In addition to a career spent writing for other French artists, Simon Rochon-Cohen explores his inner-self through his solo project CHATON. Over the past few months, CHATON has collaborated with Sony Computer Science Laboratories – Paris to produce his seventh album with artificial intelligence tools.

Conceived as an artistic challenge, “VIOLENT BEAU” contains only sounds synthesized by our tools, notably DrumGAN and NOTONO. In a dialogue with the machine, Chaton was also inspired by rhythms suggested by DrumNet or melodies composed by PIA. He worked in a kind of ping-pong with prototypes that feed absolutely all the sounds you hear on the album, except for the auto-tune. But very far from the fantasies related to AI that would replace musicians, as Simon tells it. 

“I didn’t give the machine all my previous songs to generate new ones with a snap of my fingers. That’s not the sole purpose of the AI, and it’s certainly not what I used it for here. It is very important to know that!” However, these new tools provided him with a new set of possibilities: “When you’re using sample packs, you might have a hundred kick sounds. With a synth, you might have a hundred presets. With AI, when you’re looking for a snare sound, you can get an infinity of them, and if I don’t save the ones I like, they will be gone forever, lost in this infinity.” 


This project started as an experiment to produce one single song exclusively from Sony CSL – Paris’s tools. CHATON then managed to turn this experiment into a creative challenge. “I think I pushed these tools far enough in a goal that was no longer to explore the machines but to produce a record.”


The resulting album, “VIOLENT BEAU”, has been released on all digital services on May 6th and will be presented to the public in a sold-out show in Parisian venue La Boule Noire, on June 10th.