I tend to be a believer in fate; that mystical, magical presence which assures that all in life is not chance and that we are exactly where we are meant to be. It was a chance meeting at a masked ball that brought together Valerie Renay and Sebastian Lee Phillip. Whether chance or fate, the duo now known as Noblesse Oblige did not waste the opportunity. Now readying to release their newest album, Affair of the Heart, Noblesse Oblige takes the next step in their fated journey.[hr color=”light-grey” width=”100%” border_width=”50″ ]
Your first album, Privilege Entails Responsibility, was released in 2006 and Affair of the Heart is ready for release. What is the most important difference between your first album and the new one?
Valerie: Our first album was raw and spontaneous. The production was rough and dirty, the expression of a young band, more intuitive than carefully planned. We have grown, developed and refined our skills as song writers and now wanted to release an album that would make people dance, dream and escape. The biggest difference is definitely the fact that we collaborated for the first time with mixing engineers David Wrench (Caribou/Bat For Lashes) and Harald Bluechel (Cosmic Baby) to help us bring a new dimension to our music.
How would you describe Affair of the Heart in 5 or less words
Valerie: Punchy dancy dreamy romantic pop.
Your first single off the new album is “Runaway.” How does it represent the album?
Sebastian: “Runaway” was the first song we wrote for this album. It was born out of the urge to produce something very different to what we had previously done. I’m really into dance music from the 80s and 90s and wanted to incorporate that sound in our new songs. Our next single “Mata Hari” (release date June 7) will demonstrate the other side of the album — something darker, denser and slightly exotic.
When you released Malady in 2010, your live tour was “voodoo spectacular.” What are your plans for the tour following the release of Affair of the Heart?
Sebastian: Our aim is to bring across the core energy of the album. I’d love the audience to feel as excited as we did when we wrote and produced the music. We’re currently developing a technical set up, which will allow us to re-interpret the songs in a live environment. It’s a beautiful challenge to transform the songs and look for new ways to perform them on stage. We always want every show to be special. We will make sure each concert has a specific quality, because of the venue, the occasion or the country.
Affair of the Heart is a study of human passion. What is your passion?
Sebastian: My passion has always been the creative process; from producing an album to directing videos, designing artwork to performing live. I enjoy losing myself in another world, releasing creative energy and forgetting about everything else.
Valerie: I recently started drawing, and I love the meditative quality of it. It takes me away. I can start drawing at night and before I know it the sun is coming up. I’m also passionate about body weather – a form of physical training that comes from Japan. I practice it every morning. Good books, films, dance and theatre performances…the list is endless. I feel passionate about anything that provides me with real pleasure. Music being my number one passion as it is an intrinsic part of my life, and nothing gives me more pleasure than being in the studio creating music with Sebastian.
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“Runaway” is available on iTunes on April 26!
— Paula Frank | @jelenfan