We talk to the brains behind Dream Koala.
Dream Koala is the ethereal creature creating music that makes you want to climb inside a huge pillow. It’s beautifully soft, full of sound and expression, and suitably anthemic and emotive. He describes himself as a “wizard & citizen of the universe” on Instagram and we have to agree, that kind of fits. Even his look is completely mystical and wondrous, magical and even slightly mermaid-esq. Musically Dream Koala is a bowl full of deliciousness that soothes your brain and helps your mind float away into an underwater world of happiness.
Wonderland sat down with the brains behind the music and talked all things music, like the first time he fell in love with a song and what it feels like to get everything down on paper.
Your music is totally floaty and gorgeous, what is your writing process like?
Thank you for the compliments! I try to avoid repetitive creative process, this is why all my releases are different from each other on both substance and form.
But all my methods have the introspection in common. When I see something that inspire me, I let it somewhere in my mind like a library and come back later to work on it. I think that creativity comes from the inside but can be expressed by everything that we learn from the outside like a language. In my opinion, creativity and spirituality are connected and can’t be separated. I think like the alchemists, through the manipulation of metals and other materials it’s their own soul that they were trying to change.
Where do you feel most creative?
Paris and Berlin are two very interesting cities because they are full of energy but they not overwhelming like London or New-York. The best for me is to keep a balance between the movement of the city and nature’s tranquility. This is why I just moved in a village in the South of France. I also think that creativity comes more from a state of the mind rather than a place.
What inspires you to write?
Inspiration has always been mysterious, it strikes randomly and then it disappears as quickly as it arrived, sometimes seeking for it can be like a Holy Grail quest. To me, an artist needs to develop his sensibility to feel and get inspired by what other people don’t perceive, in order to transform these things into artworks perceptible by everyone. Beside the inspiration I get from other artists, I try to open my mind to the signs and symbols around us, in our lives and into nature. Revolt, anxiety and death inspire me as much as the stars’ movement in the sky, faith, or childhood… everything is a potential source of inspiration.
How did you come up with the name?
Dreams always fascinated me by their strangeness, surrealism and mysticism. I’ve read somewhere that koalas sleep until 20h a day, I just thought they might be entities from the dream world and this is how I come up with this name.
Can you remember the first time you fell in love with a piece of music?
It’s weird but I have an abstract memory from a song with a sitar that my mother used to listen when I was a kid. This song accompanies all my childhood memories but I won’t be able to sing the melody or remember the artist name. It feels like my memory kept the essence of the song but without the details, like if my childhood has existed between dream and reality.
It is interesting how our memory distorts some moments until the limit of realism.
Do you have in mind how you want your audience to react when you’re playing?
My favorite shows are when the audience is hypnotized, silent and almost immobile but I don’t have special expectations before getting on stage. I just hope to be strong enough to touch people in their heart, if they smile or cry, I only wish to make them live a deep experience. There’s also a big cultural difference between every city, a Parisian crowd will not be as enthusiastic as a New-York audience but it doesn’t mean they didn’t enjoy the moment. One thing that I feel bad about is to see people using their smartphones during shows rather than fully live the moment.
Talk to us about the new single “Dimension Sleeper”
We recorded everything with my friend Andrea in Superpoze’s studio but I was in Berlin when I wrote the first line from Dimension Sleeper « The machines awaken me after eternal seconds ». I was reading a lot of Aldous Huxley, Lovecraft books. My favorite thing about Lovecraft is the feeling of vertigo that he brings from the contrast between mankind powerlessness and the immensity of the universe.
I think we live in a transition period where the border between Men and Machines is less and less clear. It’s important to take the time to think about these questions. By drawing nearer the machines, do we approach the perfection and immortality that always obsessed mankind? Are we really attached to our humanity, so our minds ? A lot of people think these questions only belong to science-fiction but if we look around us, we can see that in a close future, these questions will need to be raised even if they’re vertiginous.
You’re French and brazillian, how do you think these distinctively different cultures have influenced your music?
I was born in Paris but I was raised the brazilian way by my parents. I was speaking portuguese before I learn’t french at school. Music is present in every aspect of the Brazilian culture, in the rituals, in the streets, with your friends, your family… It is a synonym of joy, everyone makes music! In France we are more reserved, more serious and less creative. My personality is a balance between these two contradictory natures and I think that you can hear in my music the brazilian passion with the french melancholia.
Catch Dream Koala playing with the CODE orchestra at Transmusicales Festival in France December 3rd
Words India Opie Meres