A meetup with “Milan” in Paris, an electropop artist to keep an eye on!
Can you Introduce yourself to our readers please?
My name is James Tapping, I’m English and I have lived in France for almost 20 years. I am a singer/songwriter and producer of Electropop music going under the name of Milan and I have just released a debut album entitled “Empathic”. I have made music in one form or another for at least 30 years and I have always written songs.
Why did you choose the name Milan?
Honest answer? I needed an artist name and I didn’t want to use my name and also “James” is taken by a British group. I’m a big fan of Italy and “Milan” just sounded right. The funny thing is, I have been several times to Rome and Florence but never Milan!
How would you describe your album “Empathic”?
“Empathic” is made up of some old songs that I have re-recorded and some very recent songs. It’s a good representation of everything that I like about electronic music. There isn’t really one group or specific songs that have influenced me. I write music very instinctively so the influences are obviously there but It would be hard for me to pinpoint.
It may be a bit of a surprise to find a couple of piano vocal tracks on “Empathic” too. I hope people like it!
Can you explain the title?
A majority of the songs are a result of conversations and meetings. It’s difficult to explain because Empathie doesn’t translate well from English (but i may be wrong). My definition of Empathy and Empathic is the ability to feel the emotions of another.
How did the album come about?
I had sent a few songs to the BBC ( A program called “Introducing”) and they were listened to. I was lucky enough to have “Miracle” played by the BBC! At that point I thought “Ok, but what do I do now ?”. Of course I had always had the idea of finishing an album but hadn’t fixed a date. The producer of the BBC show liked my music enough to play two other songs after “Miracle”. So at that point I decided on a date. I worked like crazy for three months because the BBC had announced the release date during the second radio play. Which actually was a good thing. Without a fixed release it’s hard to say, ok, it’s finished. “Empathic” was release on my birthday, the Queen’s birthday and unfortunately the same day Prince died.
What themes would you say run through your songs?
I sing a lot about love and relationships, I don’t think that there is a single song where I don’t!
If your music was an emotion which would it be?
There is a little sadness, a little love and desire. I surprise myself actually with certain subjects. I mostly don’t know where the songs come from, I generally know what they are about though but I don’t always know why, but as I said earlier my songwriting is totally instinctive.
To make people dance, is that one of your motivations for writing music?
Yes absolutely, I love to dance and I do whenever I get the chance. I love the idea of making music that people can move to. I am a big fan of remixes too and I am lucky enough to know some great remixers in the UK and in the US who have remixed for me. I have released two 6 track remix EP’s of my songs and I have also remixed for others.
Who would you say your musical influences are?
I am a big fan of Pet Shop Boys, The Beloved, Just Jack and Calvin Harris so almost certainly some of those. I like EDM and 80’s and 90’s music , I am a big fan of pop music in general.
You could be described as an “Englishman in Paris”, what is the story behind that?
I lived in London before moving to France and I met and made friends with a lot of French people, I had always wanted to learn French. I wasn’t up to much in London so I thought why not move to Paris? It’s actually in France where I started to work more seriously on my music.
“Musically” speaking, do you navigate between the UK and France?
My musical “project” is still in it’s early stages and I am rather surprised by the interest that I have been getting by radio and people in general. Of course I would really like something to come of my music and I am do all that I can for it to develop. At the moment I think it easier for me to concentrate in France.
What are you up to next?
I am currently working on a couple of remixes for a young Scottish artist who will soon be releasing an album. I will be working on playing live and promotion of this album with a single in July probably. I can’t wait to get back to songwriting actually and working on new tracks, I am really missing it!