Paris Obscur is certainly not your usual performer in Second Life. He is one of the rare artists who performs originals only (no covers) and manages to get a numerous and loyal crowd at his shows.
These very unique moments are more than a list of songs performed the one after the other : Paris Obscur loves to talk about the lyrics of his songs, all forming a complex story including many different characters, each with a very detailed personality.
Jolly : Hello Paris, could you please tell us a bit more about your background ?
Paris Obscur :Hello ! I am a 35 years old man from France. I've been writing music for a very long time, but I was keeping it all for myself. And around 2 years ago, I thought that others could perhaps also enjoy listening to my music, so I started to write songs and perform them in Second Life.
Jolly : How long have you been performing in Second Life and why ?
Paris Obscur :I have been performing in SL for around 2 years now. I chose Second Life for a couple of reasons. I was indeed pretty new at using my voice as an instrument and I thought that it would be nice for me to build slowly self confidence, see how people react to my universe ... I have performed around 12 years in RL as a drummer, in different bands, sometimes in front of 1000+ people and well, believe me, being on stage as a drummer is much easier than as a singer ! Especially when I perform my songs, that I wrote all alone.
Jolly : Please tell us more about your music, how would you define your style ?
Paris Obscur : I would define my style as dark romantic music. Dark doesn't need an explanation, I think, but romantic does. I do not mean romantic as romance, but romantic as the romantic era, back to the end of the 18th century. That is the spirit of my music : questions about life, existence, love, death, feelings... I do not want to be more specific in the genre, because I do not want to limit my creativity. I sing blues, classical, dance, electronic, metal, or even country songs ! My influences are very varied and I love artists in all genres of music, like Leonard Cohen, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, The Velvet Underground, The Doors, The Cure, Converge and some french artists like Biolay, Tellier, Baschung or Gainsbourg. If you listen carefully, you will perhaps hear their influence in my work, here and there !
Jolly : Do you really do it all ?!
Paris Obscur :Yes. I write all the music, perform the piano and the drums (my 2 instruments) and music softwares help me with the other instruments, like bass, strings... But I do write all the melodies, do all the harmonies and rhythms, yes. I also write my lyrics. Most are about real life stories that have happened to me or people I've met. Some fans have even inspired me a couple of songs ... I just love to meet people, get to know them, and sometimes ... I feel inspired and I write a song.
Finally, I also mix the songs myself, this explains the very dark and personal color of the music. An academically trained sound mix technician would not do such "mistakes" and have a cleaner sound. But well, I do not want a clean clear sound for my music.
Jolly : No covers at all and no requests ?
Paris Obscur :No, no covers at all. I had one cover, when I started in SL : The Partisan, from Leonard Cohen. I still perform it from time to time, but very very rarely. And no, I do not take requests. I have songs that describe all sorts of emotions and I will not lie to my audience : when I don't feel good, I will not perform happy songs. I am lucky enough to have a great crowd that understand this and respect my choices as an artist.
Jolly : So how do you perform live in Second Life and what are your favorite venues ?
Paris Obscur :When performing in Second Life, I sing live over my own background music. I do not perform any instrument live, simply because I want to focus on the voice only. This enables me to put as much emotion as I possibly can in my shows.
About SL venues, I have tried a lot of them and I've had very different experiences. Sometimes bad ones, mostly good ones ! I select my venues considering : the venue itself (I need to feel comfortable), the quality of the contact with the owner (I've made very good friends among venue owners) and the size/quality of the crowd of course. The venues where I regularly perform are : Luver’s Island Venue, Cat's Circus, Club Lion, the SL Planetarium, Led Zeppelin, Black Dahlia, the Rainbow Amphitheater ...
Sadly, I can only perform around 8 times in SL per month, so I can't try all the venues I would love. And well, sometimes, there is a 2 or 3 months delay between the moment people contacted my manager for a gig and the actual date of the show. RL is keeping me busy !
Jolly : Talking about RL, what are your musical projects outside Second Life ?
Paris Obscur :Well, I have been working the last couple of months on my first album, and it's done ! It was a long and passionating work and now I'm promoting it inside and outside SL. I love SL, I will keep on performing there for some time, but now, I think it's time for me to develop a bit my RL career as well.
I have to admit that it was a bit difficult at first to have the SL fans support me out of the metaverse, but now, the machine seems to be launched and I'm very happy about the great support I get from my friends, fans, venue owners outside SL. I am developing a couple of social media networks : Facebook, of course, but also Twitter, Reverbnation, Soundcloud ...
With Paris Obscur, one thing is sure : you will not only hear his music, but feel it.
His shows are unique moments and the success he is having in SL in spite of the rarity of his presence, shows how much talent this artist has. If you haven't seen him live yet, you definitely should !
To find more about Paris Obscur :
Paris Obscur's shop (shipping worldwide) :
Paris Obscur's Facebook account :
Paris Obscur's Soundcloud :
You can also find his new album "Little Monsters" on all the usual music websites (Deezer, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon ...)