You could be forgiven for thinking that growing up in the Swiss alps in the 90′s wouldn’t exactly be the best place to be exposed to some of the best underground hip hop New York had to offer at the time. However anglo-swiss producer Laurent Clerc AKA Little People, argues he couldn’t have been in a better place. Thanks to the forward thinking programming of Laurent’s local radio station and a DJ with his finger on the pulse of a golden age in the making in New York – Laurent’s musical education in all things hip hop was of the highest order. An old Mac and a stack of old LPs were mere catalysts for Laurent to try and emulate the sounds from across the pond.
A subsequent move to the UK introduced electronica to his broadening taste and influenced his own sound. Then followed work soundtracking short films and theater productions which added a cinematic element to his repertoire. Following a disheartening stint doing some production work for a Paris based hip hop label convinced Laurent that he should be doing things on his own terms. A self released EP led to being picked up by Illicit Recordings in London – through which “Mickey Mouse Operation” was eventually released. This was 2006 and his debut album only made a very modest splash. Over the past 4 years it has however turned into something of a sleeper ‘hit’ – gathering fervent support in the US and slowly climbing the US iTunes electronic chart in the process. Laurent seems to have timed the release of his second album perfectly – due to drop in Spring next year just as the interest in his first album is peaking.
Little people’s sound is part beats, bleeps and snippets of other people’s music. Stemming from hip hop, it effortlessly combines warm synths, intricate melodies and string arrangements. The cinematic quality of his sound led to his music being used on CSI and other shows in the US and UK.
Little people’s upcoming album sees Laurent shift his focus away from what he feels is the over reliance of samples in his genre, towards composition and the use of organic instrumentation – whilst keeping the trademark warmth of an old piece of vinyl. However rest assured, the beats and the synth bleeps are still very much on the menu.