Fighter. This is how we would define without an ounce of hesitation Furlax, a real Swiss army knife of the new French rap and r&b scene. A fighter, because for around fifteen years, the artist has not given up and impresses us with his determination and his multidisciplinary talent. First actor, then author, composer, producer and performer, Furlax is undeniably the rising star of this year 2023. Thanks to the release last August of Nebula , a project which, we must say, has transported us very far , his influence in the musical landscape is becoming more and more palpable. Following his first full concert at FGO-Barbara, we wanted to speak with him to find out more about his unique approach to music.
© Theo Rasamiarivelo
How has the musical environment in South Africa influenced the development of your style since you started in music?
Before going to South Africa, I had never made music. It was when I arrived there that I discovered rap, that I made my first recordings. The South African music scene is very influenced by American rap, especially amapiano, house and I try to transcribe it in my music because I grew up with it. Amapiano, in particular, inspires me enormously, it's a genre that you hear almost everywhere and especially in clubs. South Africa is a country that experienced apartheid, which is very marked by racism and we find very varied influences in this music such as electro which is listened to more in Europe, afro, there is tones that come from India also because there is a large Indian community. I find it super interesting because it's not directly categorized as afro and unfortunately, it's not exploited enough.
Lil Wayne and Kanye West are often mentioned as your main inspirations. Why have these artists had such a significant influence on you and how does it manifest in your music?
My self-confidence comes mainly from Kanye West. I've listened to a lot of his interviews and his music is incredible, his productions are really well done. He's one of the first to make the producer/rapper jump and there's this “you can do it on your own” side that deeply inspires me. I got into his music a little later, but I never left it again. Lil Wayne is quite simply his artistic madness, he has never been afraid to take risks musically speaking. At the time I listened to it, it was a fashion phenomenon, it released hit after hit. Today, I still listen to it.
Is there an artist you would dream of collaborating with?
If I had to choose an artist I would dream of collaborating with, it would be The Weeknd. In France, Gizo Evoracci had a great influence on me, especially in my youth. I had the chance to do a featuring with him last year on one of his projects, so it's a bit of a dream feat that came true! Booba is also an artist with whom I would have liked to collaborate, but now he has taken a much further step back, he is much further away.
You have mentioned several times that you draw inspiration from different cultures to produce. How do you manage to harmonize these varied influences in your productions? What is your process for creating artistic coherence despite this diversity of influences?
I am Armenian, but I also have Lebanese, Congolese, Cameroonian origins and I was born in the Central African Republic, so I have a very broad relationship with the world. I'm not afraid to take risks and I try to draw inspiration from all these influences, while creating my own sound. For example, in the Horizon sound , I integrated the sitar, it's an instrument widely used in India, which according to me, does all the production. Besides, many people told me that it was this instrument that did a lot of things. In Extasy , I used the duduk, an Armenian flute. I really try to bring my touch from a base of rap and hip-hop so that people can listen to me abroad. It is through production that we can expand musically. When you listen to a foreign artist, you don't necessarily understand what he's saying, but what stands out is the production and the way he put his flow on it.
In the song Agadir in particular, you evoke the saving power of music. How has it helped you and in what way has this form of expression influenced your personal journey?
I went through some super difficult times in my life, I experienced depression, moments of questioning lots of things, but also music. Agadir is a piece that I made at a time when I was really not doing well. It was December 25th, I was home alone and I needed to make a sound that would make me feel better. Music has always helped me in complicated times and at one point, I told myself that I no longer had my place in this environment, I no longer knew what to do. As an artist, I realized that what made me happy wasn't even money, but making other people happy. It's a motivation to continue and music has that effect on me. It also allowed me to have the pride of my parents and, personally, I couldn't see myself doing anything else. I took on different jobs, ended up devoting myself more to music and started improving my productions. A year or two later I had the opportunity to put Niska on her first album, I also worked with Dinos. With each new job, the artistic profession called me, whether in acting or in music. I felt a little doomed if I wanted that life, so I stopped and since then, I've given my all to what I really love.
Astronomy is one of your greatest passions and you have even integrated it into the artistic direction of your various projects. How does this fascination guide your artistic vision?
I am truly inspired by the infinity of space and, being a composer, I refuse to restrict myself. I am aimed at everyone, both men and women, young people and I really like making people dance! At my concert, some people discovered facets of my music that they had not paid attention to before. That's a bit of what I want to transcribe, I'm not afraid to go on an adventure.
The Law of Attraction is an integral part of your life. How do you apply this principle in your daily life and in building your career?
Even before it all started, I was already applying the Law of Attraction. One day, before flying, I was given a book about it and I was shocked to read that everything that happened to me, I had created. When I arrived in Paris, I told my friends, obviously, they made fun of me, but it's thanks to this Law and what I asked of the universe that I got my all. first casting and that I became an actor. It was a real springboard, it allowed me both to discover myself and to buy the equipment I needed to make music. It boosted me, even when no one believed in me, I knew that one day it would pay off. There were periods when nothing was happening, where I had no means and suddenly, a big project that I had asked of the universe arrived in my life.
Your first concert at FGO-BARBARA was a great success! How has this experience left an imprint on your career? How is it reflected today in your way of approaching the stage?
I had already had the opportunity to open for Beeby last year and several small stages, but I always visualized this concert. At the time, I made a lot of melancholic music, because there is a quite sad part of me that was reflected a lot more, especially during confinement. But I try to stay positive and create something more sunny, both for the public and for myself. That's how Ad Astra was born , with bangers like Stunna , Galactic and I saw that these songs allowed listeners to escape... I shaped Nebula in such a way that she could perform all the sounds on stage and so that people can move their heads on it. It really made me feel good to see that the audience knew the words, especially after all these years, it was a long struggle. My first project dates back to 2012 and it was in 2023 that I gave my first concert! Some have been there for a long time, but most discovered me through my last album and I'm really happy about it, because it was with him that I decided to combine singing and rap, it's a bit what put me on the map.
What is the message you want to convey through your music?
The message I want to convey is that you have to believe in yourself and never give up. Throughout Nebula , we feel this ambition to succeed and accomplish things in our lives. I tell myself that as a child, I would have liked to hear it. No artist is born an artist, you get there by working. If you're interviewing me today, it's because I've worked and I find it motivating to share it in my music.
What is the piece that you conceptualized that resonates with you the most?
In Nebula , I would say it's Hustler Ambition . It really resonated with me, but also with many artists. There are some who came to me saying: “This is the best”, because they identified with the text. This piece relaxes me and at the same time, it gives me energy. But of all my projects combined, Close to the Stars remains my favorite because I say it all (haha)!
Thank you again Furlax, it was a real pleasure talking with you! We can't wait to see you on stage and be able to sing “ pair of air force, crocodile jogging ”:
November 24 at Bourbier Party #3 at POPUP! : dpl9o-bourbier-party-3-24th-nov-popup-paris-tickets
As well as on December 8 with the media Inflow at DOCK B: m9qer-inshow-8th-dec-dock-b-paris-tickets
To listen to Nebula:
Written by Camille Noel Djaleb ( cosycam )