D//E Interviews: Camila Fuchs

The experimental electronic pop of Camila Fuchs has already produced a trilogy of engaging albums of which the latest, Kids Talk Sun, finds the duo of Camila De Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini fully realizing their craft, and being one of the few reasons why the term 'art pop' can still be credible in 2020, having not completely lost its artifice.

Camila and Daniel discuss with D//E the new album and more.


How different is Kids Talk Sun compared to the previous Camila Fuchs albums? 

The difference sits in the mood and emotional context in which this album was created. Heart  Pressed Between Stones or Singing From Fixed Rung felt more daring and dark. The mood of Kids Talk Sun is positive and hopeful.  

Kids Talk Sun can be nearly seen as the opposite to what was created in HPBS. Whilst HPBS was  mostly centred internally, and our work mostly developed in a studio space, in Kids Talk Sun we  were able to find most creative input outdoors, observing the nature and plant life. 

There was a very naive and curious mindset we had when recording. It’s something that kids have  since they are not conditioned and all their thoughts and synapses are still making new connections.  Wonders of the world can be as small as a tiny insect or a simple detail that we can relate with. We  adults have lost part of this connection. With this in mind we found a way in to a positive colourful  odd little world and started relearning to not worry and simply give into the process.  

The themes in Kids Talk Sun run a lot on the meditation on childhood, childhood memories,  growing, letting go, transformation. In the beginning when we started recording this was not  intentional, it was more the fact that we were surrounded by a peaceful and loving environment  where we felt safe to explore. Having the guidance of Pete Kember contributed in a huge way, helped us a lot to fully let go. In HPBS we had been very mindful about the transformation of the  songs, bringing a demo into the final songs and the set of songs we used. In KTS we were  completely open and allowed the actual process to manifest itself through time. It’s been an  incredibly fun process to observe!



How was it working with Peter Kember? What does his contribution bring to the band's sound? 

Pete obviously had a really strong impact on us. He and his wife Samantha are truly beautiful  humans. The whole process was giving and fruitful and so full of joy and laughs.  

The most giving part of this collaboration was mainly Pete's presence and energy around us. Pete  would not impose or direct any kind of change on our music but he would guide us into new  possibilities, he would open doors and encourage us to keep trying out ideas we had left aside thinking they didn’t have much of a future. Pete encouraged us to work on 20 demos and had an open energy to each one of these songs, allowing time and work to slowly shape them without any  pre-conception of the final result. By doing so he allowed us to keep the “definition” of the album  completely free and open until the very end where all of a sudden everything fell in it’s place like magic. 

As we also mentioned in the previous question, Pete would not only inspire us in the studio but he  would also show us how to appreciate and use the outside world as source to connect with our  music consciously. How to observe and open our eyes to things that are right in front of us, get inspired and go back into working. 


 
Which are the new album's main themes? 

Childhood memories, transitions, transformations, letting go, growing, nature, nature and how we  relate to it, utopias. 



Kids Talk Sun was recorded near the wilderness outside Lisbon, and the natural world is a big part  of the new album conceptually. How is nature implemented into the new album? 

Nature creeped in, in a beautiful way. It’s as if being surrounded by nature unconsciously influenced  what we created, what sounds we chose and the way they intertwined with each other. Almost as if  we mimicked what we saw in nature. The earthy sounds in Roses, the bee sounds in Silenced By Hums, the heat and rays of the sun in Sun, the lyrics and song tittles. It wasn’t a deliberate choice but more something we slowly became aware of and embraced.  



With Camila Fuchs' members coming from different parts of the world, how did you end up  working together as a band? 

We both moved to London around 2012 and met in University.  



Is the creative process based more on experimentation or more strict compositions? 

Totally on experimentation. The best moments of creation lie in between the moments of clarity, when something unexpected happens! You could call it mistakes. Of course not always, but many times you hit on something odd which is where the exploration starts. Composing and  experimenting do not oppose one another, they much rather are likely to complement each other. If  an experiment leads to something it ends up forming part of a composition.  

One thing that stirs us exploring is the image behind a sound. What does it connect with in reality or  the other way round, what connects from reality to sound? Visualizing in your mind something with  sound, hitting a sort of synesthesia and the opening of abstract worlds is to us a hint of having found  something interesting to work on!  



How is the artistic process at the visual part of the band's creativity? You're one of the acts which  always come up strong on the visual front. 

Manuela de Laborde, experimental filmmaker and artist, sister of Camila has really helped define with us through an ongoing collaboration the visual side of Camila Fuchs. Her work is magical and  it happens all the time that we encounter a strong symbiosis between what we’re all working on at  the time and are interested in.  

All our live visuals and artworks have been made by her. What was special about Kids Talk Sun in  particular, was that it was the first time Manuela approached other visuals artists to contribute with  their own practice. It was one step after the other, entirely a result coming together through time. Counting all the steps, there were 4 people involved from beginning to end: Manuela De Laborde, Nika Milano, Angela Suarez and James Huw King. Each one crucial for it to happen as it did but  also, I feel, each one was really surprised by the end result. Perhaps even feeling a positive oddness  or strangeness towards it. And maybe? Others, when they see the album, have a similar feeling… We like thinking about that. Perhaps some elements are recognizable and familiar while others quite unexpected and magical.  

We also feel that choosing a process of creating like this one was an interesting factor in itself. It feels like a direct response to the energy of the record: openness, trust and freedom to try things out. 
The artwork and music talk to each other, they are both really the result of a process rather than  successfully constructing a preconceived idea.  



You've previously talked about the time you spent in Brazil, teaching electronic music to young  kids. How was that experience? Has that been helpful or inspiring to you as artists in any way? 

The experience we lived in Brazil influenced the recording of Sun, the first song of the album. The  song is a call for heat, for warmth, energy, and life. We imagined when writing the song a utopian  civilization where kids are protected by the sun. The sun at the frontline, shielding and loving. Sun is a celebration for nature. A calling for its strength.  

When we worked with the kids in Brazil, we showed them how to build contact microphones and  how, eventually, they could record and alter those sounds to keep making music on their own. On the one hand the kids showed us this childlike approach we mention and opened to us their worlds, being fascinated by the smallest details but on the other hand the experience was also incredibly complex as it was hard reaching out to the kids many times. They grew up in a difficult social environment, forced to build behavioural shields to protect themselves. It was almost impossible to connect with them.  
So in a way the song Sun established nature as the primary realm for the album; nature as something giving, not only through its tangible resources. It delves also into this relationship on an emotional / spiritual level.


  
How is the ongoing apocalypse treating you? 

Civilization has had ongoing ups and downs with pandemics and wars. It is part of life in some way  but it is hard to be faced with a sudden new reality we are not used to. It is really difficult for everyone but change will come, hopefully for the better and if we accept change and work positively towards changing things for the better, we will come out of this stronger than before.  



What comes for Camila Fuchs after the album's release?  

Right now we are doing self work, finding and piecing ourselves together again. Releasing an album and working on something for two years is really intense and straining on our systems. We are taking things slowly step by step, gathering some life force again before getting back into working on something new! Whooop!  

The coming months we have a few DJ mixes coming up, two on Dublab, one for Dave P & one for  DNTEL. Then we have our first real life show since a long time coming up in December. It'll be a  small capacity album launch here in Lisbon in a lush venue called ZDB, they have fantastic  programming there.  

Probably soon we will also start working on new material for a next album. We have a couple of  really exciting offers for collaborations and we'll see what happens, where it takes us from there.




Band photo courtesy of Terrorbird Media







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