Suddenly, it was a warm summer night in the stereotypically rainy London.
Walking towards the O2 Forum in Kentish Town, everything was in motion for the man of the hour, Petit Biscuit. By his real name, Mehdi Benjelloun is an 18-year-old French producer taking the world by a storm with his five times Diamond Single ‘Sunset Lover’ selling over 2.5 million copies.
Entering the green room, Mehdi sits down in his khaki-colored hoodie and skinny black jeans and shares some insights before the show. He acknowledges that the first step in his musical journey was at the age of five when he started to play the cello. “I was the first musician in my family; I was very curious about all instruments and different sounds. So I started practicing piano and guitar and got into making music when I was 12”, he says. After learning the basics of sound and how it works with classical instruments, he moved on to the means of a computer. “It took me three years to learn how to use my computer and use it well to make good music,” he admits and confirms the dimension of what a computer can do with sound is harder to grasp.
With his beginning in classical music, Mehdi saw the transition to electro and house music as a natural move. “I listened to a lot of electro music as I discovered artists like Flume. Electro music was trendy as it was part of the whole Soundcloud culture,” hence his decision to post his first-ever track on this online audio distribution platform.
After the release of his first song, Mehdi realized his audience was mostly international and was missing a French base. The reason behind his stage name, Petit Biscuit, is mere to stay relevant for his French fans with a cute, catchy name.
For music producers and DJs, it is quite common to make music that creates an illusion of the tropical world, falling in love and the urge to put your hands up and make new memories. Mehdi mastered the art of tropical house with his most successful single ‘Sunset Lover.’ It is a perfect example of tropical house as it incorporates tropical instruments. The sound of saxophone, marimba, synthesizer and steel drums is what makes ‘Sunset Lover’ “a track that can talk to all people.”
Following the success of his 2016 EP, Mehdi started composing his debut studio album ‘Presence’ at the start of his world tour. Mehdi confesses that the tour life is not all smiles and unicorns: “The record represents all the emotions that you can feel when you’re on the road. You’re mostly happy, but you’re also stressed when you’re on tour. You grow up so fast, especially when you’re a teenager like me”. As an artist, Mehdi discovered something new, and he tried to communicate the energy with the new album in 14 songs featuring artists like Sonia, Lido, Isaac Delusion, Panama, Bipolar Sunshine and Cautious Clay.
‘Presence’ already two music videos to provide visuals for the extremely colorful sound.
Not only does Petit Biscuit produce warm, mellow, catchy melodies, but he can also put up an entertaining show that outshines the studio version of his work. Any aspiring performer’s dream is to land the Coachella Festival, and for Mehdi, it came true: “I knew for six months before the announcement. But when I finally saw my name on the official lineup poster, it felt amazing”, Mehdi says enthusiastically.
Concluding the interview, the room buzzed with excitement for the show. Being able to witness the ‘Presence’ tour and the atmosphere it carries, it only confirmed the young talent and the promising career Petit BIscuit has ahead of himself. Mehdi’s tracklist of familiar melodies enthused the gassed crowd with every song. The assemblage of twenty-something-year-olds showed their joy by flipping their phones out each time their favorite song came up to record it. That happened with every track. The visual effects screening behind Mehdi’s set up on the stage made the whole show a cinematical experience and worth every penny.
The ‘Presence’ tour is a worthwhile experience that Petit Biscuit is taking all around the world. Besides the musical milestone of performing at Coachella, Mehdi will go on an Asian tour this summer stopping in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Tokyo.
Keep your eyes wide open for this one. Petit Biscuit will be at the forefront of electro music in the years to come.