The multi-hyphenate artist is bringing exotic French Wave to the masses.
In need of a dreamy electro fix for sunny weekend? Raphael Futura has just the track for you. With only three releases tucked under his belt so far, the multi-hyphenate artist is already carving out space for his own brand of funk-tinged electro-pop. Formerly part of bass pumping duo Young Futura, the Italian-French producer has regularly worked with musical heavyweights such as Trey Songz, Lloyd Banks, G-Unit and Raekwon, breaking out on his own this summer to bring a slew of exotic French wave bangers to the masses.
Clearly a lover of the sun and all things feel-good, Futura even offered us an extra tune from his forthcoming album Riviera to soundtrack this weekend’s glorious heatwave. “Heartbeat” effortlessly blends swirling guitars with infectious drums and a downright delicious melody. “As long as you love me / We’ll never be lonely,” LA-based singer-songwriter NoMBe calls, dreamily ruminating on love and lust to a steady and utterly hypnotic beat. The two actually met when performing at Texas-based music festival SXSW in 2016, but more on that later!
Catching up the multi-hyphenate artist below, Futura tells us all about his new album and his dreams for the future.
Hi Raphael! How’s Lockdown been? How has it affected your creativity?
Hey guys! Lockdown has had its ups and downs for me. Some days I feel like I can do anything from my computer while eating cereal in my pyjamas and the next I’m considering changing careers and moving to a remote island. Creatively, it’s been 100% different, I used to base my creativity around collaborations in the studio, now it’s on zoom and it’s just not the same.
Congratulations on your new tune with NoMBe? How did this come about?
Thank you! NoMBe and I have been friends for a while now, we met back in 2016 when we were sharing the stage at SXSW!
We both are from Europe and live in LA so we became quick friends and naturally got in the studio many times. “Heartbeat” was really fun to write together, we definitely have a good synergy.
The new song is taken from your upcoming album Riviera, what can we expect from the album?
A blend of smooth funk, exotic French wave, and future bounce, which comes straight from my upbringing in Italy and France. Some goodies include a feature with Asher Roth, a co-write with Tim Atlas, a sexy Brazilian voicemail, a bonus track in French & amazing veteran players like Marlon McClain and James Manning!
What do you want people to take away from the album?
I want them to actually get to know me better through this album. This is the first time I have recorded my own voice and been the “artist” and the producer. I have always been behind the scenes, so this is a really new direction for me. I’m not expecting to have people think wow what a singer, it’s more that I wanted to create the whole song myself, which kinda is the vibe of the album. It’s about feelings and emotions and they’re all mine as I’m the writer, singer and producer. That’s what I mean about it being really personal.
I really pushed myself to be as authentic as possible in it, to create a body of work that makes sense for the beginning to the end, and bring quality people on board. I hope the album will resonate for some or take you on a journey somewhere between the Mediterranean Sea and California.
How have France and LA influenced your music?
I lived in France until I was 20, training to play the classical piano. The strict and traditional structure of my lessons really gave me a good foundation for music but I was never too interested in the music itself that I was playing. It was in my formative years in France where I started discovering music I liked and found myself drawn to jazz, hip hop and R&B. I remember listening to artists like Aretha Franklin and Mobb Deep on my headphones walking through Paris at night and feeling so alive. This is what really inspired me to go into music and move to NYC where I was could find my place in the hip hop/rap world.
It’s really when I moved to LA a few years ago, and California in particular where I feel like I returned musically and emotionally to my roots. The palm trees blowing in the breeze, the sounds of seagulls… brought nostalgic feelings from France, summers in the Mediterranean, my family and friends and just emotions that almost cross all genres of music. I started making music by myself in a genre I can’t really put a name on. It has the romantic nuances of French culture that are a part of me, the breezy light sounds that remind you of California and the funk, jazz and electronic foundation I carry with me always.
Who are your inspirations?
I can go from Gucci Mane to Laurent Voulzy aha – the best thing would be for you to check out my Spotify playlists on my page!
Who would you love to collaborate with?
Right now I’d love to collab with people like Tom Misch, Steve Lacy, Kota the friend, Marcos Valle.
What are you looking forward to/ what are you most excited for?
I’m looking forward to making some video content which has been challenging since the beginning of covid but may be doable now.I’m excited about this new collaboration I have with Petite Noir, he’s incredible. I also have a new band project coming up. I can’t really talk about it just yet but it will get you off your chair!