Music and travel have always been two hugely-important, intertwined pieces of my live. They’ve both served as sources of personal enrichment through discovery– whether it’s through the discovery of a cool new song, or through experiencing the world through different perspectives. I’ve always derived such joy in the new and unexplored, and I’ve found that music and world travel are both equally expansive and bountiful reservoirs in this regard.

Sharing new music with those from another part of the world is basically double-dipping when it comes to these pleasures. In this vein, I had the chance to catch up with French artist Møme about his recent project, Møments I. This latest project from the French multi-instrumentalist and producer derives its inspiration from the lush volcanic landscapes of Bali. Møments I magically encapsulates the ambient, serene nature of the tropical island. With polished guitar licks and soulful lyrical infusions, Møme creates a special vibe that’ll have you wishing you were in Bali right this moment. In Møme I saw a kindred spirit, inspired by the beauty and vibrance of the sunny surf town I had visited just over a year ago. Møments I is a two-single mini-EP, comprised of the tracks “Canggu” and “When We Ride”.

The project comes with some stunning visuals; a live performance filmed in the shadow of the mighty volcano Mount Batur. You can give it a watch below, and learn more about the man and the process behind Møments I after the jump.

TMN: So travel seems to be a source of inspiration for you when it comes to creating music. What is it that first made you want to start traveling the world?

Møme: Well I guess that I was living in the same town, with the same people for too long and needed a big change in my life. Traveling is going out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself, meeting new people, sometimes speaking another language. There is excitement, fear and I wanted to experience all of that. It also a great thing to get inspiration and then compose. And I started traveling at the same time as writing my first album “Panorama”.

TMN: Seeing new parts of the world has always sort of kept me grounded. Learning from new cultures has been an enlightening and rewarding experience. It’s also made me more appreciative of home, here in San Francisco. What’s your own personal relationship with travel? What has it done for your music?

Møme: Haha yes, I totally understand the “home feeling”. When I started traveling, it was more “personal”, for myself, like a desire for new experiences, a desire to discover. Now I travel for shows and to share my music. I go overseas every month, it’s exciting but I don’t have the same time for personal trips. It’s way more intensive and I also appreciate coming back home. I live in the South of France, where everything is quiet and where sun shines all year long. I need a peaceful lifestyle when I’m not on tour. And for music, traveling offered me the possibilities to discover talents, featurings that I’m now working with. I’ve composed more for international vocalists than for French ones!

TMN: Travel aside, where do you call home these days?

Møme: The French Riviera is home but Indonesia has been like a “home away from home” the past 6 months. It has the weather that I love, good surf, good food, extremely nice people and I have often said to myself “should I move there for real?”.

TMN: I also had the pleasure of visiting Canggu last year; what an amazing town. Idyllic paradise full of amazing people and good vibes. What’d you think of Canggu and Bali?

Møme: I only discovered Bali last year. It was for my honeymoon and the trip we planned was supposed to be very chill. But I don’t know what happened there, I immediately started to compose! I was so inspired by the local sounds, instruments, by everything that was surrounding us! I was supposed to visit Bali from North to South and East to West but last October, we received messages from our embassy because of a volcano threat and had to shorten our trip. Canggu is where we spent most of our time. It is very quiet, the food can be very authentic as well as super healthy and the surf is good! It is where I stayed last month to finalize my two tracks from Møment I (Canggu and When We Ride) and film a video clip.

TMN: So thisMøments project is going to be a three-part project, with the first highlighting your experiences in Bali. What can we expect from Møments II and III?

Møme: It will be very spontaneous! I’m now in South America and will be visiting again soon the USA and Canada. It may be possible that one of these destinations will be the inspirations for Møment II. And for Møment III, it will be a bit later, probably end of this year. I’m still hesitating in between a hot or cold destination for this one!

TMN: I’m a big fun of the funky guitar grooves on “When we Ride”. It seems like that retro, dance-y feel is really big in the French music scene these days. Who would you call your biggest musical influences?

Møme: Yes it is! French are a bit retro sometimes 😉 Wow, my influences are not all electronic actually. I’m a huge fan of Tom Misch from the UK, and I’ve been a huge fan of Flume few years ago. Now I like a lot r’n’b songs and voices like Jorja Smith for instance.

TMN: If you could perform with any other artist (historic or current), who would it be?

Møme: Probably Mura Masa! I’ve been listening to him for a while but he is getting more and more attention in France now! We played at the same festival in Paris last week.

TMN: Where is next on your list of travel destinations?

Møme: Today I’m in México, flying to Cancun then back in France for two shows. I’ll go back home beginning of July for literally two days and then, I’ll be flying to Canada (Montreal and Quebec) for festivals. Finally I go back to Los Angeles, my second home away from home after Bali! And after all of these trips I have Belgium, New Caledonia, probably again Mexico and Belize this year. Some are for fun, some are for work!

I have to say I really have been enjoying the music coming out of France these days. As touched upon in the interview, the French these days have been adeptly bringing back retro-chic elements, interlacing them flawlessly with soul, funk, and modern electronic influences. Between artists like Møme, Jean Tonique, Polo & Pan, and FKJ (who also created a track inspired by paradisiacal Canggu), there’s a lot to be gained by opening up your musical tastes to that part of the world.

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