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The Up-Turn

@TheUpTurnMusic /

If you’ve been checking our homepage for the past few days you may have noticed that we’re amping things up with the amount of articles each day.  For at least the next 10 weeks we will be increasing the amount of daily content and big features.  Our goal is to have at least one major article (editorial, interview, review) posted on the site each week with at least 5 interviews and 4 reviews planned to drop over the course of April and May.  I’m kickstarting the project with a conversation I had with French musician Samuel Lugwig Salla who records as Mister Bibal.  Mister Bibal got our attention when he dropped the fantastic F A I L U R E LP off Trueflav Records earlier this month.  The release is a stunning collection of electronic beats and compositions with some great features on there as well.  Samuel and I chatted about his influences and classical musical upbringing and the conversation can be read (mostly unedited) below…

PK:  When did you start making music?

Samuel: I started making music around the age of 3 or 4.  I used to go to a special music school class where I learned music theory. After that I went to classical music class. I had a piano teacher for almost 10 years.  I dropped my first real project in 2009, beats & breaks. That’s how it all started

PK: do you think the music theory you learned early on has had a big influence on your sound?

Samuel: For sure, compare to other “beatmakers” I’ve got a solid music background. It really helps me creating melodies, arrangement, songs’ structures.  I don’t sample often cause of that. I’m a music lover!

PK: yeah for sure, how did you transition from the classical music classes to the music you make now?

Samuel: I broke my arm when I was 12 or 13. It was a serious enjury so I couldn’t play piano for almost a year. I had to focus on something else, I decided to write my own songs on piano only. After that, I received my first synth. I recorded few songs and started thinking about playing my own drums over it. Many years later I discovered fruity loops and made my first “beats”. Now I’ve got an amry of synths, drum machines and pluggins to make music.

PK: wow, that’s an awesome story haha, sorry about the arm though.  So do you not use fruity loops anymore?

Samuel: No, now I’m working on Cubase only

PK: almost every beatmaker I’ve talked to before started on with fruity loops, it’s definitely a rite of passage.

Samuel: haha it was the only software at that time who could really help and make music creation easier. Now people use Ableton live.

PK: yeah Ableton is big. What were some of your favorite artists or songs growing up?

Samuel: I keep forgetting songs’ name so I’ll say Pierre Henry, George Clinton (Funkadelic, Parliament), Sunra

PK: oh for sure, I can see the jazz and funk influence on your music

Samuel: Yeah my dad used to play jazz and funk vinyls when I was crying when I was 1 or 2

PK: wow that was really from a young age

Samuel: yeah it’s like I was born with music

PK: Would you consider those guys to be big influences?

Samuel: exactly, but people like The Neptunes or Just Blaze or more recently like Flying Lotus also influenced me. But those last ones are more “sound” influences than “creative” influences

PK: What got you into making hip-hop beats?

Samuel: I’m not even sure I’m making hip-hop beats.  I just play what I feel.

PK: I definitely get that from listening to your album, your beats definitely do just as much talking as the rappers do.  I guess I mean when did you decide you wanted people to rap over the music you made?

Samuel: I heard Wildchild was coming for a concert in Paris last summer, so I just asked if it was possible to collaborate on one song. He said yes, so we did it. I never had in mind to make a whole album with a lot of rappers and singers. I was working on Losange Jaures 2 and it ended into F A I L U R E.  I just took that opportunity and tried to have more featuring and it worked out

PK: if you could collaborate with any rapper (past or present) who would it be?

Samuel: Biggie, Oddisee, Clear Soul Force… and the list goes on.

PK: haha well Biggie may not be possible but Oddisee could definitely happen

Samuel: haha yeah but I wish I could

PK: speaking of that, how did the ASAP Rocky chat go yesterday?

Samuel: He refused to do interview but it was cool

PK: did you get to talk with him at all?

Samuel: yeah sure, he got my cd and my mail.

PK: oh that’s awesome, I’ll be eagerly awaiting some ASAP Bibal.  How has the response been to your album so far?

Samuel: haha, pretty cool, I’ve only heard positive criticisms

PK: do you have any more plans to promote the album? any touring?

Samuel: We are working on a little tour in europe, we are also recording some music videos

PK: nice, I’ll definitely watch out for those

Samuel: We had the release party on tuesday in Paris, at Social club. It just started!

PK: well again congrats on that, do you have any idea yet what you may want to work on next?

Samuel: Thanks, I’m thinking about my second album already. Nothing is done yet but I’ve got a few ideas in mind

PK: are you going to pursue anything new stylistically?

Samuel: Each of my projects follow a strict artistic choice, so I’ll keep doing it and try to make something different

PK: well I’ll definitely be anticipating your next release! Do you think your French and Cameroon identity has shaped your music at all?

Samuel: Of course, there is a lot of African rhythms and classical chords in my work.  Everything is just mixed together to create something new.  For example, I can use African rhythms but with an unexpected synth.

PK: Are there any recent releases that you’ve really been digging?

Samuel: I’m working so hard on my stuff, I’m not even digging anymore

PK: haha that’s understandable.  I always end interviews by asking if you want to give any shout outs to any other artists or anything that you think more people should know about. .. so any shout outs?

Samuel: haha, shout out to Trueflav, Soulville, From Paris, Shoop, L Rey and to all my people

PK: word, anything else the good people out there on the internet should know about Mister Bibal?

Samuel: Go copy F A I L U R E

Download F A I L U R E

Follow Mister Bibal on Twitter

Hear More Mister Bibal


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