EXCLUSIVE: We sat down with French duo HER

We caught up with sensational French band HER made up of Victor and Simon. Packing out shows in London and Paris, they do soul music and mix it with more minimal sounds reminiscent of James Blake, Jamie XX or FKA Twigs.

Hi there, how are you and what are you up to today?
We are just chillin in Nimes, France, waiting to play on saturday at this nice festival called This Is Not A Love Song. Tonight we'll just go there and enjoy the festival. Foals, Battles, Ty Segall and many other bands are playing, it's gonna be great !

To those not familiar with you, how would you describe your sound?
It's always hard to describe our own music but we could say it's mix of soul for the voices, pop for the structures and electronic/minimalism for the sound.

What are the 5 albums that have influenced you the most?
Shuggie Otis, Inspiration Information
Kendrick Lamar, To Pimp A Butterfly
Frank Ocean, Channel Orange
The Child Of Love, The Child Of Love
Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Live from KCRW (Push The Sky Away)

Which other artists are you into at the moment and why?
Parcels, Liss, Anderson .Paak, Bibi Bourelly an many other. We are really excited by those bands and we feel we have common influences. We'll be playing with Parcels tomorrow and with Liss this summer, we can't wait to see them live.

Are there any key pieces of equipment that you are using to define your sound?
We love when it's simple and when everything is played live so we would say: 2 Wem amps, a stratocaster, a jazz bass, a airline guitar, a Roland Juno, and a drum !

What would you say some of the challenges artists face today in the music industry?
It has always been the same challenges, you have to stay focus on the music and only the music even if there so many others thing you have to do..

Where do you gather songwriting inspiration?
From experiences, from life, from the thing that really matters. That's why we like to say we are doing soul music, because we need to feel real emotions to be able to embody them in our music.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when put music together?
Most of the time we start a song with only the voice and the guitar or the piano. Then we do a lot of arrangements on a laptop, and finally we play the song live with the entire band. Only then when we are all together in a room we can say if the song works or not !

What’s the best gig you have ever done and why?
It's probably a gig at Casa Do Mancha in Brazil, Sao Paolo few years back. We played on the floor on a monday night with 30 people max and it was a really really good moment.

And the worst?
There is no worst gig, even when there is only few people we take pleasure being on stage. We have the chance to do what we really love, and we'll keep doing it as long as we can.

If you weren't a musician what would you be?
An instrument.

Do you have any particular gigs or festivals that you dream about playing?
We would love to play everywhere in many different countries to discover new places and new people.

If you could perform alongside any other band or artist, who would it be?
We could do a super band with Kendrick Lamar, Frank Zappa, Shuggie Otis and Chet Baker, why not ?

Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
We are playing in New York in June and currently working on Her Tape #2 and a lot of other stuff :)

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