Bünyamin Aydın is in conversation with Guillaume and Jonathan of The Blaze
A rare lunch break on a hectic Istanbul day… Pandeli, who witnessed the history of the city, is waiting for Bünyamin Aydın, the founder of Istanbul’s most exclusive brand Les Benjamins, and Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, creators of The Blaze group, which have recently influenced our music world. Before their first concert in Istanbul, we’ll get together for a short lunch break! There are many things we would like to ask with both the unique visual world they have created, and the understanding of music engraved on the memories.
Bünyamin: Are you interested in photography or film?
Guillaume and Jonathan: Yes, very much! (Together!)
Guillaume: But I was interested in both music and photography.
Bünyamin: Is your camera with you now?
Guillaume: In case something happens … I get my camera even when I go to buy bread, you never know what will happen, it’s life …
Bünyamin: Do you want to make a film in the future?
Guillaume: Yes, I think it’s my dream to do this … It’s a project, but it’s a remote project right now.
Bünyamin: Do you have a film director that you look forward to?
Guillaume: Kátia Lund! He has two movies and the first one made me want to be a director …Brazilian film: Cidade de Deus, City of God.
Bünyamin: What made you like these movies?
Guillaume: It is shot and looks like a classic music video. But it’s fast and it’s got a lot of music in it. Its energy, photographers , light and story are very beautiful .I love exactly that .
Bünyamin: Movies affect people’s lives, sometimes you’re not really impressed when you talk or read, but when you see something visual, plus when you have a touch of music, you make that effect very unique, and I think you’ve been very successful in your music and video. Because many musicians’ music videos are terrible …
Guillaume: They often make music videos without imagination, that’s the difference! Our goal is to evoke real emotions and make them stronger in the style of cinema.
Bünyamin: Really interesting …What’s your next move, what do you dream of for the future?
Guillaume: We are really free, we take the time to find our new identity, we want to be original, we don’t want to be same, we want to find another way to express our music. We ‘re looking for something new.
Bünyamin: How do you see the music world around you? Do you think it’s improving, or is it stuck?
Guillaume: Honestly, when you make music, movies, you spend a lot of time focusing on your work…You forget to listen to music. We don’t listen to music much because we focus on our work. Of course, there are artists we love, but it’s easier to ask the director about his favourite films, but when it comes to music it’s very different.
Bünyamin: I think you live with your family back home, do you think that the energy is creative, that people seem to be creating, that the music world is developing? Because for me, France is an important city for music in general.
Guillaume: It’s true for Paris, but it’s also true for many cities. I think many places in the world are creative, I’m sure. Istanbul is also very creative.
Bünyamin: Then, no matter where you are from, you can say that you can produce anywhere, wherever you are.
Guillaume: Yes, it’s a universal thing. There are different cultures, different inspirations, but everywhere …
Jonathan: You don’t have to be in Paris, you can make music everywhere.
Bünyamin: Do you like digitalization, social media and marketing strategies in this new era?
Jonathan: The Internet is good for culture, for connecting people and knowing what’s different in other cultures.
Bünyamin: Now there is a new trend, many people, especially young people, are really interested in issues such as sustainability, green living, 35mm photography. There is a great youth who are interested in these issues, but aren’t they born in a digital world?
Jonathan: I don’t know, maybe to feel that kind of spirit or maybe for nostalgia, or just to use the cameras that their parents used, or… I love the spirit of the 70s.
Bünyamin: What kind of music did you listen to when growing up? Or have you always listened to this genre?
Jonathan: I think, my parents, my father was listening to classical music, my brother used to listen to rap, hip hop.
Bünyamin: Like me!
Guillaume: It’s the same for me…Hip-hop, which was a trend in France at the time, had just begun. Nirvana!
Bünyamin: How were Punk and metal?
Guillaume: When I was young, I was a big fan of Nirvana.
Bünyamin: Me too! I played guitar in a band when I was a kid.
Jonathan: Everybody knows “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
Bünyamin: Sometimes I would play Megadeath. My mom would be like, “What is this? Shut it down!”
Guillaume: I went to Germany with my friend, we took our guitars and just played Nirvana and Offspring.
Bünyamin: Do you have other favourite music legends in the ’70s or 80s’?
Guillaume: Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd.
Bünyamin: I wonder what you think about it. There is a lack of creativity now. You two are cousins and family. Normally, families don’t get along with each other .
Jonathan: That depends on the situation…
Bünyamin: Do you have times when you don’t want to see each other?
Jonathan: It depends, yeah…
Bünyamin: I’m pushing you guys!
Jonathan: Because we’re brothers, we’re also friends, we didn’t grow up together, we’re friends, but we’re also family.
Guillaume: Don’t cry, don’t cry! (Laughing)
Jonathan: Stop the interview now! (Laughing)
Bünyamin: Tomorrow you will not play, I guess. (Laughing)
Guillaume: So yeah, this is good, comfortable.
Bünyamin: I feel like there is a negative side of social media. People see something that is successful, and all the artists, youth follow that person, trying to do whatever that person is doing. I feel like there are very few people who have the courage to try new things because of their fear of losing what they have. Do you feel like that too?
Guillaume and Jonathan: Yes… Annoying!
