One-on-One With Alpine Universe
Andy Favre AKA Alpine Universe has worked in a variety of different genres. The young producer has collaborated with rock band 30 seconds to Mars on their latest single “Up in the Air”. He produced instrumentals for hip-hop artists on the Konvict Muzik label (Akon) and several other independent pop artists such as Noel Laune, Ice Cream Fire, Da Illest and Excuse My French.
As a singer and pop/dance artist, Andy Favre has released two full length albums since 2010 and produced several music videos. His composing credits include Award Winning short film “Nong Dao” and Brazilian beer commercial “Skol”.
Andy moved to Los Angeles to study film and his passion for music led him to score various projects. Yet, he wanted to introduce his work to a live audience through performance. Combining the orchestral elements of film scores along with electronic instruments (drums, keyboards, accordion, lights) into his DJ set, this is how Alpine’s epic EDM show came to life.
How did you get into the music industry?
I guess as soon as I started getting paid for playing gigs with my rock band back in high school? Or maybe not, since getting paid in beers doesn’t count… Getting in the industry was progressive. It started by jumping with both feet in and by creating music everyday, eventually getting more and more recognition from those people, you know, the “music industry”. If I had to define a moment, it’s probably in 2010, when I released my first album. (Although, at that time, my sound was very different from Alpine Universe).
Every great DJ/producer has a muse who/what inspires you?
Nature. The seasons. The all-powerful forces of the elements. Space. I like the beauty and the brutality of an earthquake, a volcanic eruption, an avalanche or a supernovae contrasted by the fragile Human Nature trying to tame these forces. Ultimately, the inspiration for my music comes from great human achievement. Growing up up in the mountain, the idea of facing the elements is something that speaks to me, and that I’d like to transmit through my music.
What sets you apart from other DJs/Producers out there?
I asked myself the same question when I adopted the name Alpine Universe. I definitely wanted to set myself apart from other DJs as a multi-instrumentalist, but it isn’t such a rare trade among producers, I think. What truly sets me apart from other producers is perhaps the fact that my weapon of choice is the accordion and like me, this instrument comes from the mountains of the Alps. My goal is to make timeless music and I like to use “old” instruments in a futuristic fashion.
How did you come up with your stage name ‘Alpine Universe”
Alpine was an obvious choice because it means “from the Alps”. It also implies many cool things like “relating to high mountains” that is very suited for the grand-scale sound I produce. The word “Universe” was added later as a way to differentiate myself from the many other Alpine brands out there.
It makes it impersonal too, (people sometimes think that I’m a band) and I kind of like it because they appreciate the music for what it is, regardless of who is behind it.
What was it like filming the music video for ‘In The Leap of Faith’
The “Leap of faith” video was a challenge but overall a lot of fun. We had a very limited budget and everyone involved was part of my close group of friends from film school. We were running on very little sleep and joking all the time, which resulted in delirious laughter between takes. Such a contrast considering how “serious” this video turned out.
German came up with the visual concept based on my sound and visual universe, but the song “Leap Of Faith” didn’t exist: I wrote it specifically for this video.
Tell us about the ‘Lines’ EP what do you want your fans to take away from it?
The Lines EP is about living in the moment, being in tune with the elements and not being affected by the trends. It’s about choosing your own “line” in life. As a skier, when you pick a certain line down the mountain, you may take risks, but only to push your own limits: it’s not about competition or fashion, it is about beauty and elegance. In this EP, within an all-electronic environment, I have played and recorded real instruments such as guitars, ancient drums, accordion and strings all integrated into a vast palette of musical genres, from the melodic dubstep of “Waterbender” to the industrial “Hyperion” and the big-beat sounds of “The Klimb”. It is balanced with the softer and earthy mood of “We are Found” and the fun, childlike “Freeski” song. The LINES EP doesn’t follow any recipe.
You love extreme sports and have background as a big-mountain skier, where is your favorite place to ski?
Tignes / Val d’Isère, France, my hometown. It is at a high elevation, steep and immensely broad for backcountry skiing. Plus, I can literally ridei to my bedroom’s door (no joke), so nothing beats that!
One thing you would like to change about the industry?
I think it is actually an exciting time to be a musician. We don’t rely on major labels to be heard, the technology has never been this good and this affordable, the demand for entertainment is constantly growing. I am extremely thankful to be a part of this evolution. One thing I’d like to improve is the transparency of the businesses (distributors, music stores, live venues, PRO’s etc…) towards artists. The “middle-men” always take a huge cut and I wish we as artists, had a better understanding of where this money goes.
What is one track/song that never gets old for you no matter how many times you hear it?
One of my favorite piece of music is Winter by Vivaldi. But that’s cheating because it already stood the test of time. So to pick something more recent and less pretentious I’ll say: Eric Prydz – Call on me.
What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually not as serious as I look in my videos and on stage. My Alpine persona is way too serious compared to my real personality. I’m a kid at heart. I like toilet humor and enjoy silly pop music you know.
You have several projects going on right now. You are currently working on a single with the Musyca Children’s Choir in Los Angeles and a new record label called Space Gang Records. Can you tell us about each of those.
Sure! I first approached the MUSYCA children’s choir when I was searching for a young opera singer. We recorded “I Am Alpine” with soloist Natalie, who at the time was only 9 years old. Now we are bringing the whole chorus for an epic project. I can’t wait to show you the result!
As for SpaceGang records, it’s a brand new label, rather mysterious, said to be established in the year 3030. They started out as an artist collective throwing secret parties in LA and are now releasing some of the best bass music I’ve heard. I know many of the artists signed on it and perhaps we’ll see an Alpine universe track come out the SpaceGang J
Everyone has one, what is your guiltiest pleasure?
I never thought I would mention it twice in an interview but here it comes again: Eric Prydz, Call On Me (I sing it in the shower, a bit little off-key most of the time) ahah
Anything else on tap for 2016 we should be aware of?
Possibly a song in French, my native tongue.
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