Nicolas II and Aria S, aka Louis Vivet, have effectively risen the ranks of Los Angeles’ burgeoning dance collective after a seminal breakthrough year. The duo boast a sound that’s founded on house music, one that also possesses clear influences from deep/UK styles, progressive house, and pop. LV’s live performances have resonated with audiences, highlighted by a diverse track selection that reflects their artistic diversity. When they aren’t producing or performing, you’ll find LV working on new graphics or visuals to enhance their live shows. In the vein of Feed Me, Nicolas II oversees the art direction and overall brand, having studied design at USC’s Roski School of Fine Arts. LV brings listeners into their own carefully constructed universe with their heavy emphasis on narrative storytelling, one that they communicate clearly through their art and music.
Last Fall Louis Vivet debuted their smash hit during a Discovery Project performance at Escape All Hallow’s Eve. Playing on the 90’s classic ‘Save Tonight’, LV successfully bridged the multi-generational gap for a radio friendly single that can still be heard to this day. With over 750,000 plays on SoundCloud and an equally popular remix by Nigel Good, Louis Vivet successfully turned the folk anthem into a mellow masterpiece. This caught the attention of international DJ / producer Gareth Emery, who has regularly featured their tracks on his Electric For Life podcast. It wasn’t until after the massive success of ‘Save Tonight’, that Louis Vivet debuted their first original track ‘Downbeat’ in March 2015 on Dancing Astronaut. This exceptional track is comprised of trip step pops, melodic lifts, and pounding bursts of energy. Possessing a clear talent for utilizing vocal samples, ‘Downbeat’ showcased their ability as both remixers and producers. Throughout a spectrum of different influences, Louis Vivet have continued to stay true to branding themselves outside of all preconceived genre limitations.
They impressed crossover audiences once again by taking a minimal approach to the brilliantly reworked ‘Dead’ by Phoebe Ryan’s. It was transformed into a dance-centric rendition that maintained the original’s allure. The singer songstress was a supporter of the remix as well. After crafting their efforts around an indie-dance route, Louis Vivet provided a glimpse into their stylistic diversity by venturing into a deeper house sound. ‘Nightfall,’ in which Magnetic Mag describes as “a bold vocal anthem that takes control of your entire senses with dark vocals and hypnotizing instrumentations”, continued LV’s ascension within the dance blogosphere.
Once again Nicolas II and Aria S flipped the script, remaking ‘Silvia’ by Miike Snow. Infused with deep layers of passion and emotion, Louis Vivet proved their ability to make an inspired cover into a full-fledged project. The rework was accompanied by an original graphic novel, illustrating the story behind ‘Silvia’, a piece of art that has since been picked up by USC. With support from some of the largest names in dance music, Louis Vivet opened for multi-platinum selling artist Felix Jaehn, further developing their stardom and limitless potential for the future.
We are two best friends who love to make music. Even though we make auditory art, we also have a deep appreciation for visual art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, architecture, and fashion. We are very different: One of us is a visual artist, and the other is an engineer. Our distinct personalities combine to form the core purpose of our art project, “Louis Vivet.” We are thrilled to win the Discovery Project for Escape: All Hallows’ Eve, and are even more thrilled to share our music with music fans everywhere. We don’t believe in genres, we believe in making great music with influences drawn from a multitude of art sources including music, fashion, and visual art.
Home Town: New York, New York and Los Angeles, California
Currently Living: Los Angeles
Origin Of Name: Our name pays homage to Louis Vivet. He lived in France during the mid-nineteenth century and was the first medically recorded case of a dissociative identity. As we conceptualized our act, it became increasingly apparent that we would never allow one state of mind and one singular direction to constrain our creativity. After encountering Vivet’s story we just knew this was the vision that tied the two of us together.
Weapon of Choice: The tempo fader on turntables and CDJs
Source of Power: The dichotomy of our personalities would be a start. We’ve tried to take the parts of ourselves that are in conflict with one another and turn them into our act as a unity of skills, thoughts and tastes. After that it has to be the difference in our educations. We both studied at USC, but we could not have been in more different programs (structural engineering vs. fine arts). Our different backgrounds allow each of us to constantly learn from the other, which makes for a great creative dynamic.
What advice would you offer someone thinking about entering the Discovery Project competition?
Was there one particular moment in the recording or mixing process for your Discovery Project entry that made you feel like you were creating something pretty damn special?
The first time we produced the duet on “Save Tonight,” we sat back in the studio and just knew. There were a lot of other moments that have felt awesome in the recording process, but that harmony will always stand out.
What’s the strangest part of your job? What makes you shake your head in wonderment about being a DJ and producer?
