Singapore-based French musician Vincent Cateigne brings out his latest album
By Jo Upcraft
There may be an absence of normal right now, but one joy that remains the same (and doesn’t require sanitiser to access!) is music. So let Vincent de-stress your life.
While the rest of us were spending the first part of 2020 trying to bake banana bread and grappling with housebound children (and husbands), Vincent Cateigne was making the most of lockdown life. The French expat hunkered down in his home recording studio in Novena to complete his album, Izipizi, which – if you’re missing lazing on a beach or gentle sunshiney strolls – is just what you need right now.
“Izipizi” is French for the phrase “easy peasy” (say it with an accent for added flair). The term translates as relaxed and chill, and Vincent’s music has got it in spades. “My sound is definitely easy-going, but after that it’s hard to define,” he says. “I mix electro, funk, soul, jazz, R&B and bossa nova together – shake shake shake – and that’s me!”
The recording process
It took Vincent seven months to record, mix and master the entire album from his studio in the house he shares with his wife Emma, and their two children, Sasha and Mael. The result is a delicious compilation of upbeat, summery tunes that somehow return you to the halcyon days of childhood holidays and catapult you into a cool galactic future at the same time. And, despite naming the likes of Dire Straits, Jimi Hendrix and Otis Redding as influences, Vincent admits that it was in fact the 1970s hit “Video Killed The Radio Star” by The Buggles that most inspired the album’s final effect. (Those under 35, google it!)
Vincent wrote the lyrics, sang (apart from on two tracks where friends collaborated virtually) and played all of the instruments on Izipizi, including guitar, bass, keyboard, percussion, flute and drums. He credits travel with teaching him much of his trade. Before moving to Singapore in 2013, Vincent and Emma spent time country-hopping. “We didn’t want to just see the world, we wanted to learn about different musical techniques from local musicians,” he says, recounting brushing the steel strings of a valiha in Madagascar, samba drumming on the beach in Rio and learning guitar tuning skills in South Africa.
Indeed, life as an expat also boosts Vincent’s creativity. “There are so many different cultures here that every day in Singapore for me is a trip,” he confesses.
With Izibizi completed, Vincent is contemplating celebrating the album release with a live-stream concert. After that, he’ll embarking on his next project, which involves collaborating with a French rapper. He promises he’s not going all Eminem on us though; “I am not a rapper!” he laughs. “My music is perfect for a road trip. It’s for driving along an open highway with the windows down, just going with the flow.”
See you with your hair flowing and your head bobbing on the ECP.
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