He may be inspired by the giants of rock and pop – the Beatles, Stones, Pink Floyd, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Prince, U2, David Bowie and the Police – but Théo Maxyme is an artist proudly out there in the wild doing his own awesome thing. Self-proclaimed “space pirate”, producer, arranger, songwriter and sound engineer, Théo Maxyme and his three-piece rhythm section, are on a mission to rock the roots of Clos Marey-Monge with a collection of original melodies (“Whiskey on the Rocks” will have you swooning, guaranteed) and covers guaranteed to keep the party kicking long after they’ve sadly left the stage. A great artist with a bright future – Théo Maxyme is not to be missed at Rootstock.
Théo, tell us a bit about yourself. How did you become who you are?
I’m Théo Maxyme—musician, songwriter and singer. I started out in the music industry playing guitar for various artists. At the same time, I started writing songs and soon after started wondering how I would get them out. So, I decided to create my own label, Active Records. In four years, we released more than a hundred songs. I spent more time than ever in the studio producing songs and in the field to help promote our artists. Simultaneously, I joined the record company Believe as Channel Manager, then moved to Ditto Music as Label Manager, where I was until quite recently.
How did you become a singer?
It all started in Spring 2017, when the ROOTSTOCK Association called me and asked me to play at the festival. I could not believe it! I had submitted a short demo to the selection committee but was not really expecting anything from it. ROOTSTOCK 2017 was my first festival as Théo Maxyme. Just a few days after, I found out that I had also won the ROOTSTOCK Discovery Artist Prize: one day of recording at the Ferber Studio. What an amazing prize and incredible opportunity! But at the time, I didn’t know what I would do with it.
So, how did you finally decide to use the recording session at the Ferber Studio?
There was a song in particular that finally made up my mind, it’s called “Sur le Fil.” This song was both interesting and significant; it deserved to be recorded. Thanks to the ROOTSTOCK Discovery Artist Package, I set up a recording day at the Ferber Studio in November 2017. I decided to record a live session while we were there. We recorded six titles that day, out of which five became part of my first EP. But it all really started on March 23, 2018, with the release of my first single. The song achieved unexpected success—I received many compliments on it, not only from my family and friends, but also from music professionals and press. It was even ranked number 2 on iTunes! From there, my music style evolved from a rock background to elegant ballads. However, it was only when the full EP was released, on October 19th 2018, that I realized I could be an artist. I started a residency at the Crillon hotel in Paris and performed many shows, including ROOTSTOCK 2018.
You also received the ROOTSTOCK Discovery Artist Package in 2018. How did you use it the second time?
This time, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it! Part of the prize had already been used to record a new song called “Ne M’Oubliez Pas,” which will be included in my first album. I wrote this song with Antoine Essertier, an amazing songwriter and producer. I was lucky enough to be accompanied by two incredible musicians for this session: Mathyas Voison and Lucien Favreau. As tradition now requires, we also recorded a live session that day and released it on December 26, 2019. Thanks to the ROOTSTOCK Association, I still have another day of recording waiting for me at the Ferber Studio. I plan on using it at the very end of the project. We will mainly record guitar, bass and drum tracks. This final day of recording will be key for the album as it will determine its global tone.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
about your upcoming projects.
Théo: Today I’m working on my first album. I decided to close my label and quit my job to focus on this project. It’s really a continuation of what I started with the song “Sur le Fil.” Of course, there is a lot of work to do to create my own identity as an artist. I want this to be a lifetime project, with a real intention and a concept. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by good people, including Antoine Essertier for the production and Valentin Synave from the agency Culte, for consulting and video. I met them both thanks to the recording session at the Ferber Studio back in 2017—yet another proof that that recording day, made possible by the ROOTSTOCK Association, was a real turning point and the crystallization of my personal project.
What is your favorite memory from ROOTSTOCK?
I have so many good memories from the festival! If I had to choose one, it would probably be the France-Croatia final game from the 2018 World Cup, on July 15th. It was the day after my own performance at the festival; we all met inside the Château’s courtyard to watch the game and eventually witness the French team’s victory. The whole Château was celebrating! We went to Beaune right after that to catch our train and saw the whole city reveling in the moment! To me ROOTSTOCK is the true definition of a festival thanks to the joyful atmosphere we find there, year after year. It is a real life moment where you can enjoy music, wine and the people around you.