Born in Canada and living in Paris via stints in Berlin and Africa, Guillaume Coutu Dumont’s nomadic nature is lucidly reflected in his music, stitching together the disparate threads of jazz, funk, traditional West African music with European house and techno across releases for Musique Risquée, Circus Company and Oslo Records. On the eve of the release of his new album, Guillaume takes on our quick-fire questionnaire, expressing his love for Bob Marley, Curtis Mayfield and cooking.
If you weren’t making music what would you be doing?
Studying anthropology, sociology or cooking.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I just love that quote from Bob Marley: “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”
What inspires you?
A lot of stuff I read or see or hear. But so much more. That’s the beauty of it – you never know where it comes from.
What’s the next big thing?
Best club experience?
Dachkantine in Zürich in 2005. A closing party that lasted for 28 days. Hmmmmm.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
Selling cheap jeans in a cheap ass jeans shop. I was part of the problem!
How do you know when a track’s finished?
When it’s time to send it for mastering.
When did you realise you could give up your day job?
I almost always worked on music but for other people. And then my wife told me I should focus on my own stuff, and I did.
Which song do you wish you wrote?
For today, I would have to go for ‘Move On Up’ by Curtis Mayfield. Just so uplifting.
What’s the easiest way to make it in the music industry?
Recommend us a film.
Moonrise Kingdom from Wes Anderson
Recommend us a book.
The Quantum and the Lotus by Mathieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan.
What or who is underrated?
What or who is overrated?
Artists’ opinions on anything that doesn’t apply to their art. Most of the time.
What are you addicted to?
Cooking for my friends and the people I care for.
What one thing would most improve your life?
What’s the worst gig you’ve ever played?
The time I had to fight with other artists and their lame entourages to set up my equipment in southern Italy (with no help from the staff of the club!).
Collaboration: rich creative experience or pain in the ass?
Absolutely rich creative experience. Of course, it depends with who!
If you could only listen to one more track, what would it be?
At the moment, Naomi Shelton – ‘What Have You Done, My Brother?’… but then I would hate it.
What one piece of software/kit could you not do without?
Ableton and UAD plugins. [Cheat! That’s at least two! – Ed]
Strangest place you ever wrote a track?
In a deserted train station in the middle of a field. Waiting for the driver.
What’s your single biggest frustration in the music industry?
People who never pay their dues.
What’s the worst thing about making music?
Constant self-inflicted harsh criticism.
What’s your motto?
Sleep on it!
Tweet us a tip. What’s the best production advice you can give in 140 characters or less?
Try to be instinctive.
Guillaume and the Coutu Dumonts’ Twice Around the Sun album is released on Monday October 8th on Circus Company. Find Guillaume on Facebook.
Photos: Gabriel Coutu Dumont