Itw avec Yoann Lemoine / Woodkid pour Dazed And Confused (satellite voices) - 2011

Yoann Lemoine

At 27 years old, the Parisian Yoann Lemoine is one of the most sought after music video directors. He has directed cinematic and powerful videos for Mystery Jets, Katy Perry, Yelle, Moby, and has found the time to be a photographer and an illustrator as well. His latest adventure? A melancholic folk music project called Woodkid.

How did you come to taking photos and directing ?
I think I’ve always been fascinated by images, from the analyze of classical paintings composition in high school to photography technics, to motion in cinema, to how light reacts in the fog, the drawing of shadows, the beauty of a face, the natural balance of the colors of the sky, from daylight to dusk. I think my eyes and emotions have always been linked to this strong appreciation of beauty and perfection. This very strange concept of universal beauty, almost from a very scientific and geeky point of view. So when I finished Illustration school, the link between drawing and taking pictures, to film directing, was pretty obvious I would say.

Your work deals with themes like childhood and nostalgia, could you tell me more about your universe?
Childhood is to me a period where you experience things in a very raw and authentic way, without any social filter. No one had the same childhood, the same dreams, the same experiences. It’s some kind of truth to me, and a clue about who you really are and what you are supposed to do. I always keep a strong connection to the kid I used to be, to my origins, to the colors, the tastes, to the sounds I liked, to my native attraction for boys, to all these things I think I was made for, without building them. I like to go back to it and trust the judgment I had on things at the time. The natural process of becoming and adult and building your character, making yourself up, building fakeness, joining social communities, discovering sexuality, choosing a direction that defines your identity, being influenced by the others to build your own persona; these are themes that are the foundation of my work I would say. This individual concept of truth and lie.

What inspires you ?
I love to look at random vintage pictures too, they inspire me stories, ideas, I love what is out of the frame that you don’t see but you can guess. I like the idea that a picture is a proof of something. When you look at old pictures of you it’s always hard to see yourself in your old style, haircut, attitude. But it’s also a heartbreaking proof of who you are and the path you are taking to build your identity.

A funny story about Katy Perry?
I have tons ! She is the most fun artist I have ever met. On the second day of shoot of the Teenage Dream video, we shot sequences on a swimming pool and she was still wearing her clothes in the water. She would swim towards me and say to me : “Oh my god Yoann, I love this swimming pool sequence, because I don’t have to break to go to the bathroom anymore, I just.. go”. We laughed so hard.

Could you tell me more about your musical project, Woodkid?
This is a project I have produced with Julien Delfaud (Phoenix, Herman Dune), The Shoes (who are on the same label as me) and the band Revolver. This is a very epic production we recorded with Paris Opera brass orchestra and based on the songs I wrote since four years. I would describe the single, “Iron” as some orchestral pop with a cinematic dimension. Half way between Philip Glass and a military / tribal / religious anthem. I am finishing the video for the single that I directed myself. I shot it with Agyness Deyn in Paris in December. For the first time I created a piece that was completely mine, I can’t wait to reveal all this project.