Introducing Interview: Broken Back

Meet Jérôme Fagnet, a 25-year-old singer, songwriter and producer, who goes by the name Broken Backsigned World-Wide to Columbia France, RCA and B1 Recordings.  Born in France,  Broken Back was playing jazz from an early age, but it was in 2012 that he finally began recording his own songs, using a nylon guitar he found in his closet. The sensational one-man-music-machine creates a fusion of folk inspired pop, and his new track ‘Happiest Man On Earth’, with its sensational vocals and distinctly poignant lyrics, its fast becoming one to add to your autumnal playlists.

We had a chat to Broken Back about being a DIY musician and his new release. 

Hey Broken Back! You’ve already reached number one on HypeMachine twice this year, how does it feel to be quickly gaging this new attention? (All well deserved may I add)
I’d say I didn’t expect this to happen! I play music to tell stories. Because I love stories, and because I truly believe that people love stories too. I see in every song an opportunity to capture thoughts, feelings, facts and emotions, and this is precisely what thrills me! Reaching number one on HypeMachine is just an unexpected but most welcome surprise!
You started your musical journey playing classical and jazz. Your sound now, in comparison, can only be described somewhat as a fusion between folk, pop and electronic music. What was the creative turning point for you in producing this new distinctive sound? 
I think classical brought me the basics of music theory whereas Jazz learnt me how to break away from them. I was also a real fan of folk artists like Cat Stevens and listen to a lot of electronic music today like Flume. I guess my songs must reflect all of those inspirations.
Your new EP “Dear Misfortune, Mother of Joy” has been completely homemade and produced by yourself. Do you think its important to have that DIY approach to your music in an industry that many would argue is very manufactured?
Yeah, I don’t know if it is really important, but that’s definitely what thrills me!  
Why the ruse of Broken Back as a solo artist name, does it have a specific reason behind it? 
Yeah, actually, two years ago, I really “broke my back” ! At that time I had to recover for months and music helped me to go through this hard time. 
Back then I just grabbed my guitar and started to write the first songs of the EP, ‘Dear Misfortune Mother Of Joy’. And as you can guess, I see now this past misfortune as one of the best opportunity I’ve ever had.
The visual for Happiest Man On Earth is stunning and lyrically is really poignant too. What was the writing process like for the track? 
Everybody talks about Happiness ! Have you ever thought about who was the Happiest Man in this world? One day that question just came to my mind and that’s how I decided to write a song about it. The lyrics  unveil one possible interpretation, but no doubts there are hundreds of others. To me, eating nutella pancakes and making music in my home-studio is the right one! The Pursuit of Happiness stops right here for me. 

You’re currently based in France and have loads of gigs scheduled over there, where and when can we catch you in the UK? 
I’ve planned to pay you a visit very soon J I’m playing at the EFG LONDON JAZZ Festival on 20 November 2015, and I’m so excited about that! This will be my very first gig in London!  
What’s next up for Broken Back for the rest of 2015? 
A lot of news songs of course ! I’m currently recording my first album, and hope to release it at the beginning of 2016. I’m also focusing on tour right now. Just because all of the best moments I lived in the past few months are those shared with people in the venues during the gigs…  
Thanks Jérôme!
Katie Muxworthy

Katie Muxworthy

Mainly write and talk shite.
Katie Muxworthy

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