agyness deyn selects woodkid
Magical sounds from a multi-talented wunderkind
Supermodel Agyness Deyn: “There’s definitely something magical about Yoann. He has this really intriguing mix of shyness and energy bubbling inside him that means he presents emotion in a totally unique way. There’s something effortless about the way he works. I guess when you’ve fought for what you believe in like he has, you reach a state of clarity.”
“All my work is about finding a connection with my inner feelings and figuring out how I can translate them with images and sounds,” says 28-year-old filmmaker and musician Yoann Lemoine. Having turned his attention from the camera to chords with his latest project – a six-track EP released under the moniker Woodkid – Lemoine is riding high on the million-plus wave of views his debut has received online.
The launch track “Iron” announces Lemoine’s arrival as Woodkid with a surging tide of tribal beats anchored to a regal brass refrain. In the epic video accompanying the release a cast of misfits, assassins and bladewielding warriors come to life across a series of black-and-white minimalist tableaux, rearing up for battle with the elfin beauty of Agyness Deyn lighting the way.
Not content with composing the track, Lemoine also directed the promo himself. “As a kid, I had a problem with hyperactivity, so I’ve always had this urge to do a lot of things at the same time,” he reflects. “Music is extremely instinctive because it’s so immediate, whereas film is more reflective because it takes longer to figure out how to configure things the right way.”
Born in Lyon, France, and now LA-bound to work on a feature, Lemoine climbed the ranks of illustration and animation before turning his multi-talented mitts to directing. “I love the idea that you can express your feelings with any kind of medium.”
Driven by reflections on the condition of adulthood and the evolution of sexuality, Lemoine treats his work as therapy. “The way you lose that amazing virginity of your childhood is terrible,” he says. “It’s the most terrible drama of my life I think. Truths from your childhood come out as an adult and you come into touch with the elements that build you.”
Lemoine has now set to work fleshing out the EP to a full-length album, working with Phoenix and Herman Dune producer Julien Delfaud with the aim of turning out a record towards the end of this year. “I like the idea of people feeling like heroes when they listen to my music,” Lemoine beams. “There’s a grandeur to the sound we’re creating that’s almost deliberately pompous. In a way, I think that relates to my love of craft in film – the idea of texture and composition carries across everything I do.”
Text Stephen Whelan Photography Karim Sadli Iron EP by Woodkid is out now through Green United Music