Interview: Poirier seeks a better place

Poirier photo by Saty + Pratha

The newest addition to Nice UP! records roster is Poirier. His musical career spans over 15 years and he has had releases on Ninja Tune and Mixpak. Here he chats to’s 25ThC prior to the imminent release of his new album:

How did you first get into producing and were you classically trained?
Not trained. Just listened to a lot of music. I was doing a college radio show back in the days and at some point wanted to share my ideas through music. I came to music a bit late and focused all my energies once the decision was made.

Can you tell us about your studio set up in terms of software/hardware?
The gear is not really important for me, it’s about having ideas and being in a comfortable setting mentally and physically.

Your brilliant new album “Migration” is being released on Nice Up! Records. How did you link up with them and why did you choose them to release the album?
Thanks, I’m glad you’re feeling the album. About Nice Up! Records, we first connected through the internet. A few months after I was playing in London so we met in a café to discuss what was possible to do together and from there we followed up.

What are the ideas behind the album title “Migration”?
It’s a big topic I wanna address. I feel there’s very complex issues going on right now and nothing happens randomly. Corporations and governments often push individuals and communities over the edge with violent laws, untenable measures and continuous conflict. These entities restrict our movements and liberties to establish a type of chaos suitable for exploitation. It’s time to bring a new unity that is not motivated by making profit, but motivated by caring about people. The title of this album stems from the reality of migration—an issue that can’t and shouldn’t be avoided in 2016. Migration has been a major issue for centuries and millennia. The world is constantly reconfiguring, people are moving from one place to another, always seeking for something better. Things change, times moves forward and music is a meeting point, a dialogue. Ideas and music moves with people. Through music, we can still hear the traces of what happened a few decades, centuries and millenniums ago. This album is made of many collaborations and each one has a different story, a different path, all seeking for a better place to live and share.

The album features a number collaborations with Red Fox, Machinedrum, Face-T and MC Zulu. How did you decide which artists to work with?
Face-T is family, he’s like a brother and we both live in Montreal. We did so many tracks together since 2007, it’s just so natural to do music with him. About Machinedrum, he booked me in 2009 at a party he was doing in New York and we got along. It’s being like since 3-4 years that we said we wanna do a track together and it finally happened. I wanted to have a tune with Red Fox because I had a beat that I felt was designed for him and he liked it too. He delivered a strong performance. MC Zulu have being on last 3 albums and it was natural to have him involved again. I have also to mention Fwonte, Aleisha Lee, Dubmatix and Riddim Wise who all contributed on this album and brought their sounds and ideas to it. Without all these collaborations there would be no album, so I’m very grateful to everyone involved.

In terms of the collaborations did these consist of being in a studio together at the same time and working real time on productions or long distance back and forth of tracks?
It’s a back and forth process either I’m with the person or not. It takes time and it’s good that way because no decisions are rushed.

What plans do you have, if any, to tour the album and would that include any of the MC’s performing live with you?
I have a monthly party called Qualité de Luxe in Montréal where we play afropop, soca and dancehall. I’ve been running it for two years with my partners Kyou and Mr. Touré and that’s naturally a good outlet to test the music and play tunes from my album. A part that, hopefully I’ll be DJing and touring this summer and this autumn in Europe again. In Canada, I’m planning a bigger show experience for the summer involving Face-T and Fwonte on the mic and adding dancers to make it even dynamic. It will be hype and fun.

What else do you have planned for 2016?
The same day the album “Migration” get released on March 4th there’s also a movie for which I did all the original score coming out in theaters. It’s called Boris sans Béatrice and it’s directed by Denis Côté who’s from Montreal like me and got a good name in the festival circuit. The film was in competition at the Berlinale (aka Berlin International Film Festival). Also, I did a remix called La Plaza for Gilles Peterson’s newest compilation Havana Club Rumba Sessions. Finally, I’m in the studio right now finalizing the newest Face-T’s EP2 where I’m the executive producer and doing also a riddim for it. It’s the logical suite of EP1 that came last year.

The album “Migration” is out on 04 March 2016 from Nice Up Records.



Interview by 25ThC.