biography

The Paris Metro Project is the ongoing effort of indie-pop artist Stephen Frost to dedicate one song to every metro stop (245!) in Paris. With each release his sound and overarching premise become more defined, colorful, and haunting.
 

After releasing a cover of the Naked and Famous’s “Young Blood” to international acclaim as it found its way everywhere from Australian fashion videos to mashups with David Guetta in Brazilian clubs, and various songs being used across the globe in television advertisements, Frost has decided to begin releasing his personal work one track at a time in three-week intervals beginning 1 January 2013.

 

Stephen Frost began the project nearly six years ago while, as he describes it, “the idea of trying to find yourself is stupid, but…I was totally trying to find myself. But I had a good excuse!” The excuse was a near-death experience and a brush with amnesia which left Frost questioning and rebuilding aspects of his life.
 
“Stop–I need to explain better,” he pauses to clarify. “It wasn’t like on TV. Everything older than a year was missing, but I knew the memories were supposed to be there. So, I went looking.” He wandered for two years, making his home everywhere from farmhouses to islands, from old Quebec to a pop star’s sofa in Manhattan, beds across France and the UK, gathering adventures and stories. “Music was the steadiest part of my life, and I found it helping put me back together–and I thought, isn’t there a way I could do this for other people too?” It was during these heady times that he began developing The Paris Metro Project concept as the answer.
 
“Certainly I’m not the first person to imagine your whole life as being a city,” says Frost, “and I mean a true city, a city in which you can continue to revisit the same places.” As in his lyrics, in real life one’s never entirely certain if he means anything he says literally. “Of all cities, I’ve been continually drawn to Paris, and not just for the romantic bits, but for all the horrible bits too–and they’re fearless about it. They named a metro stop after an anarchist who’d be like as if we named a subway stop ‘Wikileaks’. They’re romantic, fearless, and unashamed about their own history. That’s how I want to be.”
 
Okay, but metro stations? He responds, “I’m not writing songs about metro stations, I’m seeking out an essence in each one and I know I’ve found it when it touches me, when I’ve found stories from my own life there. There’s a hotel I’d love to tell you about…I’m not going to.” And he didn’t.
 
But it doesn’t take long in conversation with Frost to discover what’s probably the real motivation behind the Project: “the Project gives me permission to vary stylistically, which everyone smacks my wrists about until they just…get it. So I can put rap on one track, and country on another–that’s what everyone says they hate, right? Tracks! Like on a railroad. I don’t know if I’m making a joke or a poetic connection.” He wiggles his fingers to illustrate. “But seriously, if a city is allowed to put the grave of one of Europe’s greatest dictator’s within a few subway stops of what’s left of the red light district–then why the hell can’t I do the same with music?” Point taken.
 
Stephen Frost’s Paris Metro Project is being released electronically, each with its own art, a candid video in which he tells admittedly embarrassing stories behind the song, and, like all good subway buskers, a shake of his hat as he asks you to spare a dime. With the first two tracks chosen specifically for their radical differences, “Age of Gold,” a light and sweet number describing the hope of early love, and “Wimyn Redux,” an explosive electronica track seething with noise and bitterness, Frost makes it clear that you’ll be riding with him until the very last stop.
 

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