambon: In both cases as an autodidact, one day I got into Ableton Live and Logic, and started to learn them without having any knowledge of music production, so thanks to books, tutorials, help from producers and a lot of trying and failing I started to understand the process. The same thing happened later with DJing, I spent many hours in my room mixing records.
EG: You were born in Switzerland and have been living in Argentina for a while, two very different countries. Does the difference between the two cultures influence your music?
Simon Vuarambon: In some aspects, I would say that my music is technically structured and organized although there’s always freedom and experimentation. These opposite sides complement each other and it maybe has something to do with my bicultural identity you mentioned before.
EG: You have a very particular and refined musical style. What are you trying to transmit with your music?
Simon Vuarambon: I just try to share music with the most possible artistic expression while remaining honest about what I felt at the time of creating it.
EG: You are an artist that prefers be low key and let the music speaks for itself, which in the current times of internet and social networks it is something rare. What do you feel when the public tells you that your art has impressed them?
Simon Vuarambon: I always feel grateful when people tell me that my music touches them in some way or that they enjoyed a live performance.
Nowadays I feel social media is important but it’s true, I try to make the music speak for itself. I’m active on social media because it’s necessary but I try to clear my mind and not lose focus on the important things.
EG: How is your process when starting a track?
Simon Vuarambon: The creative process is always different. Sometimes I start improvising something on the piano until something interesting comes up, sometimes I just start with the percussions and drums. When I have an idea and I’m not at the studio, I either record it on a voice note or quickly write it down on a music sheet and come back to it later.
EG: What instruments or equipment do you have in your studio?
Simon Vuarambon: I have a Yamaha keyboard, a Moog Minitaur and a Virus Snow, some virtual plugins, then a microphone to record when it’s necessary.
All of this complemented with Focal monitors and a UAD Apollo twin with some plugins.
EG: Previously you spoke of a structured and orderly technique. Does knowing how to compose make work in the studio easier or is it sometimes an obstacle to letting things flow?
Simon Vuarambon: Sometimes it can be a handicap, but I think having knowledge of composition, helps understanding better your own tastes and to work on them even when you’re not inspired or having a bad day.
EG: You are close to the release of your first EP with the All Day I Dream label, tell us a little about it and what it means to you.
Simon Vuarambon: I follow All Day I Dream since their first release, so I feel very grateful to be able to work with them. There’s freedom to make music with a more emotional and melancholic approach than the usual.
‘Alcyon’ is a track that Lee Burridge has been playing all around the world these past months and the reaction has been great. It’s finally coming out January 25th on the winter sampler. Here’s the premiere for your listening pleasure.
EG: Surely our followers will be happy with this premiere. What other things are you working on and what are your next musical projects?
Simon Vuarambon: I’ve been experimenting a lot in the studio lately, and there are many new music releases. My friend Lost Desert and I have music we’ve been working on these past few months that will see the light in the near future.
Besides this and related to my music composition studies, I’m also working on more cinematic oriented music.
EG: Very interesting, you leave us intrigued. We wish you the best, a pleasure to chat with you.
Simon Vuarambon: Thanks a lot!