Gone Deville is a Canadian music producer and DJ who works across multiple genres including deep house, afro tech, afrobeat and hip-hop. His music has been released by leading electronic labels including Toolroom, Madorasindahouse, Mile End Records & Disques Nuits d’Afrique, while in the studio he has worked with a huge range of international artists such as Martin Roth, Wu-Tang Clan, Kizaba, Pierre Kwenders, Shah Frank and many more.
The first iteration of Park Bench landed several years back, and was a sleeper hit on Soundcloud, clocking up close to 100k plays. This new version, Park Bench (Rework) maintains the woozy, dreamlike atmosphere of that original recording but aims more directly at the dancefloor, increasing the tempo slightly and adding cascading synth lines to create a deeply affecting, melodic house cut that serves at the perfect bed for Sean Sable’s intoxicating vocal.
Hey Pierre, thanks for chatting with us today! As we approach the end of the year, will you look back on 2022 as being a positive one for you?
2022 was definitely an amazing year. A lot of projects I had been working on for a very long time we’re all coming to fruition. Launching my own label and going fully independent. I still signed a song to a great label and still planning on doing so, but most of my releases will be released Independently on my own imprint. I got a great PR team working with me on these projects. It’s exciting to make my own schedule and plan things how I see fit.
Tell us about your journey into electronic music, when did you first fall in love with it?
One of my best friends, Julian Prince, who now runs SXM festival, is really my main influence when it comes to electronic music. He was the first person to bring me raving, teaching me the basics and just exposing me to new electronic music in general. We bought our first turntables at 17 years old, the exact same weekend. He took me twice to Miami’s Winter music conference, to Twilight in NYC, etc. We go way back. He got me into Sasha, John Digweed and many other pioneers.
You’ve worked with some big-hitters in the studio, Wu-Tang Clan not least among them! Did you actually get some studio time with those guys?
Raekwon was in fact in the studio with me in Montreal. I’ll never forget the call. “Raekwon needs a studio and needs a beat’’. A bunch of producers had gotten the same message. So when I got to my studio and met up with him and his team, they already had over 15-20 beats lined up to listen to. I had only about 2-3 beats that were fitting for his style. We went through all of them, he came back to my beat, and kicked everyone out of the studio when it was time to write and record. It was just him and I for 2 hours. I’ll never forget him shouting out my name through the speakers… I kept thinking “holy shit… I’m in the studio with Raekwon….”
I remember coming home and telling my flat mates ‘’boys, do I have a f#cking story to tell!!’’
Can you give us a bit of insight into your alias, Gone Deville? Where did this name come from?
I used to produce and DJ under Dj Twitch. But a couple years back, I felt that a rebrand would do me good. A kind of rebirth you could say. The name came up during a drive with friends. I couldn’t tell you it’s actual meaning to be honest. But I had a persona and branding in mind. In the end, it’s just a name and I don’t go too deep Into it ..
You teamed up with Sean Sable on the record – was this the first time you worked together? How was the vibe in the studio?
He’s been a friend for a long time. We been to Twilo together with Julian Prince back in the days. Very talented singer songwriter. I had a few ideas lined up. He plugged in his vocoder and we just jammed to it. We recorded the guitars in a long tunnel. We really got creative with this one.
How different is it working on a track with vocals as opposed to an instrumental? Do you find yourself in a different mindset?
It’s the same for me. The voice is just another instrument. I guess the main difference would be that the vocal often dictates the topic, the message, or the identity of a song. But other than that, I treat it as an instrument. When I work with singers who speak a language I don’t (for example Lingala), it doesn’t even matter if I don’t understand the words, it’s an instrument.
How do you work in the studio, do you have an idea in your head you work towards or do you just experiment and jam and see what happens?
I usually start with melodic elements. Rare are times I start with a drum idea and go from there, but it happens. I’ll try to find some chords, or a cool sound, and I’ll build with that. Sometimes I’ll even delete that sound later, but it’s a cool place to start.
What are some of the key bits of music-making gear in your current setup?
I had a Juno-106 for a while in the studio, but lately, I just end up using a lot of VSTs. It’s never as impressive to talk about as a room full of analog gear, but I believe in mastering your tools. Once you know the IN and OUTs of your favorite synths and plugins, the possibilities are endless. I have a komplete Kontrol keyboard and maschine. I have a lot of fun with those. I’m a big Native Instruments enthusiast. The arturia suite is also one of my go-to’s.
What else should we be looking out for from you for the rest of 2022 and into next year?
I have a full calendar loaded with planned releases. Having your own label makes it exciting to not have to rely and wait on labels to respond. Don’t get me wrong, I love collaborating with other labels. It’s led to many positive things. But as a music creator, you want to put music out. It has to be done strategically, but when you run your own shop, you have a certain freedom that makes the whole process much more enjoyable. So 2022 and 2023 is going to be flooded with music. Who knows, maybe I’ll get into album mode by 2024.
Park Bench (Rework) feat. Sean Sable is out now