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IMAKO

It’s always been all about instinct for Romain Guillou aka Imako. And it’s really worked for him. When he was a teenager, Imako was a semi-pro skateboarder, then he fell for the big electro beats after seeing the Chemical Brothers and Etienne de Crécy at the French festival, Les Vieilles Charrues. Imako’s parents were teachers at the music conservatory and it’s in their home, in Quimper, Brittany, that Imako set up DAW software on his computer and started composing. He even sometimes created tracks in the family car on the way to school, just for fun. Composing music was all that really mattered for Imako. His passion for music led him to Paris where he signed up to a music and sound technician course, but he didn’t enjoy it and stopped after a year. He then gave an art director course a try but that didn’t work out either. That’s when Imako decided to go back to what has always made him happy: music. He was then using Ableton to compose. By chance, he signed up to the BPM Contest in 2018 and reached the finals. It looked like fate gave him a hand, giving him an opportunity to solely focus on music.

Today, he works from his studio, filled with over fifty plants (‘I was missing not having a garden’) and he continues to seize opportunities one after the other. He relies on instinct as much in life as in making music. ‘If it takes me more than an hour to get the basis of a track right, I stop. I don’t think it’s worth pushing it. An hour is enough for me to know if what I’m doing is good or not.’

After getting inspired by the Australian producer Flume and exploring future beats / chillwave sounds, Imako decided to change style and to revisit the French Touch. He is an unconditional fan of Justice and all the artists of the Paris label Ed Banger, and in 2019 he released the excellent I Need You and its music video at the Paris festival Inasound. A proper taste of Imako’s new tracks.

In his upcoming EP, due for release in 2021, Imako will introduce a concept of ‘orchestral French Touch’, using instruments traditionally found in orchestra such as oboe, violin, trumpet. As Imako puts it, this album will sound like a subtle reference to his parents who were big fans of classical music. His childhood music references were Bach, Wagner and Berlioz. No need to ask him how he sees his future: Imako is firmly rooted in the present: ‘I just want to do good music. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, too bad’.