Well into the last leg of the Presence North America tour, Petit Biscuit played the first of two shows at the Fonda in Los Angeles Saturday night. The French Moroccan DJ and producer, Mehdi Benjelloun, had much to celebrate besides the sold out show. Not only was November 10 the one-year-anniversary of the release of Presence, it also happened to be his 19th birthday. The enthusiastic crowd took every opportunity to remind him, screaming and singing happy birthday at every lull in the music.
Born and raised on a musical diet of cello, piano, and classical music, Benjelloun was groomed for music composition from a very young age. The shift from classical music to light-hearted, downtempo house began at 11 when he got his first computer. At only 15, Benjelloun self-released the smash hit “Sunset Lover.” The self-titled debut EP that followed received critical acclaim deeming Petit Biscuit a wunderkind of French electro. This momentum continued with last year’s release of his LP, Presence, propelling him towards a coveted spot in Coachella’s 2018 lineup.
Petit Biscuit (translating adorably to “little cookie”) is known for incorporating live instrumentation and vocals to chill electronic. This generates a sonic landscape full of atmosphere. His onstage setup consisted of a guitar, launchpad, drum pads, and keyboards between which he rotated crafting each song. It was impossible to watch the set and not be reminded of another young French producer, Madeon. Perhaps not so coincidentally, Madeon was in attendance, taking in the show from a couch on the balcony.
Photography & Words: Kirby Gladstein