in the Category: music

I don’t see myself becoming a big pop persona

A self-dubbed composer of ‘adult music for children’, Paris-based Marylou Mayniel – better known as Oklou – writes lullabies that soothe you yet simultaneously tear you apart. The classically trained artist and member of the NUXXE collective ventured to the Spanish mountains with longtime collaborator Casey MQ to write her poignant full-length debut. You probably cried while listening to Galore. And so did she.

Interview by Milena Maenhaut
Photos shot in Paris by Rebekka Deubner

What have you been up to lately?

I’m getting my own flat in Paris! I didn’t have a proper home for over a year, I’ve been subletting and staying with friends. Now I’m getting my shit together [Laughs]


You live in a big city, yet your work seems to be located somewhere else. How would you describe the place in Galore?

I needed to picture myself in a concrete environment to write: an isolated cabin in a forest, surrounded by mountains. However, I’d like to imagine that people can make up their own world when they listen to my music.

Speaking of forests, during the set you played for ARTE, a little fawn was watching over the piano.

That stuffed animal means a lot to me. My friends gave it to me when I was going through a hard time. I’ve always been fascinated by deer, I consider them my totem animal. I’ve seen them in so many movies growing up, and in real life too. As a teen, I would see deer in the woods near my house. I had a lot of dreams about them.

I’ve always been fascinated by deer, I consider them my totem animal

Since Galore has been healing for many people, how did you feel when you were writing the album?

I was very unhappy at the time because of the choices I had made or had to make about my life. I had to focus on myself. Writing down what I was going through allowed me to take distance, which was what I needed. I needed a mission to pursue.

What do you listen to when you need comfort?

I’m still in a tricky emotional place right now. It’s hard to listen to sad songs, even though usually it’s my favourite thing. I live for drama and emotional music. Now I listen to silly things instead. While grocery shopping today, I was blasting oversaturated, speedy beats some teens uploaded on SoundCloud. That’s the mood right now.

What about listening to or playing your music?

I was scared before playing the ARTE concert because every time I sang ‘I didn’t give up on you,’ I would cry. I was afraid to cry on television [Laughs]. But in the end, I was too focused on the sound.

I’ve also cried listening to that song, although I felt reborn after. It’s like you’re being torn apart and rebuilt slowly.

Funny – you’re the third person to link the song to the concept of birth. My brother’s wife gave birth listening to Galore. She didn’t really know what the album was about, but she wanted to listen to it because she found it soothing. It’s amazing to hear that people find those feelings in my music, especially because the lyrics were so hard to write.

I want to be a boy for one day. Or a baby. That would be great

What’s the song about?
It’s about leaving someone you’re still in love with. When Casey first heard the song, he told me – after he cried, obviously [Laughs] – that the song hits so hard because I’m screaming I won’t give up on someone. But the way I say those words screams that I have to. That’s what happened, even though at the time I didn’t see it clearly.

‘Galore’, the title song, is about meeting someone online. How’s your relationship with social media?

I’m very attached to online interactions. I’m on the internet a lot. Sometimes I wonder if I post so much because I’m not feeling good. Yet I also post a lot when I feel great, so maybe I just have a healthy relationship with it. It’s a great and funny way to express your feelings and to interact with people.

You often engage with fans online who are quite creative in describing what  Galore means to them. What’s the funniest thing you’ve read recently?

Someone used the airy part of ‘God’s Chariots’ on a video of people fighting. It’s quite violent actually, but it made me laugh.

Less violent: there are lots of marriage requests.

[Laughs] People are crazy.

Since the theme of our magazine is Future Cyborgs, what are your plans for the future?

I don’t see myself becoming a big pop persona. Maybe because I’m 27 and I don’t dream of the same things I did when I was younger. I’m just so happy in a studio, writing melodies on the piano. I would love to write music for movies, especially for sci-fi or fantasy. There’s this technical part of me that’s most fulfilled when I’m working on a specific project. Like adding a certain emotion to a movie scene.

I don’t see myself becoming a big pop persona. Maybe because I’m 27 and I don’t dream of the same things I did when I was younger

If you lived in a sci-fi world, what would your superpower be?

I would like to look however I want. If one morning I want to have short pink hair… [Snaps fingers]. I want to be a boy for one day. Or a baby. That would be great.

What’subb : Oklou x Casey MQ
10 March - online
Do you want to join our talks? Every Subbacultcha member is welcome!
Make sure you fill in the form in the specific event on the website to receive all the details.
Not a member yet? Check out our plans and discover all the new music and art our community has to offer!



Stay in the know

Get all our new events and the latest editorials in your mailbox. Never miss out on new music and art.