Singer, musician, writer, visual artist, and director. This is how Yoann Lemoine defines himself. Considering the extraordinary breadth of his creative output, it is easy to understand the 37-year-old’s reluctance to narrow down his self-image. Lemoine began his career as a filmmaker, collaborating with Sofia Coppola and Luc Besson and later directing music videos for megastars like Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, and Harry Styles. In 2011 Lemoine added another twist to his career: He entered the recording studio under the moniker Woodkid. His soft, reserved voice unfolds over almost tribal rhythms, transporting the listener into a melancholic state while still maintaining a glimmer of hope.
The fashion world also fell in love with him: Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative director of Louis Vuitton, asked him to create a video campaign and supply the soundtracks to the brand’s shows. In turn, Ghesquière designed the stage costumes for the tour supporting S16, Woodkid's new album, out this fall.
L’OFFICIEL: How do you define S16’s message?
WOODKID: I talk about the power that comes from knowing how to ask for help. I believe that people need to learn how to admit their weaknesses, especially when they are victims of depression or addiction. We often value the idea of someone who has everything under control, but the truth is, there are situations in which you can control little or nothing. Sometimes we get lost, and you have to ask for a hand and be ready to take it.
L’O: What impressed you the most about Nicolas Ghesquière?
W: The respect he and the entire Louis Vuitton team showed for my work. We met when he commissioned me for the music of the video campaign for Fall/Winter 2017, and from there, he asked me to curate the soundtracks for the shows. He always trusted my vision.
L’O: What are your values as an artist?
W: First, I believe in a predisposition to emotions and talent. Some people have it, and some don’t. But an artist must also show curiosity and commitment. You have to work hard, learn new tools, and try different ways of doing things. You have to be very critical about the quality of the results. It’s normal for an artist to appreciate his work much less than the public does. It means that you are moving forward.