Julien Ribot is a French singer-songwriter and visual artist, whose psychedelic world is situated at the edge of pop music, experimental animation film and contemporary art.
As well as writing and performing songs, he directs his own music videos and designs his own record covers, and has collaborated with many other artists and even a symphony orchestra.
His notable live performances – most recently for the Nuits Blanches in Paris, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Nice, La Villa Médicis in Roma and La Villette – combine drawings, projections, experimental animation films and live music.
Born in Nice on the French Riviera, Ribot started playing piano around the age of 7. He claims the reason he started writing music iss that he “was convinced that my parents were extra-terrestrials and I wanted to create music that would be the language of their planet, so they would understand that I knew their secret.”
His first compositions, at age 8 or 9, were inspired by the shape of his toys or the whiskers of his cat (named Piano). At the same time he started drawing, his pictures containing so much detail he was awarded the « Meticulousness Prize » in a school drawing contest.
At 13 he discovered David Bowie and it was a revelation because of Bowie’s several metamorphoses, transforming everything in him; his silhouette, his voice, his music. The piano of Mike Garson was “an explosion in my head. All I like in music is at the end of his fingers.”
He studied art at the Académie Julian Met de Penninghen, where Henri Matisse and Fernand Léger also studied. Here he started to mix visuals and music in short films he made with a Camescope, mostly recording the music live at the same time as filming.
It was here he started playing in numerous experimental bands where he sang, played guitar, piano and sometimes violin, playing very close of the microphone to create a feedback effect. He usually composed by randomly choosing chords with dice and used mechanical toys instead of drum machine.
Soon after he won a contest to record at RealWorld Studios in Bath and went on to write songs for Japanese singer Kahimi Karie whom he met in Paris. French singer Philippe Katerine also helped at the beginning of his career by singing one of his songs.
He has released 3 albums on French label Ici D’ailleurs and has played numerous concerts in France, Switzerland and Canada.
His new album tells, in nine songs, the story of Neon Juju, an androgynous and hermaphroditic character who gave birth to himself and ends up by his dispersal in the universe.
“The content is not in the work but in the transaction between the work and the audience” Philip Glass