Interview CHICANE (english)

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Chicane is the artist’s name of the british songwriter and producer Nick Bracegirdle. He started his successful career as “Disco Citizens” and in 1995 he has been in the UKs’ Top 40 Charts with the track “Right Here Right Now”.

After changing his artist’s name into Chicane he had his first big success in 1996 with the single “Offshore” which was followed by the single “Sunstroke”, the album “Far From The Maddening Crowds” and several versions of “Offshore”. In 1999 there were two highlights for Chicane: a pretty successful cover-version of the 80s hit “Theme From Harry’s Game” of the Irish band Clannad which was named “Saltwater” and the release of his single “Don’t Give Up” produced with his good friend Bryan Adams. “Don’t Give Up” reached many top chart positions and was even put on the first place in the British Charts, bumping even Madonna from the top spot.

In 2000 the next album “Behind The Sun” was released. Also the next years have been very successful for Nick Bracegirdle and his project “Chicane”. Many worth to be mentioned releases and albums were produced in the following time. The success of Chicane is also boosted by the well-known artists who are selected by Nick Bracegirdle: not only Bryan Adams but also Peter Cunnah, Sir Tom Jones, Natasha Bedingfield, Keane and others are influencing the releases with their unique sounds.
Nick Bracegirdle was inevitably one of the most successful producers in the past three decades and is a guaranteed hit maker. His dance anthems with their specific refrains and melodies have burned themselves into the minds of many people and have never been forgotten. Chicane still is found only on top spots and we are very proud to be able to introduce him to you with an interview.

Hello Nick. I’m really happy to be able to interview you. You’re one of the most successful artists in the scene and I’m really curious about what our readers and I are going to hear from you.

First of all, I want to ask you a question which you may be asked hundreds of times. But I would really like to know why you’ve chosen the artist’s name “Chicane”? Your music is everything but “chicane”, it is the opposite and very successful.

Chicane:
Its just a name to hang the act on, what does Pink Floyd really mean?
Its memorable & a bit different, hasn t done me any harm.

You had your very first success with the alias “Disco Citizens” in 1995 with “Right Here Right Now”. Have there been any other productions before this single which would have deserved more reputation and success? How did you feel with your first successes? Regarding emotions, there is a lot going on in oneself, isn’t it?

Chicane:
It was my most cherished success as It proved to a lot of doubters that I could actually be done.
There was probably thousand of demos that went before this was released, its just that I have played them to you as are inferior and demos.

In 1996 Chicane was born. What were the reasons for changing your alias? Did you also try to change your image? Have there been personal reasons or did you just realize that something has to be changed? I have experienced that changing the artist’s name is often linked to personal progress or other changes.

Chicane:
Chicane was originally realised as a down tempo chillout outfit, Disco Citizens was the Housier production. Over time these two momikers have become one to be honest.

Let’s talk about the music. You have dedicated yourself to electronic music and you’re mainly active in the section of trance and ambient. What is fascinating you exactly about those to genres? Which of those two genres is dominating your work? How are you combining those two genres in your projects? Did you also try to work with other genres? Has there been the point when you thought about changing your musical orientation?

Chicane:
I have no real loyalty to any genre if I was being honest, I dislike it when i get pigeon holed into say trance, I have always written the music for myself first and dont find myself
knowingly writing trance. Chicane is an approach to melody & atmosphere that isnt bound by genre.

Your one of the few artists who can proudly look back on three decades in the music business. I myself am one of those who has partied to “Offshore” and “Saltwater” and I can confirm that your work has burned itself into my mind and to the minds of many other people. How do you manage to be so successful over such a long period of time? Have there been also lows in your life when you thought about quitting working with music?

Chicane:
I said it already, I write the tunes for myself first, anything after that is a bonus. I also want my work to evoke emotion and make you feel something, I think this resonates with people.
There have been many low points and continue to be, this is flow of life, we cant always be happy & successful, it comes with the ebb & flow of how the world moulds us.

When I was working with various biographies of yourself, I especially noticed something in the year 2003. Your single “Love On The Run” featuring Peter Cunnah has been released and it should be a teaser for the upcoming album. Unfortunately the album “Easy To Assemble” has never been released which surely is a loss for the world of music. What have been the reasons for not releasing the album?

Chicane:
This was a nosebleed of a major record company meltdown. I was signed to Warners when they were taken over by Walter Bronfman. He effectively shut down the whole operation, and wrecked a lot of artists
work & future. While this was happening the album unbeknown to me was heavily bootlegged…….. Was a shitty time, But we may re-release it soon!

Your #1 single “Don’t Give Up” was released in 1999 and produced with your friend Bryan Adams. This great track was able to displace even the pop icon Madonna from the first spot of the British Charts. Has this been the point when you decided to work regularly with known artists? What are you appreciating when working with other artists who are bringing their individual sounds into the music?

Chicane:
Brian was not the first well known artist to feature, Moya Brennan was the first. I always liked taking artist known for their sound and taking out of their comfort zone and surprising a few folk.

I’ve been asking a lot about your great past but now I want to focus on the present. I would like to know what Chicane is doing nowadays? Are there any new productions, other projects or interesting collaborations? Is it possible to see you live on tour some day? Are there any news regarding Chicane?

Chicane:
There is huge amount going on, the sun:sets radio show is getting massive, a compilation cd in the pipeline. Some new tunes too before the year is out.
Next year sees the 20th anniversary of Chicane & some very special gigs/releases & other things happening, none of which I can talk about just yet……..

I’ve read that you are spending your time in Scotland and the French Alps. Those two places are pretty different but they seem to have a special meaning to you. Can you tell us why you’ve chosen those two places to work and live at? What is fascinating you about Scotland and the French Alps? Is one of those places maybe even more important to you than the other?

Chicane:
They are both epic places and great inspiration. I have never been a towny i love the outdoors & the odd bit of snowboarding!!!

After asking you about the past and present I would like to know something about your future. What is going to come from you in the future? Which private and jobwise plans are you going to take now? What are you thinking about your musical future in general?

Chicane:
I feel I will get more involved in film based projects, The sun:sets shows taking pole position & more gigs I hope

At the end, I would like to come to one of your passions: snowboarding. People say that you’re pretty rapid on the board and taking it to the limit. Are you one of those persons who need the adrenaline kicks to be happy? What are you doing in your free time, besides snowboarding? Where does your creativity come from and how does it develop?

Chicane:
Actually I m quite slow compared to some of the nutters who live in my village, I like to cruise……
There is so little free time tbh, I will be found with my young daughter if there is any spare time, plus I am bit of a workaholic and thats where you will find me….  eat sleep drink music…….
More information about Chicane can be found on:

http://chicanemusic.co.uk/
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicane
http://www.discogs.com/artist/8121-Chicane
https://soundcloud.com/chicanemusic
http://www.armadamusic.com/artist/chicane/
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=chicane

Interview by Daniela Bartelt (Die Dani) on behalf of the WCC!