Mixing the music

Leo Filliatrault has begun producing his own music and will act as DJ at a SAS dance next week. - james Murray
Leo Filliatrault has begun producing his own music and will act as DJ at a SAS dance next week.
— image credit: james Murray

He is 17 going on 18.

And he already know what he wants to do with his life.

Leo Filliatrault may be willing to compromise on what aspect of music provides him with a career, but there are no compromises about other career choices.

Music is, was and always has been his passion, and becoming a professional DJ is what drives him the most.

A Grade 11 student at Salmon Arm Secondary, Filliatrault came from Japan two years ago.

He is living with his grandparents Lawrence and Marg Filliatrault, longtime Salmon Arm residents, because he sees more opportunities to fulfill his electronic musical goals here.

Filliatrault is into electronic music such as dubstep – a genre of electronic dance music that originated in South East London and is described by Wikepedia as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.”

It has a slow tempo  – 70 beats per minute (BPM) says Filliatrault, who notes the music, with a Reggae influence, is moving into the mainstream with artists like Britney Spears.

Filliatrault also favours electro house, with description once again provided by Wikepedia as “a fusion of house music with several other electro dance music subgenres” that came into prominence in the last 10 years.

“It combines the minimal-processed four-to-the-floor beats commonly found in tech house with abrasive leads and harmonically rich analogue or digital bass lines derived from Hi-NRG and electroclash.”

The tempo usually ranges from 125 to 140 BPM.

And while adults of a certain age may be somewhat bemused by the sound, offerings on You Tube, Filliatrault’s included, reveal the younger crowd  gets the message big time.

“Stephen Filliatrault is a music junkie,” laughs Filliatrault, describing his father and how he grew up in Japan hearing rock, blues, funk and just about everything else at home. “I never listened to Japanese music, only Rush, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.”

Filliatrault says he became influenced by electronic music when he was in Grade 6, but had nobody else to share his interest with as it was not popular in Japan.

“I went to You Tube and started looking at how it’s made and mixed, and by the time I actually got to the point where I wanted to be an electronic musician, was about Grade 8 or 9.”

The enthusiastic young musician says he started producing recently, using Pro Tools for Mac and a program called Logic Studio.

“I’m experimenting with a mini keyboard that has the same kind of sounds as a synthesizer,” he says. “It’s fascinating that you can create your own sound on the computer.”

Filliatrault says his family fully supports his passion for music and his desire to go to the Art Institute of Vancouver, or perhaps Kelowna, to get an education in professional recording.

“I want to stick with music,” he says. “If I can’t be producer or DJ, I would want to be behind the scenes, an engineer perhaps.”

Thanks to the encouragement of his friends, Filliatrault has already been a DJ for two school dances and is preparing for a third to be held Wednesday, April 20 on the Sullivan campus.


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