Seth XVI

Mickaël Verdot

photo by A.Combes

Do not mess with electronic music of Lyon. For almost 35 years, this French city has been kinda like a cradle of Made-in-France electronic sound, from the great Jean-Michel Jarre to the dark-techno of Gesaffelstein without forgetting Agoria and so many other artists. 

So, let's say that no failure is prohibited when embarking on that particular genre of music and from Lyon. In a way, Mickaël Verdot alias Seth XVI can be sure. The first steps of his project reminding us of Egyptian divinity unfold wonderfully.

Mickaël is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer, he is completely self-taught and he’s surely very talented. The Lyonnais released his first “Symbolic” EP on April 2017. We then for the first time discovered his music universe, a rich and mixed one. Unlike the majority of electro artists, Seth XVI tries to put his voice at the forefront. And yes, its strength lies primarily in its sweet song that emphasizes on the human emotions. 

He believes that electronic music makes sense when it is combined with organic elements. His voice, of course, but also the piano and guitar have a central role. As a follower of James Blake, Seth XVI puts a lot on his serious tone and sweet, without making it clear how much machines take part in this. Even if he is also a pianist and guitarist, it is around his voice that his songs appear to be built and we easily sense and understand the ambition of a true songwriting in his writing.

His minimal sound mixes with the darkness of the new wave with an almost monotonous gravity. But don’t be fooled, songs like “How She Does” and “Melba” are full of fruity textures and at the same time they show the ability of Seth XVI to avoid the pitfall of loaded compositions that spoil so many compositions of this genre. After all, latest “Pulp” release, as all of his previous work as well, is such an emotional EP of a straightforward working artist.

Below, you can read the warm conversation we had with him...


Pulp EP (release date 16/3/2018)


The Basement: Hello Mickaël! First of all, thank you for joining us for this brief internet interview. Outstanding second "PULP" EP just out last March. Is this the last one before your full length in 2018? 
Thanks! I'm definitely planning on working on a full length album, and I actually already have some demos on the side. I think it won't come out until 2019 though.

The Basement: Where do you come from? Let us know more about how you decided to start the project. 
I'm from the South East side of France, near Montelimar, which is a really nice place to live and grow up in. I then decided to move to the city of Lyon for my studies, and this is where I started my Seth XVI project in 2016. I've been doing music since I was five, but I felt that this time was right for me to show it to the world.

The Basement: What does "SETH XVI" mean? 
Seth is an Egyptian god. I've been interested in Egyptian mythology for a long time and I like this guy's style so I thought, why not! And I liked the esthetic value of the XV and I letters.

The Basement: Your music consists of a variety of different ingredients but all on an electronic music basis. What were your influences as a teenager?
I've always been inspired by musicians and artists in general that like to experiment, no matter what. This goes from Damon Albarn and Jamiroquai to more alternative stuff like Björk and Aphex Twin for instance. 

The Basement: We really love your voice but do you write all the lyrics?
Thanks! I do write all my lyrics, and since English is not my mother tongue I still have to learn new words every day. That's good practice!

The Basement: Do you cooperate with other French artists? Any "dream" collaboration you have in mind for the future?
I do, for instance, I made a remix for the French duo Dusk Totem. Also, I've met a lot of French artists these past few months through my label (DDM Recordings) and gigs, I'd really love to feature some of them on my upcoming tracks. A dream of mine would be to collaborate with Pharrell Williams or Anderson Paak for instance. Let's hope they will hear my call! 

The Basement: How do you make a living? Do you have any other job apart from music? 
Since my project is getting more and more attention, I'm starting to get streaming and gigs revenue. I'm still studying languages at the University of Lyon, but if this keeps going I might as well completely dedicate myself to music.

photo by A.Combes

The Basement: Give us some more information about your first LP we hope you are going to release soon. 
As I said I started working on it early in 2018. There's a lot of work left, but I know where I want to go. I want it to sound ambitious, rich in musical textures, and with a lot of collaborations hopefully.

The Basement: More and more "black" and trap music comes out nowadays and certainly all music industry is already affected and constantly transforming. What is your feeling?
I think it's really interesting to see these trends happening, and I'm definitely influenced by some of the artists of the genre. However, I think it is more important to stay true to myself artistically and be careful not to jump on the trend too quickly.

The Basement: What else should we expect from you in 2018? 
Regular gigs all across France, new tracks and hopefully a new music video (the last one I did was for "All My Friends"). 
Also, I'm planning on getting closer to my audience, so I'll be posting on a regular basis on my social media and trying to find original ideas.

The Basement: Any gigs scheduled for the next few months? 
Yes, I'll be playing in Lyon on the March 22nd for my release party, and on the May 10th for the electronic music festival Nuits Sonores, also in Lyon. Other gigs are on the way and will be announced on my social media.

The Basement: What are your long term plans? What are your ambitions for SETH XVI?
I'm planning on taking Seth XVI as far as I can, and to make it the best experience for my listeners. I'm also interested in composing and producing for other artists. This is roughly my plan for the next five years.

Thank you so very much Mickaël. We wish you the best!


photo by A.Combes

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