Organic, Subliminal and Visceral are three words that illustrate Fytch’s philosophy and approach to production. With extensive exploration in Classical, Jazz and electronic music in and out of his formal Education at Berklee College of Music, Stéphane’s music is a marriage of influences and stretches beyond the boundaries of pre-conceived genres.
The journey started through language. Born in Paris to a French father and Croatian mother, Stéphane quickly picked up his two first languages. Moving to the Netherlands at the age of 7 and being placed in an International school broadened this to include Dutch and English. Adding an active participation in the Esperanto movement to the list, language was what inspired his search into the communicative qualities of sound; how can we convey intricate thoughts and emotions through music rather than words. With a technical tool belt and electronic production as a medium for expression, he was able to combine digital and analog, artificial and organic, future and past, in his portrait of our modern world.
Under the alias “Fytch”, Stéphane had his first official release on Strictly Rhythm under BMG; “Raindrops” featuring Carmen Forbes. At the age of 15, this was a big push forward that played its role in influencing the direction of his academic studies. As a first step, it prompted him to develop his technical abilities and sound palet. Drawing influence from Dutch trio Noisia, British electronic producer Flux Pavilion and an alternative hip-hop roots side from Gramatik, Fytch started his diversification into new genres. The strong melodic aspect tied these different paths together, and it is this same element that remains as a foundation in his work.
With a growing presence online, goals of pursuing music as a career cemented and Stéphane applied to Berklee in his senior year. Acceptance into the college bought him time to ground his work and establish a strong artistic image. In his first semester, he declared his major in Electronic Production and Sound design and released “In These Shadows” under JD4D Records. The video, which was done by Australian production team Blunt Gorilla, won the silver ACS Award and reached over 2 million views online.
Time at Berklee proved to be very fruitful. Taking over as President of the Electronic Production Club under department chair Michael Bierylo enabled Stéphane to consolidate the production community at Berklee. Weekly meetings acted as a forum for producers to share their knowledge and get feedback on material. It’s around this club that Fytch got to know Lucas., a French up-and-coming artist now signed to Sony in Europe. When Stéphane later took on mixing and mastering work for Jack Martini, he also became Lucas.’s engineer, and expanded this to take on more related jobs.
Through his internships at Lumit Audio over the Summer and Fall 2015, Stéphane gained experience in the software development side of the industry. Having to test and debug Lumit’s new Digital Audio Workstation, he acquired a profound understanding of the very tools he had been using since the start of his explorations in production.
Outside of Berklee, Stéphane continued to release music and play shows. He started working with Dutch label Heroic Recordings in January 2016, kicking off their collaboration with a single entitled “Sirens Over Paris” in memory of the attacks around Paris, notably the Bataclan. Singing on his own material for the first time revealed new fronts to explore and obstacles to overcome. Since this first release, Fytch has put out 6 different releases under Heroic, including two 4-track EP’s and two collaborations with club vice president and roommate, Paradym. Out of the studio, he continues to perform live. His last performance took place at Babylon Bomonti club in Istanbul Turkey on the 13th of January.
Through all of this, Fytch’s production esthetic has drastically simplified. In his search for complexity, he learned the value of minimalism; using fewer, carefully shaped sounds and focusing on articulating them in organic ways, his music seeks the ‘played’ quality of acoustic instruments, but through original timbers, only possible in the electronic domain. Nearing the end of his time at Berklee, Stéphane is preparing himself for a full-time professional career in the music industry: through his own works and the projects he has taken on with other artists.