The New Music-Video Dynamo: Bertrand de Langeron

By Matt Diehl

Click here for our full interview with So-Me! image So-Me, above, Paris.

Bertrand de Langeron never thought he’d be nominated for an MTV Video Music Award. “I wouldn’t know why they would nominate these French boys nobody knows,” he explains. Langeron is better known by his alter ego “So-Me,” under which name he works as the iconoclastic creative director of the irreverent French electronica label Ed Banger.

Started by Daft Punk‘s charismatic manager Pedro Winter, Ed Banger has become known almost as much for So-Me’s funky visuals as it is for introducing buzz acts like acclaimed hard-rockin’ Parisian dance duo Justice into hipster-blog stardom. So-Me’s colorfully humorous, punk-meets-graffiti imagery has indeed created a cultural identity for the label that recalls how Peter Saville‘s distinctive minimalism defined New Order‘s Factory Records.

“We’re playing with the format of pop,” So-Me says. “We don’t want to be George Michael or Michael Jackson. It’s not commercial for the masses, but pop in the way we mix everything-we want the music to be as important as the graphics, and vice versa.”

Ironically, Ed Banger was the 28-year-old ex-skater’s first job out of le art school. Since then, he’s found his clothing designs for sale at exclusive 1st arrondissement boutique Colette, and received that VMA nomination for his insane T-shirt animations energizing Justice’s “D.A.N.C.E.” video (co-conceived by So-Me with directors Jonas & Francois).

Alas, So-Me and crew didn’t win the VMA, but as a consolation prize he got to develop and co-direct the pop-tastic video for the smash Kanye West hit “The Good Life.” It’s all a part of So-Me’s classic slacker approach to success. “I have no plans,” he says, of what he’s going to do next. “I never try hard on anything. I just want to keep a balance between fun and work!”

Photo courtesy of So-Me.

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