Givenchy’s Spring + Summer 2019 Campaign is a blend of avant-garde and retro culture — a crisp black and white landscape, where the characters look as though they were plucked out of Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory.
Alongside the androgynous collective, Givenchy features Marmoset artist, Damon Boucher’s “K I N” as its musical backdrop. Electronic synth beats, the music ensures the seasonal campaign reaches full circle. To learn more about Boucher’s musical journey, the fashion undercurrent of his LP — N K I and where he’s headed, we connected with the artist earlier this month.
Marmoset: Could you tell us a little bit how you first got into making music?
Boucher: I grew up taking classical lessons, and performing contemporary music in a Pentecostal Christian church. In church, I learned to improvise pop music, although church also kept me closeted. But, I’ve been writing music since that time. I played and wrote music all throughout college; then began to produce music after I graduated in 2008.
M: Listening through NKI, your music has such a dreamy kind of presence along with an energetic pulse to it. How would you describe your music to listeners? What kind of visuals come to mind?
B: I try to make it watery, but clean. Clean can sometimes mean dry and airy which plays off the watery thing. Visually, I always think of clean, stark contrasts; light and dark meeting in balance. I think of an ocean horizon, fashion runways or queer nightlife culture.
M: Do you collaborate with your work or do you tend to flourish more as a solo creator? Yes! Most of my work is collaborative. My main project for the past few years has been producing music for Chanti Darling. I’ve also worked with The Last Artful, Dodgr, Maarquii, Natasha Kmeto, Nafisaria, The Portland Cello Project, Ripley Snell, Neill Von Tally, DJ Sappho, Pocket Rock-it and many more. (Click here to listen).
I’ve also had a chance to teach and collaborate with several of my students over the years. I’ve taught piano and composition at School of Rock since 2010 and have directed over 40 shows there; and since they let me keep my studio inside their building, all of my projects are made out of there. I call that studio Zip Zap Studios.
I’m super proud of the work I’ve done with others. However, even though I’m often in collaborative environments, I find that I work best alone. When producing music with others, I oftentimes meet to record, then polish the songs when I’m by myself. There’s less pressure when I’m alone so I find those times to be more experimental and fruitful.
M: Who are some artists you've been listening to this year?
Current new stuff from: The Internet, Roisin Murphy, Against All Logic, Travis Scott.
Older stuff from: Missy Elliott, Gary Numan, Four Tet
M: What went through your head when you heard your music being featured on the Givenchy Spring/Summer campaign?
I sincerely wanted that music to be used for fashion so I was excited to see it used in that capacity! A lot of the track names on N K I have fashion related titles, all for the reason that I imagined this record being used just as you now see it.
M: What inspires you about the Portland music scene?
Someone once described Portland to me as a great “incubator” for creative ideas, which I think is both bizarre and accurate. It rains forever so I want to stay inside and work on music until the weather’s good. I am completely privileged to be able to work on music with the setup I have in Portland and I am forever grateful for that. I would not be able to do that in a variety of other places or lives.
Sometimes choosing which creative route a project needs musically can seem endless — questions like does this audio need some sound design work to how can I get this song to heighten specific moments are all important to consider. Because if your music isn’t working to enhance visuals, it’s probably distracting or worse, losing the audience’s attention.
It’s time to get creative and reach out to Marmoset’s music team; we’re always down to help find the right music for even the most challenging of projects. Whether it’s scouring the Marmoset artist roster or creating an original score in-house, the possibilities are endless. Which is why we’re inviting you to come along on the Marmoset music adventure.
Weave through a slew of creative decisions as you face a tight deadline on your upcoming project. If you run into a dead-end, just try again! See you on the other side.
Create Your Own Adventure is best played on a desktop or laptop device
You’re the last one in the office working on a project that your boss just handed off to you. It’s a big one and you’re searching for a song that will help tie everything together. You’re on the Marmoset search page and start applying filters but you’re getting stuck. You…
Illustrations by Kale Chesney — depicted above: Stevie and Rick, beloved Marmoset dogs