Creative French collective SKYGGE unveil a new single, ‘Magic Man’, to coincide with the release of their debut album, ‘Hello World’, out on today via Flow Records and distributed by IDOL, with its vinyl version to follow up in March.
Led by composer, author and producer Benoit Carré a.k.a. SKYGGE, the collective assembled a roster of stars including Kiesza, Stromae, NZCA Lines’ Michael Lovett and Mercury Prize-nominated C Duncan on their debut album ‘Hello World’. Produced, engineered and mixed with the help of Christine And The Queens and Metronomy affiliate Ash Workman, ‘Hello World’ comprises of fifteen songs created and composed using Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems. Started as a research project called Flow-Machines, the album is the first multi-artist commercial album using AI technologies to create new, exciting and compelling music. Flow-Machines researchers were developing algorithms to capture and reproduce musical styles, when the huge potential of what eventually became ‘Hello World’, captured the attention of SKYGGE and other musicians who joined the team. Last year saw the release of ‘Daddy’s Car’, a song in the style of the Beatles, as well as the less conventional title ‘Mr. Shadow’, which set the tone of the album. As more musicians joined in and artists took control, what started as a scientific project became a music album.
The new cut follows on the highly praised debut single ‘Hello Shadow’ feat. Canadian chart-topper Kiesza, and composed by Belgian pop sensation Stromae alongside top-notch production team, The Bionix and SKYGGE, which gained over a million streams within two weeks of release and made it into fifteen different Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday’ Playlists, grabbing the attention of publications such as DJ Mag and Your EDM. Composed by SKYGGE feeding 80s French style songs to Flow Machines AI system, ‘Magic Man’ dissembles the idea of pop music as we know it, the machine created a simple melody, which SKYGGE rendered with a generated choir. The title comes from the two recurring words in the choir: Magic Man. Flow Machines generated the guitars from the audio stems of an American folk song, as well as generating vocals for the verse, which SKYGGE then blended with additional vocals sung by himself and Sierra Leone-born and Paris-based songstress Mariama. The lyrics are a mashup from all the syllables generated by the machine. French electro band Napkey worked on the final arrangement, while NZCA Lines’ Michael Lovett added synthesizer arpeggios and Vanessa Paradis’ collaborator Raphael Chassin played the drums.
Loosely inspired by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Shadow’, the lyrics of the songs were sometimes generated and sometimes written by artists. “We asked all the vocalists on the album to read the tale to find inspiration for their lyrics,” explained SKYGGE. While the album’s title ‘Hello World’ “is a reference to the first program a beginner writes when learning a new programming language. It made sense for these to be Artificial Intelligence’s first words in mainstream music.”
SKYGGE is the story of metamorphoses; from music to data, from neuron networks to musical notes, and from a scientific project to a pop-music album. Born from the creative minds of Benoit Carré and François Pachet. The latter is a leading expert on the application of Artificial Intelligence in the world of popular music. Whilst Benoit Carré writes songs for French stars like Françoise Hardy, Johnny Hallyday and Imany, as well as producing his own music. Sharing the same taste for melodic, harmonic and timbre twists that make pop songs catchy and compelling, the two friends brought together their different creative backgrounds and experiences to explore new creative sparks; one wants to capture them, the other wants to provoke them.
With ‘Magic Man’ SKYGGE give us another dose of pop brilliance, one that will cement their debut album ‚Hello World‘ as a landmark music project in the history of technology and music creation.