Daniel Masson

PEV is in France this time around, chatting with world music guru Daniel Masson on everything awesome that he does - a list that keeps growing longer and longer. Did you know this artist has been responsible for at least one soundtrack on a video game you've played? How about this - he played guitar for Julio Iglesias during television appearances!

This master of "electro world chill-out music" has dropped several collections, including "Electromana Jet Lag",  the "Pacific Islands Collection", "Baul Dimension", "Bingo", "Trempolino", "Adventures" and "Buddha Bar Travel Impressions". His latest effort? A 12-track trip around the world called "Frequencies". Masson gets into it: "'Frequencies'" is like standing in the middle of a digital crossroad of different sounds, colors and human frequencies like a snapshots set of encounters with people, views of amazing landscapes, discoveries of life of people in huge cities; in the country; in the desert from France to Asia crossing the Middle East and India." Hot, right? Check it out. Masson is setting up shows now as well as the next record, so keep an eye out. There's much more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ's.

XXQs: Daniel Masson

PEV: How would you describe your sound?

Daniel Masson (DM):  I'm making music in the way our world is: like a great melting pot.  I love to mix sounds, fuse genres, styles, and technologies to create new inspiring sounds. I usually collect ethnic sounds and voices during my travels and transform them later into music in my studio near Paris.

PEV: Calling France home, what kind of music where you into growing up? Was anyone your main influence?

DM: I grew up like many people by listening music from the sixties and seventies: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Doors, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, King Crimson.
Later I got quite interested with jazz, jazz fusion and world fusion; however I always feel a side of my musical soul being bounded with the sounds of sixties and seventies.

PEV: Having made a career of crossing musical and technical boundaries establishing yourself as one of the names in Electro World-chill out music notably through the Buddha Bar collections, what was it like when you first started out?

DM:  When I first arrived in Paris in 1976, I started performing jazz in clubs at night. Later, as of 1987, I started to experiment with computer assisted composition. During this period I also performed as studio producer and session guitarist. Thereafter, I changed my direction and produced a large number of video game soundtracks. This allowed me to explore and experiment new and innovative ways of making music. Since 1999 and in particular after meeting Bari Siddiqui, a renowned Bangladeshi flautist, I got involved with World Music and started travelling around the globe in search of new sounds, in particular in areas of special spiritual and cultural significance. My first “music journey” and album was "Electromana Jet Lag". Since then I have composed and produced the “Pacific Islands Collection”, “Baul Dimension”, “Bingo, “Trempolino” and "Adventures". Tracks from these albums are included in many compilations including also the Buddha Bar series.  In 2008, I composed the music of “Buddha Bar Travel Impressions” album released at George V Records and I recently founded my own label.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music? Where do get your best ideas for songs?

DM: I’m passionate about travelling to inspiring places and meeting interesting people during my journeys. I enjoy discovering the world with all its colours and sounds.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, "Frequencies", a new collection of 12 tracks spiced with flavors of your travels to Bangladesh, Egypt, Syria, India and Thailand. What can fans expect from this work?

DM: "Frequencies" is like standing in the middle of a digital crossroad of different sounds, colours and human frequencies like a snapshots set of encounters with people, views of amazing landscapes, discoveries of life of people in huge cities; in the country; in the desert from France to Asia crossing the Middle East and India. The tunes are all small stories as a "carnet de voyages", a set of sensations and frequencies I felt.  In a minimal sound approach the album has more jazzy, groovy dimensions with a drop of sixties emotions and go further in the fusion of styles.  I also play guitars and bass parts myself.
“Frequencies” represents a new milestone in my artistic journey.

PEV: Do you ever find yourself getting writer’s block and if so, how do you get over that?

DM:  No I don't, I'm lucky. Sure time to time inspiration knows some laziness but the flame is still bouncing up.

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about Daniel Masson?

DM:  I played guitar for Julio Iglesias on TV shows.

PEV: Was there a certain point in your life when you knew that music was going to be a career for you?

DM: As far I remember I always had inside me the desire to make music. I felt I had no other choice, as music is a part of me like a breath of life. My parents realised this and bought me my first guitar at the age of 11.

PEV: What one word best describes Daniel Masson?

DM: Passionate.
 
PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

DM: There are definitely several. I have never visited South America, Australia, Central Asia and many others yet.

PEV: What can we find you doing in your spare time, aside from playing/writing music?

DM: I do not have a lot of spare time apart when travelling. As a freelance artist I am more and more involved in internet marketing and in social networks – this takes time! However, as I live in the countryside, I enjoy a walk or a bicycle ride at the fields every day.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think you would be doing as your career?

DM: I would be involved in a work that would help to preserve our Planet. I really think this is a matter of urgency and this good cause needs every support.

PEV: So, what is next for Daniel Masson?

DM: I'm preparing gigs for October. And there are already several ideas about a new album project …..

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