Carla Schmitt is one of the most promising and innovative young French multidisciplinary artists rooted in the techno scene who has established herself as a professional dancer, choreographer, producer, and techno DJ. Based in Paris, she has quickly imposed herself and her vision in this industry. Dark, heartbreaking, melodic, dynamic, groovy, energetic, and sensual, she created her own universe and distinguished herself by proposing immersive sound and visual projects. Since 2021, she has released 2 EPs, “My Fears” on KR Records, accompanied by an eponymous video mixing theater and dance, and “Blank Page” on Dusk Records in digital format. These two EPs are supported by several artists, such as Felicie, Charlie Sparks, Lee Ann Roberts, or MRD. This is a new turning point for the artist, who reaffirms herself as a producer and shows more than ever her willingness to share the passion that drives her.

While the track ‘Red Ambition’ was released on the 5th of May on Amelie Lens’s colossal EXHALE imprint, Carla just released the music video that emerged from her own vision quite a while ago. 

”Red Ambition tells the story of seven young artists who, confined to their respective residences, fall into disillusionment or immerse themselves in their creativity… “

This project aims to depict the overflow of inspiration that an artist can feel and how it can be affected by the restrictions imposed by their environment, and how this can lead to lowered self-esteem and constant questioning. The film involves a painter and six dancers who have the freedom to express their identities in the project. The result is a creative chaos that examines the question of whether inspiration can survive pure chaos and thus represents the language of artistic rebellion.

We had the pleasure to speak openly about how Carla identifies herself as an artist, her creative approach, her inspirations in life, and her biggest fears. 

How did you come up with the “Red Ambition” concept? I have wanted to work with several dancers for a few years now, so the idea had been floating around in my head for a while, I just wasn’t sure about when to do it. I contacted these dancers two years ago after the ‘My Fears’ project was released on HATE. When I found out that my single ‘Red Ambition’ was going to be released on Amelie Len’s EXHALE label, I told myself “OK, Carla, you’ve got to go for it, now’s the time“. I got in touch with Orthodox (the director) a few days later to propose a collaborative project with a presentation of my file and what I wanted to talk about, and that’s when I thought I had to incorporate painting into the project too. I then contacted my friend Ludovic who is a great artist and I wanted to share his universe through the story of the dancers. We had to focus on the story of the characters, what they should represent, and what emotions they should have. I wanted to bring out their personalities, which was really important to me, and I wanted it to be coherent. I was supported by my friend Loriane Cateloy Rose who played in the “My Fears” project, and who is also a dancer and choreographer. She guided me in my choreographic choices, the energies to bring to them, and above all to base them on the styles of each dancer. Filming the music video was an intense project over two days with a team of 25 people on location. It was like doing sports! (Haha)

What was your inspiration? My inspiration came from the people I met, what’s going on in society today in France, and above all what’s going on in my head. I don’t express myself very well sometimes, and I find it hard to say what I’m feeling, especially when it concerns my work, my family, my emotions, and my feelings. Dancing always allowed me to be myself when I was younger, it all started from there and it opened my way to music. I got into techno music by dancing and not by going to clubs. I’m also very inspired by French and Korean cinema, the aesthetics of the images, and the colors. I like to tell stories through more mediums than only my music. I like to be able to express that through imagery too, and that’s what I’d like to bring forward in the techno industry. 

How do you identify with it? I identify myself as an artist, the best definition I can give. I don’t want to limit myself by saying I’m just a DJ, producer, choreographer, or artistic director. I’m just an artist who likes to mix disciplines to bring something new to the table.

Do you feel limitations to your creativity in your environment, and why do you think this happens? I don’t have any creative limits, if I have something in my mind, I just do it. The only limits I might have are my fears; the fear of judgment, and the lack of self-confidence I sometimes have.

What affects and influences your creativity the most? 
My fears, what people might say, the fact that I sometimes don’t understand what I want to do, and the society we live in today. People love to give you advice about your career and what they think is best for you. Sometimes that can manipulate your mind, and unconsciously you can get lost in creativity.

Why is this? Because, quite simply, we think first and foremost about pleasing people, society and not ourselves. Out of fear of judgment and not fitting into the codes, we then slowly move in the direction of “safety” and then into artistic frustration. But I start from the principle that it’s important to listen to yourself and follow your instincts because they always lead to something beautiful. Overcome your fears and just go for it.

What are your greatest inspirations in life? Lots of things, my grandmother is one of my greatest strengths and inspirations along with my parents. They’re my biggest fans and the ones who have followed me since the beginning. Art is very important in my family, whether it’s dancing, sailing, painting, or music. Bordeaux, the city where I grew up, nicknamed “la belle endormie” (the sleeping beauty), and Paris, my heartland. My inspiration also comes from my friends, most of them are artists too, and what an enriching daily experience it can be, being with actors, painters, directors, DJs, producers, musicians… It’s bound to open up your mind and your creativity.

As a multidisciplinary artist, what type of medium would you like to explore further?
What I’d like to develop in the future is directing and maybe writing a film, but also developing my own visual shows with my music.

Interview by Magdalena Roe