It is always going to be strange walking into any room, be it a nightclub or our friends’ places, and hear someone else play our music. Seeing other people enjoy our music is probably the best part of our jobs (other than seeing our managers who we love), but there will always be something strange and amazing about hearing our productions out in the wild per se.
What’s the biggest misconception about being a DJ? Or, what would people be surprised to find out about the profession?
The biggest misconception actually has to do with the way that question was phrased: There is an assumption that we are just DJs. Yes, we do DJ at shows, but that’s a very different side of our work that relies on a different skill set. We don’t consider what we do with Louis Vivet to be just DJing. Truthfully, we die a little bit on the inside every time someone asks us what it’s like to be a DJ, or introduces one of us to a new person and says, “Hi this is Nick/Aria and he’s a DJ”. There are so many additional aspects of our performances beyond just traditional DJing with turntables or CDJs. First and foremost, we produce, and our live show is just one medium in which to display our music to the world. In the long-term, our show is based around merging DJing techniques with launching produced samples from hardware and incorporating additional effects processing. People also usually have the delusion that choosing music as a career path is all fun and games. People really underestimate the amount of hard-work it takes to not only get good enough at this to earn a living, but also the sacrifices it takes to sustain success. You have to give up a lot, including time spent hanging out with friends and family, which is definitely the hardest thing to do. But this is what we want to be the best at, and we’re willing to do anything to make it happen.
Are you impulsive with your work (in the studio and/or DJing) or do you have a sketch in mind before you start?
This is probably where our two different personalities shine brightest. There is always a very rough idea of what we’re going to work on when we sit down in the studio, but the creative process often sweeps us down new avenues on a whim. There is this great working dichotomy between us as people who studied very different subjects in school that allows us to work at times in free-form creation, and then analyze our work and regroup and retool to push our projects towards completion.
How important is it for you to experiment and take on the risk of failure?
Failure may be the wrong way to use here. We really believe that every experiment is worthwhile for us in the end since the journey for us is the experience we enjoy the most. Growing as artists is a process, and it’s one we don’t ever intend to stifle with fear of failure. By no means do we act recklessly, since one of us definitely has a mind geared towards structure and precision, but we really look to learn from as many different opportunities as we can. If there is a new sound or instrument we have any inclination will bring something profound to our art, it’s not something we should pursue, it’s something we have to pursue. For us, that’s the only way we know our work will always make us proud.
Do you have a list of people you’d like to collaborate with (from musicians to lighting and visual artists) in the future? Why specifically would you like to collaborate with this person / these people?
We’ll start with musicians: for us it has to be Christian Karlsson, Benny Blanco, Dillon Francis (or DJ Hanzel, either works for us) and Porter Robinson. We don’t really need to say much more than their names since they’re each legends in their own right. They each have such distinct styles and have such unique sounds we absolutely love. It could also be a blast to do a live set with A-Trak, Fedde le Grand or any of the other elite DJs. For visual artists and production design, it’s Vello Virkhaus without any question. When we first saw some of his stage and production designs for Dillon Francis and Krewella we were completely blown away. We will probably never recover from seeing the setup for Amon Tobin’s ISAM stage, it’s completely enthralling. As far as other art, we know it’s a long shot, but it would be amazing to work with Banksy or even an elite watchmaker like Patek Philippe. We also really want to work on some art projects with Kelly Maynard (seriously, will someone please convince her to work with us). She’s the one blushing at her desk reading this right now.
How would you describe your sound to a deaf person?
Our sound would be like looking out onto the ocean in the middle of the night with a full moon. When waves and ripples come through the water it oscillates into this really beautiful pattern of light and dark. Our sound focuses on those moments.
What’s the hardest professional lesson you’ve learned thus far? How did it make your life easier—or more difficult?
Probably that our managers are smarter, better looking, and more talented than we are. No, they’re definitely not holding guns to our heads as we answer this, because they would never do that.
Do you have a favorite all-time mixed CD or series?
This one was really tough, but ultimately it has to be a little known mixtape called The Good Life by DJ Roctakon. It’s not exactly the kind of mix you would think electronic music producers would gravitate toward but it’s incredible. Roctakon was a legendary club DJ in New York (he quit the scene not that long ago), who would play exactly what most people wanted to hear in club sets, open format and mainstream Top 40, but privately, he put together these incredible old-school vinyl sets with deep cuts of disco, tech house, rock, ambient and a whole myriad of other genres. We highly recommend checking the mix out if you can find it online. Honorary mention in this category also has to go to The Best CD We’ve Made Since Trabajo by StoneRokk & Graham Funke. Best intro to a mix we’ve ever heard.