Coming off a music collaboration with Pharrell Williams earlier this year, Ed Banger artist Uffie also recently celebrated an all new collection launch with Diesel. With a unique style to both fashion and music, the French starlet is well on her way to breaking out after releasing her debut album Sex Dreams Denim Jeans back in June. With an international resume to her childhood, Uffie is no doubt a talented individual as we caught up with her on a recent trip to Hong Kong, a city she once called home. We touched on the topics involving her opinions on creativity and her own thoughts on what music means to her. With a wealth of established peers at her side thanks to the Ed Banger family and a personal philosophy that emphasizes high exacting standards, we can only expect big things in the near future.
Interview: Eugene Kan
Photography: Cavan Mok
How did you originally get your start with Ed Banger?
In the grand scheme of things, the Paris night scene is pretty small. I met them when I was younger as a teenager. From there, DJ Feadz convinced me to work together with him on a track which ended up being “Pop the Glock”… and it pretty much started there and has developed into my current partnership with the label.
How would you describe your music?
At the bottom of my heart, I’m a punk. But mixed in with it all are definitely influences from both Hip-Hop and Electro.
How do you define your creativity? In general what does it encompass?
For me it comes down to absorbing all I see around me in my surroundings. These form my inspirations and then comes the hard part, releasing it as my very own vision. Something that’s unique and different from others. In general, it all stems from life… love, loss, fear, happiness and confusion.
The recording process of your album took four years. This definitely exceeds your average creation period for most music projects. Could you share with us the reasons on why it took so long to complete?
It really came down to a few different things. Too much touring was one of them. That and being young and wild, trying to develop and find my own sound and becoming a mother.
Seeing as you’re based in Paris, how do you connect your musical creativity with this city? Any other places you have traveled and experienced that have come to influence your musical sound?
I’m really fortunate to have one of the best producers of my generation working with me. They definitely help incorporate a certain French touch in my music which I admire. I’m pretty truthful when I say that anywhere I go inspires me. However with the Internet, being on location isn’t as important as it once was for finding interesting bits.
With the Ed Banger label, it seems like you guys interact as one big family. What’s your relationship with the others and how do you guys work in unison?
It for sure has a family dynamic to it. It’s pretty cool to be able to call each other up and ask for a favor. But at the end of the day, Ed Banger is more about a passion, a way of living… a lifestyle I guess you could call it. Selling music is usually secondary to the Ed Banger lifestyle.
As your career progresses, where do you see yourself? Any insights into what successes you are looking for and potential goals?
I see myself hopefully staying underground. Everything works on a really image and brand-driven tip these days. For me, it is still about doing it for the love of music and nothing else. The final goal isn’t to aspire to be number 1. If it happens, I’d be over the moon, but changing myself is far from something I want to do to attain it.
Has being a female presented any barriers for this particular genre of music?
Not really… It has its advantages and disadvantages like anything else. I tend to not think about this so much and concentrate on putting out good music. The product will speak for itself at the end of the day.
Prior to your teaming up with Pharrell, what were your thoughts regarding his musical work?
I’ve been a fan of Pharrell’s for as long as I can remember. I think he’s one of the most talented all around artists today.
Was music something that always a big part of your life from your childhood?
Yes, my parents were always playing music. I previously had a background as a dancer so you can imagine dancing incorporated heavily with music. However, I never saw myself as somebody who would actually make it my livelihood.
With your first collaboration with Diesel, was it about continuing your style, or creating something you wish existed?
It’s a bit of both. I would describe it as a collection that features everything I’d want in my wardrobe with the details I couldn’t find anywhere else. These days, everything seems really over-done and people forget about the chicness of simplicity and detailing.
Are there any other mediums outside of music you’d like to apply your creativity?
I wouldn’t mind continuing on further with fashion but for other creative mediums, photography is something that would interest me as well.
Any last words?
Look out for next year as I have a lot of cool stuff in the works.