Our new obsession comes in the shape of Paris based electronic r&b sweethearts, HAUTE. Although Anna Majidson and Romain Hainaut grew up on opposite sides of the Atlantic, they both enrolled at McGill University in Montreal to study music and philosophy. When Romain published an announcement on Facebook looking for a music partner, Anna reached out and HAUTE was born. Their soulful pop and r&b tunes have already charmed the masses, such as the guys at Colors and the infamously picky bookers from Berghain.
What sort of music were you exposed to when you were growing up?
Anna: We had a sono in our living room and it had a steady rotation of The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Matt Bianco and a lot of jazz/blues.
Romain: 70s rock, hip hop, electro, such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Massive Attack, Air, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Justice, Daft Punk…
When did you start making your own music and what was it like to begin with?
A: I first started with choir and a capella groups. The first real song I remember writing was a piano voice when my first real boyfriend and I broke up, around 2011. I was also taking heavy music theory classes that year and I wrote a really bad fugue and an OK 4-part harmony choral composition.
R: In 2008 with my dad’s computer on GarageBand.
What equipment do you use now?
A: Guitar or piano to compose and an AKG c214 to record on my computer with Logic.
R: My laptop running Ableton Live and a MIDI keyboard.
Does living in Paris influence the music you make?
A: Stylistically only minimally. Music is so globalized now. But in terms of themes it has been a huge influence in my texts, and the many collaborations I’ve had the chance to partake in really positively influenced my writing and production.
R: Definitely, it has opened me up to a lot of European music, especially French and Belgian rap/pop, and what I listen to everyday is my strongest inspiration.
Who’s your biggest local musical influence, past and/or present?
A: Probably Ta-Ha, this Parisian singer who collaborated with Myth Syzer. She has a cool universe and really good melodies.
R: Mr Oizo from Ed Banger for sure.
If you guys were to meet for the first time today, which songs would you recommend to each other?
A: The EP Jungle Exit by LaFawndah.
R: 50 Cent – 21 Questions feat. Nate Dogg
Toro y Moi – I Feel Weak
MIA – Come Around (feat. Timbaland)
What are the biggest challenges faced by musicians in Paris?
A: Most French people don’t really see music as a real profession. Because we live from our passion, they expect it to be done for free and in some poor conditions. Often people ask me what my “real” job is, because it’s ludicrous to them I would’ve willingly chosen music. The male presence is also very aggressive in Paris, especially in the music industry.
R: Everybody in music in Paris knows each other but there is a lot of acting and/or being fake. People will ignore you when they know you, but act nice when it serves their interests. Thankfully in Paris there are people from everywhere and a lot of talent so you just have to be careful.
What are the top things you’d suggest music fans visiting Paris should go and see/do/eat/drink?
A: Definitely Jam to the Wild on Tuesday nights at La Favela Chic.
R: Eat some charcuterie and cheese.
You’ve already played a Colors show and Berghain, where in the world would you most like to play a Haute show?
A: The Fox Theatre in Oakland, California.
R: I’d love to tour the US.
What are your plans for 2018 so far?
A: To put out a beautiful music video! That’s the next step.
R: To finish our debut album.
Can you send us a photo of the view from your window?