"The pure joy of good music" Spotlight on two young Luxembourgish musicians, the music scene and local production
We spoke to Claire Parsons (jazz singer) and CHAILD (electro-pop artist), two musicians on the rise in Luxembourg's musical skies. They reveal their first experiences with sound, talk about their profession and the local music scene as well as the joy of producing albums in a Luxembourg recording studio. Next on stage...
Claire Parsons was born in 1993. From a young age, she studied music at the Conservatoire de la Ville de Luxembourg . In 2020 she received a master's degree in "jazz vocals" from the Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles (Belgium). She has played concerts on many national and international stages and festivals, won various nominations and awards, sings in several bands and is currently working on her new album...
When Claire was in the womb, her mother used to play music and sing melodies to her. Consequently, as a small child, she couldn't fall asleep without her mum humming a lullaby and she was drawn to her parents' record collection, where she would take out several albums from a large cupboard every day, and listen to them for hours on end. And so she devoured all styles of music from Elton John to Pink Floyd.
Around this time, she discovered the piano and played her first melody: the theme tune to Titanic. She was hooked and ever since music has played a major role in her daily life. Why not make it a profession? Claire didn't realise that she could turn her passion into a profession until she was 19, not knowing any professional musicians until then. She began to study music and her previous training in Luxembourg gave her a solid foundation.
"Jazz is the root of modern music. It's great to get back to basics, learn as much as possible and then move on to new things!"
And exactly this music education in Luxembourg , Claire Parsons believes is one of the country's greatest assets. The emphasis is placed on diversity and accessibility to learning which, no doubt, will pave the way for many more talented musicians in the future. Moreover, the Luxembourg music scene is highly committed to helping musicians and it's easy to make contacts. The stakeholders, at all levels, offer a tailor-made and personal service for each and every musician. This is unique in the world and Luxembourg's geographic location also makes touring and international cooperation much simpler.
Claire produced her last album at Holtz Sound in Tuntange. The recording studio is run by Charles Stoltz, the most passionate and committed sound engineer that she has worked with to date. Easily accessible and readily available, always willing to listening and blessed with a personal touch, know-how and experience... these are just a few of the characteristics of the sound technician who is also a producer and a musician (with the band MAD FOX).
Holtz Sound is a high-tech recording and mixing studio with vintage analogue equipment and instruments as well as modern digital recording and post-production systems. For more information and contact details, check the Facebook page.
Claire cites the experience of recording the album in the studio as a major moment in her life. To appreciate how a composition becomes a piece of finished music is both fascinating and a challenge in itself. Generally, you have to make a decision about a particular version, moment or note that is recorded while in jazz, the compositions vary each time they are performed. Finally, to hold the finished product in your hands is the greatest reward of them all!
To all those youngsters who dream of becoming a rock star, Claire advises them to follow their dream and make music, not because they hope to become famous but because they can’t live without it. They have to be true to themselves and never compromise. They have to do what they love and love what they do; the rest is out of our hands. The passion will be transmitted naturally to the audience.
"I'd like to take this opportunity to recommend another musician from Luxembourg; listen to 'Creation/Evolution' by Pol Belardi's Force. You won't regret it!"
CHAILD is an artist on the rise. He has a unique voice, which is both soothing and intense at the same time. In his songs, he blends the southern European roots of his family with modern electro-pop. He is a musical "Gesamtkunstwerk", supplementing his performances with fashion and modelling. His budding curriculum vitae already lists many achievements: winner of the Screaming Fields festival, support act for various stars, headlining the Rotondes, etc.
Since his birth, music has always played a major role in his life. His grandfather and aunts loved to sing and his home was always filled with music! As a young child, he was a big fan of music talent shows such as DSDS, Star Académie, Nouvelle Star, etc. At six years of age, he began his musical training. His parents were the proud owners of a piano; in terms of which instrument to choose, his choice was already made! To further develop his "pop" sound and nurture his voice, he took part in workshops at the Rockhal and enrolled on courses at the Rock University.
Becoming a musician was a natural evolution: with his iPod as his constant companion, CHAILD started writing songs when he was 4 years old (at the time with the help of his older sister); he never doubted that music would be his calling. From his 18th birthday onwards, music became his sole priority and all his decisions were made with his musical development and career in mind. He recently completed his studies at the LIPA – The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts and, now works between Brussels, Paris and Luxembourg.
"I continue to work and I want to succeed. Not just for myself but for those supporting me; I want to prove to them that they were right to believe in me."
Luxembourg's central location at the heart of Europe is ideal: it has given CHAILD the opportunity to travel extensively from one city to another for concerts, gatherings or work meetings. The local music scene is growing fast, with a new wave of talented artists appearing on the musical landscape, the financial support is important, and it's easy to make contacts... Personally, he finds it gratifying to have had numerous opportunities to gain more experience in a relatively short space of time in our small country, which would have taken much longer in a larger country.
Lately, CHAILD has produced his first EP (Extended Play) at Unison Studios in the 1535° in Differdange. It contains five songs, all club and dance tracks. The COVID-19 health crisis has allowed the singer to bide his time. For him, right from the start, he made it clear that he wanted to work with this studio, because he has known the team for a long time and the chemistry between them is good. Besides recording, CHAILD has been rehearsing in the studio; the collective also supports him when he performs live.
Unison Studios is a recording, production and media composition studio run by a team of producers, composers, musicians, sound designers and engineers. The team offers assistance and support to all musicians, bands and performers in all aspects of recorded music, from song writing and arrangement to the finalisation of their project.
From a professional perspective, being the support act for Dean Lewis at the Atelier, remains the musician's favourite moment. As a result of this first major concert, he met lots of people and conquered many hearts. He followed up this achievement with supporting Mahmood, his idol... Since, he has played his first "sold out" concert at the Rotondes. It was an unforgettable event, having the crowd just for himself! A fan showed him a tattoo with the title of one of CHAILD's songs – a heart-warming memory that will live with him forever.
He is a fan of MAZ, Francis of Delirium, Edsun and C'est Karma, and is enthralled with their sonic creations. He also cites Tuys, Turnup Tun and Bazooka Brooze amongst his favourites. For CHAILD music is a matter of taste, but it doesn't stop you from appreciating another artist and their work.
"I'm 22 years old, so young people find it easy to identify with me. I would advise them to work hard; nobody can do it for them. You have to find your individual style, be authentic and believe in yourself. The rest will develop spontaneously".