CHARLOTTE ADIGÉRY & BOLIS PUPUL
Photo by Manuel Obadia-Wills
By Anthony Thuong-Seng
Charlotte Adigéry & Bolis Pupul: a duo born from an intense chemistry. Inseparable since their first meeting in the studio, the two artists from Ghent, Belgium have steadily created an electronic sound that conveys powerful messages in an offbeat tone. After their first two EPs “Charlotte Adigéry” and “Zandoli”, they are back with their first album “Topical Dancer”, a project that showcases both of their personalities. They spoke to us about their strong friendship and how they ended up creating such unique music together…
ATS: You met while making a movie for the electronic group Soulwax. How did you end up becoming a music duo? What sparked the relationship you have today?
CA: Bolis knew Stephen and David Dewaele from Soulwax and had already produced two EPs for their label Deewee. After shooting the movie, they invited me to make some music with them in their studio, which was a huge honor for me. I said yes, of course, but I was intimidated by the situation. That’s when Stephen and David suggested I work with Bolis, who I already knew a little bit because we’re from the same city of Ghent. We both accepted because we trusted their judgment. Soulwax went on tour in Japan and the brothers left us their studio. That’s how we started making music together. We felt comfortable together right away. Bolis is incredibly kind and he helped motivate me. We became fast friends on the same wavelength in terms of our ideas and creativity.
ATS: Bolis, Charlotte describes you as a kind person. What did you think of her when you first met?
BP: I felt the same way! Even though we didn’t know each other well, we were able to make music with no other ambition than making sounds we liked. We were innocent in a way. I like that kind of naïveté, because it’s a feeling that’s hard to replicate. We did what he had to do without overthinking it, which led to an EP in four or five days and an album two months later. Things came together quickly for us. We went back to the studio to make a second EP, which we were able to perform live and feel all the excitement of the crowd.
ATS: What were your first experiences with music?
BP: My parents loved music and we listened to it all the time. Not necessarily the stuff on the radio, but usually more weird, alternative music from America… All that music is in my DNA now. With Charlotte, our music is different but I think it’s interesting to mix both worlds.
CA: Music was always a big part of my family. My mother sings all the time and my grandmother used to sing, too. It’s almost like our own way of communicating. Music is naturally a big part of my life since I’m from the Caribbean. It’s also a way for me to live in the present moment. I grew up with soul, jazz and zouk, but my mom listened to everything so I’m open to all sorts of music. My passion for electronic music came much later. I heard techno for the first time when I was five and it scared me. It was like hearing a computer talk.
ATS: Where did the idea for “Topical Dancer” come from?
CA: We got the idea after our first two EPs when we were talking with Stephen and David about writing our first album. We started with the idea of a time capsule that would tell a story. It grew out of a bunch of conversations we were having in the studio. We share a ton of thoughts and ideas.
ATS: Bolis, a lot of people think your duo consists of you as the composer and Charlotte as the singer. What is your actual process like?
READ the rest of the interview in Crash 96 available here.
Charlotte and Bolis play at the We Love Green Festival this Saturday, June 4th, tickets are still available here.
BOLIS: Shirt – Amiri, Linen jacket – Paul Smith, Cotton rose printed pants – Acne Studios
CHARLOTTE: Stretch silk crepe dress and laced socks – Acne Studios, Sandals – Miista
Massanori Yahiro at Open Space Paris