Alumni Stories: LEO2R

In 2015 one of La Chat’s most musically talented students graduated. Now, after months on a European tour with the Swiss band Stevans, Léo de Riedmatten has released his lead single taken from his debut coming later this year: Anachronist.

Although Léo performed a stripped back Alternate Version alongside current La Chat students at the Fashion Show back in February, Léo says this Original Version is more “bombastic and eclectic”. Fortunately the epic saxophone solo still features in this version and it’s clear M83’s hit ‘Midnight City’ was a strong influence.

While LEO2R is Léo’s first solo project, he said that the song was actually started with his previous band: “It started with this drum beat that was heavily inspired by The 1975’s “The City”, that’s the vibe we were going for back then. Unfortunately, time got a hold of us and we never were able to complete the song, so I asked the band if I could take what we’d started and make it my own. They both accepted and so the rework began.”

And when Léo said he reworked it he meant it, keeping only the drum beat on the verse, which he was especially proud of “due to its complex rhythms”. He decided to take a different approach to reworking the song “starting with the piano chords and adding a melody, lyrics, and then finally the drums and synths.” Eventually everything fell into place and you can hear the result below.

Today, Léo is releasing a music video directed by Geneva based filmmaker Mei Fa Tan. The video, filmed in the woods behind Crans, is incredible and definitely worth a watch.

Although the story and meaning behind the video is not made explicit, Léo says this was the idea: “I’ve always been fascinated by cinema, especially the mind-bending genre” he said when I asked him. “David Lynch is an absolute master at the craft, and other movies like Fight Club, Inception or Enemy are really mind-fucking (excuse the language) and I thought it would be really interesting to experiment with that aspect of ambiguous story telling, leaving most of it up to the viewer’s interpretation.”

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Léo on the set of Anachronist with Mei Fa Tan. Photo: ©FOCALISATION

This idea of ambiguity seems to be something that has been central to this song from the start. When I asked Léo about the meaning behind the lyrics he said, “Lyrics are normally very personal to me, I like writing about things I feel on a personal level, but for this song I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired on that level, so I decided to write about a character. This piece tells the story of a nameless character lost amidst society’s cacophony, rebelling against its echelons and norms, and deploring his contradicting feelings towards it all.”

This is all summed up perfectly in the title of the song: Anachronist – meaning someone belonging to a time other than that in which they live.

All in all this is undoubtably an impressive debut song from someone who you are likely to hear on the radio in the not too distant future.

For more about Léo make sure to check out his website, Facebook page or on Instagram.


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