I didn’t know how to start it, so I started with a hello, which was answered with a good evening. Awkwardly I ask about the name
“Le Roi Crocodile”
and how to pronounce it. Le Roi goes into a little more explanation, “now, the name was, I believe subconsciously inspired by my many years, spent studying French in school, but there was no conscious effort to make a French name. No, instead I was drawn upon at the time by many bands I was into who had animals in their names, and I was thinking to myself, whats an animal that gives off a favourable reputation, obviously it was going to be something about an antelope or a deer. And I thought, A Crocodile, very cool animal, subconsciously at the time I was very into Lacoste, so that might have been where that came from. And so I though, ‘k well, it’s one thing to be a crocodile, why not be the best crocodile, be the king.”
I enjoy this explanation, as someone who hasn’t interviewed anyone since my grandfather for an essay on world war 2 when I was in grade ten, the long answers put me at ease, and Le Roi thanks me for asking. I cleared up the confusion I had about the name being shared with a book, Le Roi Crocodile, which happens to share some artwork. But Le Roi clears the air whether or not his name references a book, and it is cleared with a resounding “No”. “No inspiration from that book, as far as I know that book copied me, I am the real, I am the real.”
Le Roi has enjoyed some successes early on with some covers done in his signature style. Which he describes as exciting, and how it taught him about the current landscape of the music industry. How much it’s built on ‘hype’. The covers he released got picked up by some blogs, and there was a little buzz, which contributed to the success. But that success for Le Roi was bittersweet, “It taught me how easy it is to miss the boat, if you’re a little slow on your next release, or if your next release isn’t on the same level, then it’s very easy to lose all the connections that you’ve built”. Le Roi describes it as “The Nature of the Beast”
Le Roi Crocodile, being a bedroom producer quite literally had some things to say about the saturation of people making music from their bedrooms. “There’s been also quite a big shift I think over the last couple years, where the bedroom producer act has gone from something very cool and futuristic, now it’s just kindof corny. Before it was like the people that were doing it, were like ‘cool’, and on the cutting edge. Now there’s too many people who have done it, and realistically the people who were doing it before and still cool and the people that just started suck, and that would be evident, but as soon as someone sees bedroom producer, a certain type of person is turned off by that.”
Anonymity is something that is recurring throughout Le Roi’s career, and asking him about this, he produces two reasons. “I kind of wanted this project, to be a dissociative persona from my true identity. It was mainly because I knew this wasn’t going to be my final foray into music, and I didn’t always want to be associated with this, so I know that I could start another project whenever I want and have no association with whatever good or bad reputation Le Roi has, that’s very appealing to me”.
It seems like the clean slate approach is what Le Roi desires from this, and that he doesn’t inherit everything that comes with it. As with artists associated with other bands, who’s solo careers don’t take off, Le Roi wants to be able to whatever, whenever.
Le Roi’s aesthetic is very recognizable, all black, hood up, a little moody, and very mysterious. All the photos of him, don’t show his face, and remain very minimalistic. The simple but clean, Futura typeface is used across many of Le Roi’s artwork’s for his releases. “I try and keep it simple, It’s the fact that any artist that has a clean simple aesthetic sometimes does more than what’s really loud, I like to let the music do the talking”. He keeps his artwork understated and being a clean slate starting point for anyone listening. There isn’t a preconceived notion of what a Le Roi track is going to sound like from the artwork, you’ve just gotta jump into it headfirst.
“I don’t mean this in a self deprecating way, but it’s like there are no expectations or anything, it creates an open mindedness to the music”. If there are no expectations set, they can decide for themselves, and they won’t compare it to other things.
The recent songs have some common themes throughout, like a sense of wanting, things that are wanted or thoughts of things that are desired. “Going from being a younger teenager to a full on adult now, is being more open and honest with people, and learning the benefits of that. So I feel like now I try and make a conscious effort to be less abstract and generic, and reap the benefits of the therapeutic side of making music. The anonymity comes in handy, because I feel more willing to say whatever I would like”.
There do seem to be some references to specific people in some songs, combined with raw emotions or feelings. Whether this is a creative device used by Le Roi or a product of being anonymous, it makes for some great lyrical content.
The Song ‘Montreal’ seems to be about the city of Montreal being a mecca for youth culture, much more so than Vancouver. Many Canadian recording artists make the pilgrimage to Montreal, including many from Vancouver. “That song is kind of supposed to be a double entendre. Every lyric is a double entendre, the opening lyric is ‘it was never enough’, so it could refer to a certain female residing in Montreal, and whatever I could give was never enough. But also musically it was never enough, so the title comes from an ode to this female, and then kind of an idealistic view of a life in this city.”