Yoann Lemoine is a French musician, songwriter, director, and photographer who is more widely recognized under the alias of Woodkid. In addition to his alternative music career, he also dabbles in directing, where he's been overwhelmingly successful. Woodkid was even nominated for MTV Video Music Awards for his work on videos for Drake, Lana Del Rey, and Rihanna.
His impressive track-record of artists whose songs have had his unique cinematic touch include Yelle- Ce Jeu (2008), Moby- Mistake (2009), Aides- Graffiti Commercial (2010), Katy Perry- Teenage Dream (2010), Mystery Jets- Dreaming of Another World (2010), The Shoes- Wastin’ Time (2011), and Lana Del Rey’s Born to Die (2011) and Blue Jeans (2012).
“My work has always been very related to music,” he says on his website. “First of all, because I grew up learning to play instruments, but also because my images are mainly inspired by songs and melodies that move me. This is why collaborating with other artists such as musicians is for me the most fulfilling way of working.”
The cinematography in Woodkid’s music videos are epic and regal to say the least; historical, present, futuristic, ancient, and mythical scenes all rolled into one several-minute escape for the viewer. The drums in both “Iron” and “Run Boy Run” are tribal and his voice is a smooth ride to a faraway land.
Woodkid’s first EP, 'Iron', was released in March 2011 and was a project on which he worked with English model, Agyness Deyn. In the music video, a battle takes place that transcends culture and time periods, tying its different characters together with killer symbolism and awesome slow motion shots. His video for his song “Run Boy Run,” released in 2012, is on the same scale as “Iron” and ties in certain characters and images present in both videos but has a “where the wild things are” theme to it.
Not all of his music is dramatic and drum-heavy; “Wasteland,” “Baltimore’s Fireflies,” and “Brooklyn,” are other songs that are softer and the piano is the instrument that takes the lead.
He mentions his childhood environment laced with 90s-style advertising, stories from the second World War, and trips to visit the homeland of his ancestors in Eastern Europe. Lemoine was an artist from a very young age and shortly after college he was illustrating children’s books and magazines in both France and the United States. This was also about the same time he teamed up with a production team in France and began to direct ads and music videos. He also has a buffet of photography to enjoy. “Empty Spaces” is a large photographic project created from three years of taking photos all over the United States. From a family of cacti in a window to a sleepy pug, from California landscapes to a dilapidated industrial supply building to mesmerizing angles of architecture in Paris.
“I could say my creations are related to subjects such as childhood, absence, nostalgia, sexuality, fashion, symbolism, and of course that patchwork, that collision between different worlds and techniques, which is what I’m made from, I guess,” Woodkid says of his eclectic talents.
It's evident Woodkid is super-talented and has only just begun offering us inspiration through both his work and his words.