Splicing together his debut EP using just one synthesizer and a Yamaha DX7, South London producer Fort Romeau was the man who made La Roux’s music so damn catchy. Today he flies solo.
Touring with Holy Other, honeymooning with his better half and garnering some serious heat from the right people driving the live electronic music scene, 2012 was a big year for Mike Norris. Adopting the alias of Fort Romaeu when he decided to take his solo project more seriously, the charm about Mike’s music is how understated and progressive his rhythms and rushing vocals feel. Going about his days totally immersed in music, the passion he works with shines through in his glorious, hypnotic mixes. i-D hung out with Mike to find out about married life and how he makes his music.
“A typical day for me, if I’m not DJ’ing somewhere that night, starts pretty early, I get up around 8am when my wife gets up for work and have breakfast and a cup of green tea. Then I’ll usually go for a run on Hampstead Heath as it’s close to my house, and listen to whatever new music I’ve downloaded the day before. I’m a total iTunes fiend and buy 2 or 3 records a day so running is a great way to listen to them fairly undistracted. Then the rest of the day is spent in my home studio, if you can call it that, really just a Mac, a desk and some speakers, although I did just get a Korg ms2000 for a steal on ebay, so I’m playing around with that at the moment. I then spend from about 10am – 6pm working on music, this might be literally with the sequencer open working on some ideas, doing a remix or in a more general sense, listening to records, virtual crate digging though bizarre music on blogs. The idea of finding something “obscure” in the internet age is a bit redundant but it’s still a lot of fun to discover strange old music. It’s all part of the bigger process of being a music maker and a DJ I think, just investing the time and energy into absorbing and thinking about music and how you relate to it in a wider context. At the moment I’ve just finished off a 12” for Ghostly International which should be out in the next couple of months, and I’m just starting work on a bigger project so right now I’m really just trying to get a sense of what it is that I want to do and say with new material. So I might spend weeks just listening before I even open up the sequencer and start putting ideas down. After a whole day in front of the computer I make dinner for me and my wife, watch a couple of films then go to bed!”
Text: Milly McMahon