Real artists should always be experimenting with new styles and sounds. Always be trying to create something fresh and new. And always try to say something with your music. Our recent find Rouleaux is doing all of this.
We caught up with him to get behind his body shaking musical style and share the latest track “Slut”. Enjoy the interview here:
First off, what is the story behind the name Rouleaux?
Well, there’s not really a deep or meaningful story behind Rouleaux. I’m a nursing student, so I ended up coming across the word one day and it just kind of stuck with me. Wild, right?
How would you describe the music you make?
My music definitely leans toward house music, but I’m not really sure where to pinpoint it. I’ve heard people describe it as electro house, progressive house, and deep house, to name a few. Lately, I’ve been drawing a lot of influence from the ballroom/vogue scene, jazz, and EDM, so it’s kind of fun to toss that all together and try to make something new.
How do you feel your background in jazz, hip-hop/rap production, and house music, helped you create this unique style?
When I started making music, I started by composing jazz songs in a notebook when I was a teenager with a piano and my saxophone. Eventually, I went digital and got into producing hip-hop tracks for some local rappers, but it wasn’t until I started getting more into house music that I started making the type of stuff I do now.
Which artists have had the biggest influence on the growth of Rouleaux?
Definitely my boyfriend (and manager). Before we got together, I hadn’t shared my music with anyone and I would’ve never thought of changing that. I always make my music for myself, because I like it and it’s what I love to do. He is a musician as well, and really pushed me to put myself out there and share my music with other people because, like, why shouldn’t they be able to enjoy it too?
He also introduced me to some of my favorite artists in all kinds of different genres like Benny Benassi, Charli XCX, Axel Thesleff, Leikeli47, Melleefresh, Marian Hill, Tommy Genesis, Mykki Blanco, FKA Twigs, and T.Z. Duhh.
What is the state of the St. Louis underground music scene?
Honestly, I don’t have much to say about the underground music scene in St. Louis. I don’t know if I just live under a rock or what, but as far as I know, there’s not really a crowd for House/EDM here. Everyone’s only really into rap or punk. I’m planning on moving back to Chicago within the next year, though.
Your debut single “Slut” definitely grabs the listener by the horns. Tell us about how this song came to be?
I really loved Samirah Raheem’s interview at the SlutWalk, which is where the sample in the song came from. I know “slut” is a term usually used to degrade women, but a healthy sex life is something I’ve definitely struggled with in the past and I just don’t understand why wanting some control over your own life and body is taken so seriously by so many people.
Personally, I wanted to make something fun that captured how freeing it felt to own my sexuality. I know women get the short end of the stick with slut shaming, but the taboo around sex is something that affects everyone in our society.
What advice would you give to other artists creating something different from what is out there?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everybody’s a critic. Make your music for you and don’t get too in your head. Music is an art, and that art comes from expression. Just because you’re not pulling record numbers or winning awards doesn’t mean your art is bad art. Love and respect your work.
Where does Rouleaux go from here?
My next single, which was inspired by Andy Warhol, “I Don’t Do Cocaine,” is dropping on November 2nd on all digital platforms.
Early this winter, I’ll also be releasing my first EP, “Euphoria.” I’m pretty proud of what’s coming, and I’m excited to share it.
Fantastic, we will be looking forward to it.