From not knowing what I was doing…
Brussels, summer 2010. Like most students in their twenties, I was living in a tiny studio and would go to class — from time to time — with no other goal than satisfying the social pressure of having a university degree.
A product of my generation, I happened to be a video games fan, as well as a guitar player — an explosive combo that kept me in a certain delusion for years. I would spend most of my time watching Youtube videos and playing the guitar when, one day, I accidentally stumbled on the Youtube show Attic Player (better known by its French name Joueur du Grenier): two guys following pretty much the same path as I was, unemployed, killing time making videos for fun. Those two, not knowing what they were doing either, happened to be growing experts in their field, building an audience of over three million followers as I am writing this article.
…to unconsciously achieving my best work
At the time, I was deep into funk-rock music (think Red Hot Chili Peppers, Funkadelic, Living Colour) and had tons and tons of licks I had no idea how to use… I just loved composing.
After seeing an interview of Joueur du Grenier, in which they mentioned their need for a theme song, I decided to contact them. Their audience was small, but already growing at an incredible speed. We talked, shared ideas and rapidly, without understanding the unconscious process, I came up with the 6 notes jingle on the guitar (the red one in the pic below, that I still use everyday).
9 years later, it became a hymn for the 18–25 generation. I had no idea what I was doing, but I was shaping what would become one of the strongest brands in the Youtube world.
Things are clearer than they seem
What is the point of writing this, not even describing the sound in question? The point is that, almost a decade later, after years of wandering and wondering, I realised one thing: I already knew what I was good at and what I loved, from the very beginning. From the first time I touched a guitar. But it took me all my twenties to realise that what I had done at 23, my most spontaneous work, could become my job, my life. It was clear, in front of me, but social pressure was making it very blury.
At 31, I can analyse what I had composed 9 years earlier and see how spot on it was. Every characteristic of that theme was, unconsciously, thoroughly studied, still makes perfect sense with what the show has become and embodies one of the biggest brands in the Youtube sphere.
Become who you are
What I had created for Joueur du Grenier was a sound identity. Sonic branding. Just like what Intel, Apple or Mc Donald’s do. I had no idea that it had a value and was actually a looked after specialty.
I had been looking for “myself” for years and years, when I realised that it all came down to spontaneity and consistency.
I guess it’s called growing.
What looks accidental often reveals a lot more than it seems.
Follow what you love, work on it consistently, let the world know.
Become who you are. (Friedrich Nietzsche)
Thank you for reading my first article on Medium! I will be posting more about my creative process and sonic branding in general.
You can listen to the original theme in question, at the following address: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP1BtvOi1bE