As a virtuoso musician with influences spanning genres, Nihil Sperantes and his project Analine blend styles to forge a unique sonic identity. His evolving sound comes alive through creative partnerships that exchange ideas freely. Check out the new single “Summer Is Gone” and much more in this informative interview.
1 — What inspired you to pursue a music career?
Firstly, I am a trained saxophonist. Then after a Medieval History PhD and during an early career in research, I returned to composing music as a hobby. But faced with the pleasure I took in composing, I decided to do it professionally.
2 — Do you compose the full song yourself and then bring in others to record their vocals, or do you involve the collaborators earlier in the songwriting process?
I always compose the whole song, the instrumental and the vocal melody, then I offer it to my collaborators. However, I always give them a lot of freedom to make the song their own. On the other hand, regarding the choirs, they are always the ones who find the arrangements.
3 — How would you describe your shape-shifting sound? What influences have most shaped it?
I’m actually not a big fan of Electronic music although I listen to it more and more for inspiration. Since my childhood, I have mainly listened to Rock, Jazz, Soul, and Rap. These are the kinds of music that influence me the most. But I love discovering new sounds and shaping them just as I love using different delays to create uncertainty in the rhythm. This comes from my Jazz training.
4 — Your new song “Summer Is Gone” blends guitar riffs with Brazilian bass and Arabic beat influences. How did you come up with this fusion of sounds?
Initially, I didn’t compose this song for Analine. It was intended for a young Parisian artist I met on Instagram who appreciated my work and wanted us to collaborate. She wanted an Electro-Pop song with oriental influences. This is why I chose a minor scale and took inspiration from oriental rhythms for the beat. I wanted to give a club feel to the chorus, hence the idea of the Brazilian bass. The idea of the guitar comes from the fact that I like to bring a touch of Rock to the Electro tracks. At first, it was just supposed to be a collaboration but she was so versatile and I always had to do more, so I decided to end the project. Then at the end of the summer, I decided to rework it. Since she had written the text, I needed a new one but not having much desire to write one, I suggested a friend, an English teacher, to write me a text in the tradition of American Pop.
As I said before, I am not the author of the lyrics, this is the first time for one of my songs. It’s somewhat relieving not to be the only one in control of the creative process. Robin Suiffet, my son-in-law with whom I maintain friendly relations, is both an English teacher and a painter, he makes most of my album and single artworks. What I like about the lyrics is their simplicity and the fact that they speak to everyone. Many of us feel melancholic as fall approaches.
6 — What do you find most challenging about your role in producing the music?
The early stages of composition, the discovery of a new melody, the development of new sounds and new rhythms, that’s what excites me the most about musical production. It’s a bit like meeting a new person, these are often the most exhilarating first moments. I also like writing texts on thorny subjects. Sometimes what can be more disturbing is connecting the melody of the field and the text, because the song comes to haunt you day and night. You struggle to get the melody out of your head. This is why I like working on several projects at the same time, songs and instrumental tracks. I also like studio recording because that’s when everything comes to life and I detach myself from the song somewhat.
7 — Do you have a preference for working during sunlight hours or after dark?
I don’t really have a preference but being a family man, when night falls, I am often busy with my children. As a result, I mainly work when they are at school. But I admit that working in the dark is always inspiring.
Indeed, I still struggle somewhat with this problem, due to the many influences guiding my music. It is quite difficult to categorize my work. I compose Electro music without listening too much and Pop without ever having listened to too much either, especially French Pop. However, I’m not too interested in sticking to standards, I prefer to keep my own identity.
9 — As your fanbase spreads globally, where do you find the most passionate listeners?
I don’t have a big fanbase yet but the United States, Germany, Italy, and France are the countries most interested in my music.
10 — What’s next for Analine? Is there any new music or directions you’re excited to explore?
Indeed, I have a new quite different project coming up for the winter, two covers in the Slap House style (“Call Me” by Blondie and “Hey Ya” by Outcast). Then I’m also preparing two EPs, an Electro-Pop one and one other more Electronica. In the Electro-Pop EP, there’s a pretty crazy song, talking about insomnia, but the text is in French. With the sound engineer with whom I collaborate the most, we have fun distorting the voice of the performer (Myness) as the madness of the insomniac takes over.