Bünyamin: I think you’re doing something you’re not afraid of …
Jonathan: When we started, we didn’t know anything about electro music, so we did it in a very naive way, we just tried, we experienced personalities, and we found ourselves to make our own music, so being a little more original, pure, is the best way to get to the original, to be yourself.
Guillaume: Being naive is the best way.
Bünyamin: How did you keep being naive? Because sometimes when you get more famous and people start looking at you, you lose it.
Guillaume: We’re doing simple things. We ‘re in our own bubble with our family and friends. We don’t like being annoying, we don’t feel comfortable.
Bünyamin: You are who you re
Guillaume: That’s why we don’t show much of our face, we’re trying to protect it.
Bünyamin: What profession would you choose if you had a choice? When you were little, was there a profession you always dreamed of, or was it always music?
Guillaume: Absolutely music.
Jonathan: I was very interested in photography. But when I was much younger, I was interested in nature, birds. And then diving…
Bünyamin: I did, it’s terrible.
Jonathan: I was a big fan of Jacques-Yves Cousteau.
Bünyamin: I have a license for this, for a 10-meter dive. I did it with my teacher once, got the license, but do I want to go back there, no!
Guillaume: It’s like flying.
Jonathan: I’m like a bird (He sings!)
Bünyamin: You should go to Cappadocia, the city of balloons.
Jonathan: It’s a good spot for?
Bünyamin: You can make music there, we have underground cities, we have churches. Its name is Cappadocia, you get into hot air balloons and you go into the sky and you hear nothing.
Guillaume: Take us! Talk to our manager, let’s have the after-party in Cappadocia, yes!
Jonathan: You’re doing your dream job?
Bünyamin: I am thinking.
Guillaume: Enjoy life!
Bünyamin: When I was very young, I wanted to be a fireman and constantly drawing. My parents were in fashion and textiles, and I was getting away from it every time I saw them. I was always that kid in the corner filming stuff, awkward and silent .
Guillaume: Good, good.
Jonathan: Why don’t you push it more? I know you have a lot of things to do but …
Bünyamin: I have an incredible interest in movies…My favourite director is Kubrick and I love him.Every day I’m training my eye have a clean eye, geometrical, at least I try to. It’s a journey, and I keep taking pictures, but I don’t want to be commercial.
Guillaume: I understood very clearly.
Bünyamin: When you have a job, it puts you in a lot of stress.
Guillaume: You prefer to continue it as passion.
Bünyamin: When I’m 50 I want to write a book about my photography, I don’t want to be commercial, but I love it, so you never know. You said he wanted to be one of the world’s most famous directors in the future. Brad Pitt and a lot of famous people will be in your movies, and I hope you’ll invite us.
Jonathan: You can take a photo on the set.
Bünyamin: Thank you very much… But, as you know, you never know.
Jonathan: That’s life…It puts you in different situations. Now we are in Turkey, The Blaze, so here it is …
Guillaume: If you said it 5 years ago, I would be like noooo!
Bünyamin: What does “The Blaze” means to you? How did you come up with the name?
Guillaume: It has a meaning in French slang. (You will be able to learn this part only by researching it.)
Jonathan: It was easy to find.
Bünyamin: But how did you find it?
Guillaume: We had to find a name first …
Jonathan: And we didn’t want to waste time.
Guillaume: Blaze means English fire. Sounded cool to us as inner fire and fire on the dance floor.
Jonathan: We also like the French meaning. (Laughing)
The Blaze Agent – Hirmane: Until I first told them about Turkey when I came here one time. When I got in the taxi, The Blaze was playing on the radio .We were very surprised because we were not playing on the radio in France at that time.
Bünyamin: It’s the first time then… That’s great information… So, can you say that you heard The Blaze here on the radio?
The Blaze Agent – Hirmane: I don’t know, but… I guess the first time was not in Paris. I don’t remember which station it was but it is very interesting. You ‘re in a cab in another country and you’re not waiting. After a party in Turkey … 2 years ago I think, when I was in a taxi, and I was like “Oh I know this song.” Then I realized, “The Blaze.” Then I texted them. “We need to come to Turkey”. Turkey is very wild. We need to get back here, do something.
Bünyamin: You are very visionary.
Benjamin: Now you’ve spent two days in Turkey. What did you expect to see and what do you see now? Everyone is talking about Turkey, but… What do you think? I really want to know that.
Guillaume: We couldn’t see more… But I want to see the old city, I don’t know.
Jonathan: The city is full of cats… I dream of seeing old houses near the sea.
Guillaume: And we certainly want to see the bath!
Bünyamin: So, guys, where are you going after Istanbul?
Guillaume: Yes, then Switzerland and then Lyon.
Bünyamin: Will you ever be home?
Guillaume: We’ll be home in 10 days, then we’ll be back for the Sziget festival.
Bünyamin: Are there times when you shut yourself down and only produce?
Jonathan: Yeah, I think when the tour is over, we’ll go to a forest like September, October and make music and think about future projects.
Bünyamin: It’s important to take a break.
Jonathan: We don’t really take big breaks, I think we’re just taking a week or two off all year.
Bünyamin: Do you feel like you need more?
Jonathan: Sometimes yes, but that’s the game!