In recent years, French electronic music has seen its influence expand beyond its red, blue and white borders. With Daft Punk as the most obvious example, French dance has fused various other genres that make a sound that explore soundscapes, and are wildly adventurous. Serving as the backdrop, Parisian duo Ofenbach have managed to skyrocket to popularity in their native land, as they’ve garnered accolades abroad.
Having met when they were in elementary, Dorian Lo and César de Rummel first played in bands during their teens. This may not seem like a natural progression into making genre cutting house music, it served as a foundation for a sound.
Influenced by German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach, whose score they found laying around at home, the duo discovered elect while giving their sound a distinct pop flair that is inspired by American and British classic rock and French house.
Formed officially in 2014, the duo have seen their profiles and fortunes soar. Their affections for deep house manifested itself into this project and their unique background has allowed for them to become recognizable globally in a short amount of time.
Their first single, "Be Mine" is one of the most popular songs of the year, and people may be familiar with its placement in a Victoria's Secret commercial.
“I think French people are good at mixing all of the vintage styles,” de Rummel says over the phone from their Paris headquarters where they’re in the middle of a brief break during a recording session. “Because it was our first single when we signed to Warner Bros., we really wanted to a White Stripes song, but adding an electronic drums and bass. It was the beginning of everything. It’s really important to bring back vintage sounds into electronic music." The success of “Be Mine,” which also includes a coveted sync on a Victoria’s Secret commercial, allowed Ofenbach to travel and a foothold in Europe.
Staying true to their rock roots has allowed the duo to expand their sound fluidly. Teaming up with Nick Waterhouse for their latest single “Katchi," the tune is currently the #1 Shazamed Dance song and ninth worldwide. They met Waterhouse twice, once at a French TV show a few months ago and again two weeks ago in Italy. Prior to meeting the two, de Rummel says Waterhouse admitted he wasn’t well-versed in electronic music.
“We really wanted to do something different than what was already on the radio,” de Rummel says. “Nick did the verse and came out great. Though we two times, we never met before we did that track.”
More impressively, just like “Be Mine,” the song has over 14 million views on YouTube and 10 Million+ listens on Spotify. These are gaudy stats in the digital age, and a fair barometer of how far Ofenbach has climbed in a little over three years since their inception.
With all the hullabaloo surrounding their rising profile, Ofenbach will be performing in the States for the first in December. Though this isn’t their first time in the U.S., they’re excited to finally play to a new audience. Aware of the potential issues by starting from fresh in a country as vast as this, the duo welcome the challenges of building a new fan base. Having two recognizable songs certainly doesn’t hurt.
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“We’ve been dreaming about this [playing in America] since we were very young,” de Rummel says. “It’s interesting to start again in a new country. We’ve traveled the country on holiday before, but only New York and L.A. We’re excited to see different cities and landscapes.”
As for the foreseeable future, the duo are currently at work completing their debut album. The set is slated to contain 10 songs and with “Katchi” and “Be Mine” are to be included. They have big plans for the album, with a slew of bigger name guests to possibly make guest appearances. Building off those infectious singles, Ofenbach knows, will be their quickest way to success.
“Every time we can show our music to people in America its great because its a really big continent,” the producer says. “I think breaking in the U.S. is like breaking in Europe. Every time we can show our music to more people in America its really great because it’s a good market for French people. We really love the country and want to spend a lot of time there, and maybe compose the next album there.”
Ofenbach performs at the Constellation Room on Dec. 9, at 11 p.m. For tickets and full details, click here.