As with every Red Bull Elektropedia Awards show, we like to put upcoming talent in the spotlight. The Most Promising Artist Award is given to acts that are deemed to be on the verge of breaking through. Whether it’s making beats, spitting bars or singing melodies, these artists have one thing in common: a promising potential to make it big in the music scene.
Maybe you recognize her as the front woman at bands like Warhaus or Soldier’s Heart, but soon everyone will know her by her real name: Sylvie Kreusch. After some soul searching, the natural born performer decided to go all in on a solo career – and now we’re seeing the first extremely promising results. If the excellent first single (‘Seedy Tricks’) is anything to go by, you know the forthcoming debut album is going to be a direct hit. The voice and production of Antwerp-born artist sound fresher than ever, creating a mysterious and futuristic vibe that circles around the exotic and sensual sides of pop music. Everything about this woman just tells you she owns a great deal of potential that has matured, waiting for the right moment to show itself. It is obvious then, that Sylvie Kreusch couldn’t be omitted from this year’s Most Promising Artist selection. Get to know her a little better in this interview.
How has 2018 treated you so far?
I had a very exciting year, although there’s still a lot coming up. I have only released one song so far and it’s really important for my music to give the audience an idea of who I am and the world I created. There is still so much stuff I want to do; I’ve got so many ideas I want to accomplish. It’s also difficult for me to accept a compliment when, in my head, I’m like “no this is just 1 percent of what I have to offer”! In the end I’m never satisfied. Anyway, I’m happy I’m on stage again, because that’s what I like to do most.
Why did you decide to to go solo?
For a long time, I was afraid to create something from scratch. I didn’t want to do everything on my own because I was scared I would disappoint myself. When people complimented me after a show, I just wondered why… I’m just a lazy girl who just happens to feel free on stage. After a while I bought myself Ableton and after a few weeks I already racked up a bunch of demos. One year later, my laptop got stolen and I lost everything I had. I cried like a baby! After that I learned how to make a backups and got on with it and now we’re here! Being a solo artist is a lot of work, but I love it. You learn how to manage yourself, take care of your band and make your own decisions about everything. I feel completely free and scared at the same time.
In which ways is your personal expression as Sylvie Kreusch different from your input in your previous projects?
With my previous projects, I felt like I was just another singer with a ‘nice voice’. It’s just such a big difference if I’m performing songs I wrote myself. Additionally, I think I’m at my best when I have control over everything. To give you an example: when I make a demo, it’s all me. Once I collaborate with a producer, I still need to make sure I make every decision or else it could go in the wrong direction and then it wouldn’t feel honest anymore. That’s why it’s so important to make your preproduction very clear. I will never throw away my demos because they represent who I truly am. The moments captured on these demos are spontaneous and pure.
Which are the most important lessons you learned from your times at Soldier's Heart and Warhaus respectively?
I guess I learned a lot about expressing myself on stage, although I never really had stage fright. It was nice to have opportunities to push yourself on stage. Having a lot of gigs is an effective way of improving your singing. I learned a lot from my mistakes, being my own boss and never let anyone tell me what to do.
What do you use to make your music? (technically)
I work with Ableton. I always start out with a certain groove and then I explore all kinds of different rhythms to create a nice atmosphere. In the beginning it will often sound a lot like a movie soundtrack: it gets me in a particular vibe and then I just start singing, sometimes just nonsense, like ‘bla bla bla’. After all that’s done I actually start writing the lyrics.
And what does your live show look like?
It’s just me, a percussionist and a drummer. The total package sounds very organic and danceable; it puts you in a trance. The rest of the music you’ll hear is on a backing track, but not for much longer. We’ll start rehearsing new shows with a new member, so we can get rid of the backing track and create a more complete live feeling. I would also like to invite a saxophone player from time to time, or a girls’ choir! Girl power!
What’s the daily motto you live by?
Don’t rush! Live day by day. Although one day I would love to be able to live on a farm with a lot of dogs.
What do you hope to achieve within, like, 5 years from now?
I want tour tour tour and create more more more! That, plus I want to stop smoking. I’m finishing my album at the moment, so I have plenty of songs to make beautiful videos with and create new chapters in my personal story.
The 2018 Red Bull Elektropedia Awards will be held at Flagey (Brussels) on Tuesday, November 13.