I’m an aberration. A social aberration but otherwise, I’m just a free electron.
Born “under the X” in Paris France in 1979. Dropped at twelve months into the awesome white M. family in the country near Sancerre. Foster care in action. Green grass, yellow grass, cows sun milk and early assumptions.
Diff’rent strokes/Punky brewster
@six years old been adopted by the awesome white P. family, east side suburbs of Paris. Skyscrapers of three levels or more, Tetrapak (milk in paper carton package? How’s that? I was asking), Rive Gauche. First contact with computers, an Osborne my fancy young new dad had just bought and was crazy about (I wasn’t, chess game was not sexy enough). Started piano lessons with a professor named “madame Négrier” (ms Negro slave driver). My fancy young mother’s parents were finishing work so they had time for their little son. I did at least four or five times every single museum of Paris, following what expos were scheduled. The Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie was new and totally my favorite although I hearted the Jardin des Plantes.
Despite the foster care warning, my parents were kind enough to let me visit my M. family (they totally could have lost rights on me). The roots. Not only social, in lifestyle too. The France who plays aux boules, drinks a lot of petits jaunes laughs about everything and doesn’t give a shit about God (who?). Something that was nicely fitting my scholar vacations. A balance between simplicity and complexity, order and freedom that is still following me.
Silver Spoons/Prince of Bel Air
@twelve years old I was getting nerdy, reading like crazy everything I could put my hands on (Nouvel Economiste and economy, Guillaume d’Orange and history, Spirou magazine mangas/comics and stories, Joystick magazine and gameplay). Listening to whatever I could have my ears plugged in (80s/90s FM radios, grandparents classical music, parents 60s/70s rock, friend’s heavy metal), had a computer in my bedroom (plus a shower!).. And games of course, PC games mostly.
Digital audio was fascinating me, 3D not that much after I did some mapped logos for my dad, calculating all night blabla. It was like 1993.
@fifteen years old I started bass. I had given up piano lessons but I had a strong left hand I was digging ragtime stuffs so when my buddy asked me to start a rock band with him, I took the four strings, learn the “10 lessons bass method” and RHCP entire BSSM LP. And then I was hooked.
16/32bits era definitely gave me hope on the future of computer games especially on audio, hope that I could make a living working in that field while I was headbanging to the sound of Pearl Jam, Korn and co. I started to listen carefully to the audio production and extend my tastes and music knowledge.
Stretchin’ Out/The Real Thang
@twenty plus something, after audio studying home studio investment and work beginning I soon started to realize that something had changed: I was no longer the adorable little black adopted dude from across the street for people, I was the young black-arabic-I-don’t-even-wanna-know-guy who burns cars when he’s bored at the new year’s eve. You know I’m saying?
I was no more in a bubble of peace like in an eighties Benetton ad. Now I was frightening women at night, I was being insulted by homeless people, harassed by a man on the road for nothing, being the usual suspect with cops or being stared at by people when with families like “WTF?”, being said by a vietnamese adopted girl in her bed that “her parents would have NOT adopted a BLACK child”, realizing I was one of the very very few black people in the gamedev field etc.
For the first time in my life I was facing others wanting me to be someone I wasn’t. Quite disturbing but nothing to be afraid of. I knew easiness wouldn’t last forever.
By how life had been to me I was not believing that people wanted the good, it was built-in in my mind. After all Berlin’s wall’s fall was real, like the 90s Euro construction and his money. Boy do I was wounded sored, questioning all the time for years.. After some time I found answers.
I searched and found the blackness I needed in US/UK music, old school rhythm and blues jazz funk soul and the like.
I dug harder human relationships economics and feminism to find where were the links that count, the links that output positive and make the world a better place.
But more important I found and accepted that I’m different, unlike a lot of others adopted people I don’t have the desire to know the past I cannot reconstruct, I respect my biological mother hard decision (plus, three mothers? niggaplease) and can’t stop thinking about the future we all build today.
I am not “brainwashed” by any heavy pyramidal social systems nor part of one, I grew up with the maximized care that adoptive parents have, I have a “multi angle situation camera” running at all time. Sometimes I like to play with the idea that I’m “the future”. Or from.
So here I am game audio designer, composer, music producer, blogger, soul lover and funky bass player, systems theory social dynamics and technology digger, almost coder. Cold and Warm at the same time.