You are looking at a sunset. It’s the last day of what has been the best summer of your life. You have experienced some really intense things – both tragic and amazing. You feel sad and yet deeply grateful. You feel in love, you feel like you miss someone so much. This is exactly how Aime Simone would describe his music to someone who hasn’t been listening to it before, it’s all about these clashing emotions. A very relatable but faraway feeling everyone’s craving right now.
“I’m insane and my music is too,” says the Paris-born artist. “I live through my music and the universe I build, without it, I really cannot get through anything.” Something you can literally feel when diving deep into his tracks. Simone’s soundscape is a mix of classic pop songwriting combined with early 2000 rock influences and club music, dance and trap beats. And still, it’s rather perceived than tried to explain.
To get to know him a bit better, Numéro Berlin caught up with Simone via email to get some advice on how to stay creative in such uncertain times we currently live in.
Tell us a fun fact or something not everyone knows about you.
I started driving motorbikes at the age of 7. I was doing a trial in the mountains and repairing motorbikes with my granddad. I only stopped when I started travelling but I really miss it. It has this sense of danger and excitement and it connects you to nature. I’m someone who’s meant to be outside.
It’s always weird to pick a starting point but how did everything fall together?
For me, music started because of my Norwegian family, they were playing the guitar and singing together after barbecues in the summer by the fjord. I was mesmerized by it and inspired to pick up the guitar. I wrote my first song with 17.
When talking about beginnings, tell us a bit about your art collective/ music label ‘No Start No End’.
It was created in 2018. The idea was to bring together people that have a similar approach to art through different mediums. It’s people who implement something mystical into their work, something magical and soulful. It’s DIY, taking the flaws of the artist and pushing them to the extreme, finding the beauty in the imperfection. ‘No Start No End’ is basically about punk spiritual art.
You were born in Paris and are now based in Berlin. How’s the city inspiring your work?
I decided to move to Berlin for a few reasons, I was smoking a lot of weed at the time to help with my PTSD symptoms and it was difficult and dangerous to get in Paris. Also, I had so many bad memories haunting me around every corner. I just wanted to go somewhere else and have a fresh start. My partner had lived in Berlin before and she thought it might be the right place, somewhere more open-minded and accepting with more space and nature, and with a huge underground scene of music and art.
What’s your personal take on Berlin’s techno scene?
It has really infiltrated my music and inspired me. I use more drum machines and dance rhythms now. It merged into my acoustic songwriting and gave it a lot of energy. For me, it’s a symbol of Berlin summer: concrete merges with nature and sun. The feeling of going out on a warm summer night to dance in a concrete space heated up with sweat and bodies. A connection of strangers through pulsing beats, a moment of leaving the club in the morning, smelling the dew on the leaves and seeing the clear sky. Berlin is definitely in the fibre of my music – a dark melancholy but with such a hopeful beauty.
What’s something in life you’re most proud of?
I am probably most proud of the fact that today, I can live free of the problems that defined the last decade of my life. I no longer spend every day in an endless loop of self-destruction and getting out of it was the hardest thing I ever did. I’m proud of that.
What makes you hopeful in such uncertain times we live in?
Uncertainty is a part of life. I didn’t need coronavirus to seize the accidental nature of living. I’ve had enough experiences to understand that. I don’t believe in any future, I just take it day by day. I am taking every precaution that I can to avoid the virus and otherwise, I am just working on living as usual. Making music makes me hopeful. I feel like my whole life has been uncertain times and now everyone else is feeling like I always do.
How do you stay creative and sane?
Set goals. Daily goals. Short term goals. Long term goals. Hourly goals. Life unfolds.
Text: Juule Kay
Photos: Letizia Guel