Belgium based alt-pop singer-songwriter / musician, Mickael Karkousse, returns with an effervescent hazy-pop bop ‘One Look’ out this August through Virgin Music, lifted from his forthcoming debut EP due later this year. This is Mickael’s first outing as a solo artist; after being the driving creative force behind renowned indie-electronic band GOOSE he is now ready to take over the music scene on his own.
A hypnotic slice of left-field pop, ‘One Look’ follows on from Mickael’s acclaimed debut release ‘Where Do we Begin’, blends his flair for warm, minimalistic production and real life lyricism. He says: “One Look is about time flying by. Live life to the fullest. Opposed to what a good friend of mine thought when he first heard the song. He thought I was singing about harming myself, so he immediately reached out to offer me his help. Which was extremely kind and thoughtful. Luckily it was false alarm. The line, ‘One look on my wrist, I know we are running out of time’ for me it’s truly about the awareness that life is short and that we should live accordingly; be kind for yourself, each other, our planet. And dance, with your feet in the sand”.
Belgian four-piece GOOSE are the perfect group construction – careful and considered, they’ve amassed a phenomenal catalogue of rock-edged electronica, one that ranks with any of their European peers. Yet singer Mickael Karkousse has ambitions of his own – he remains respectful and loyal to his colleagues, but those long hours in the studio have been sparking solo ideas, and individual endeavours. With the support of his band mates – “they just told me to go for it!” – Mickael began booking sessions at Safari Studios, the studio complex the group built in their Kortrijk hometown.
Now he’s ready to move forwards. Mickael Karkousse is about to share a new EP – his first solo document, it leans on his formative influences to build a fresh chapter. As a kid, he would spend endless days devouring his parents’ Beatles cassettes, and binging on classic biopics – think Elvis Presley, Ritchie Valens, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Looking back to this innocent freedom, he casts this feeling in an electronic haze. What runs through each song, however, is a sense of freedom, and a yearning for connection. Working together with French producer Victor Le Masne, the two emphasised feeling over form, attempting to pin down fleeting moments of inspiration within a divine electronic template. “I’m always looking to find that certain romance,” Mickael comments. “I’m inspired by how cinema can move you. So when I write music, and I hear sounds that inspire me, I feel as though it’s a scene in a movie. And it’s always very romantic.”
Unshackled from the limitations of a group format, Mickael Karkousse was able to pursue something truly independent. “Go with the flow! Everything is possible. And just do what you feel, what you always dreamed of. What you wanted to do. And it will translate into the art. I’m letting myself go. I’m going for all the things that I like.” Utilising all his experiences with GOOSE, Mickael feels ready to ask himself questions the group could never answer. Yet the two will work hand in hand, he insists; “All of my solo experiences, I will take them back to GOOSE. It’s just like going away for the weekend, and coming back with stories and inspiration. Or new friends.”
Right now, though, he’s fulfilling individual ambitions. It’s incredibly enriching, he says, but it’s also intimidating. Says Mickael: “It’s challenging. It’s not nerve-racking. It’s challenging”.
Where Do We Begin’ is released on 6th August across all digital platforms.