The Live Journey of NTO

Author : Max Spruill
October 18, 2022

The Live Journey of NTO

The story behind NTO started with a match made in heaven, a kid from the South of France always hooked to his guitar, and electronic and dance music. After going to the Sziget Festival when he was 18, NTO started to hang out regularly at La Villa Rouge, and Bar Live, two legendary clubs in the South of France. At the time, German minimal techno music was booming and Anthony Favier would spend his nights listening to Stephan Bodzin, James Holden, or the very beginnings of Paul Kalkbrenner: “My biggest music crush of all time”.  The evocative power of music, strong kicks and the unifying atmosphere of dancefloors: this is the triple focus that inspired him to create and produce music without going through the usually mandatory DJ phase. NTO would spend nights eyes set on his computer, trying to replicate songs he heard the nights before in clubs, the exact same way he would cover “Hotel California” when he was younger, or play Syd Barrett’s psychedelic chords.

Epic and minimal, spontaneous and generous, NTO’s music is also about freedom. The freedom to experiment, to use arrhythmia, dissonance, “that little trance twist” that opens the doors to a new dimension. His music is also the convergence point of all of his influences: 70s rock, swing, soul music, classical music or even hip-hop.

NTO’s journey is also includes his friendship with Worakls and Joachim Pastor, with whom he created Hungry Music in 2013. At a time when melodic techno music was not media’s first interest, the three artists were absolutely convinced that the audience couldn’t get enough of it. Performing together on the Olympia’s stage to the Vieilles Charrues Festival, they learned to master the stage, and seduced a new generation that would follow them faithfully from this moment on. Thanks to his hits “Trauma” and “La clé des champs”, which account for several millions of streams on DSPs, NTO’s career took off internationally: from The Netherlands, to Germany, to Eastern Europe to Canada…  Dour, DGTL, Osheaga or the Igloofest: NTO travels from festival to festival to play his own tracks live.

Today, NTO sits down with 6AM to talk about his upcoming US tour, his latest single GAMMA, and other things that have been along the road during his journey as an artist.

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What’s up NTO! We’re excited to chat with you today. How excited are you for your upcoming tour in the US? Are there any cities that are new for you? Are there any personal favorite cities that you are looking forward to revisit?

Thank you very much for this interview, very happy to chat with you too!

I can’t wait to be there, it’s not my first time in the US, I’ve played there before, but this tour is gonna be really exciting. The clubs seem awesome, very happy to finally get back to NY, and to discover LA for example. I really enjoy SF too where I’ve already been on vacation. We’re planning a quick road trip between two gigs to get the best out of the country! Looking forward to this cool experience.


You just came with your newest single GAMMA in July, what has the audience reaction been like with that song? Are you expecting to play out more tracks like it for your US tour?

The public response to Gamma is amazing! It’s a track I’ve been playing during my live set for more than a year, it was more of a live tool at first that made a powerful transition between two tracks, and I didn’t plan on releasing it. Eventually we released it, and it has kind of this ‘born from the tour’ vibe each time I play it. It will of course be on the setlist, among some fresh tracks that have been on tracks for a few weeks!

You have a unique electronic music live performance act. At what point did you decide to become a live act? Why did you decide to make this jump?

Actually, I’ve always played live, I don’t even know how to mix to be honest!

What attracted me at the beginning was composing the pieces… I used to compose with a guitar by the way, before doing techno. When the question of the first shows came on the table, it was natural to think at first of the live.


How does it feel to have made tracks, like your track “Trauma”, that have accumulated over millions of streams worldwide? 

I still can’t believe it, and it’s always a blast to realize it. That’s what happens also for other tracks like ‘La clé des champs’ or ‘Invisible’ that are still very much listened to these days. I receive a lot of fan messages who created personal history around those tracks, for me it’s the best appreciation gift, and that’s what still gives me the urge and the energy to keep going!


At what point did you feel like making the jump from being not only an artist, but also running a record label as well? And after almost a decade of running Hungry Music, how does it feel to step away from it?

Hungry Music was a wonderful chapter of almost 8 years, very enriching artistically. But I’m also very happy now to handle fully the direction of my solo project. I am expressing myself fully and it has really brought me the fulfilment I needed. It’s a real joy to feel completely free and well surrounded. To deal with the artistic side of a label was something I really enjoyed though, and I’ll probably do it again!


How did it feel having your album showcase sell out in Paris last May? How was it playing alongside Sofiane Pamart? What made you decide to work with the amazing pianist?

To be doing le Zenith de Paris was a major step for me! It’s the date that started the Apnea tour and on which we revealed the scenography that got along with us the whole year.

This collaboration with Sofiane Pamart was born from the desire to do some variations around the track ‘Invisible’. I wanted to reduce the whole melodic part to one instrument. Being very sensitive to the work of Sofiane Pamart, it was natural to ask him to tell the story his way, and to finally make a track together, at the crossroads of our both worlds. He did me the honor to come and play it by my side on my first Zenith, amazing experience!

What’s your biggest highlight so far of 2022? And as this year is quickly coming to a close, what are you most looking forward to in 2023?

I think the answer is above, but the biggest highlight so far, symbolically, was the Zenith. It was the launch ramp for the tour. I play Apnea everywhere in the world ever since, it’s unbelievable what happens to me. The tour is about to get extended next year of course, but on a music level, I’m already working on the next stuff and news tracks. As I tour a lot this year, I want more than ever to compose and evolve musically!

Thanks so much for your time! Is there anything you would like to share?

Thanks a lot for the invitation, it was cool! I can’t wait to start the US tour and meet you all!

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