French designer, artist, and musician Mai Lan emerged in the mainstream consciousness as the featured vocalist on M83’s album Junk. Her cool attitude and charisma had been honed throughout childhood by a family of artists: she is the daughter of counterculture artist Christian Chapiron (aka Kiki Picasso), and her brother Kim is a film director. One of her first forays into the mainstream came in 2006 when she provided songs for Kim’s film Sheitan.
As part of the Kourtrajmé production collective, she also delved into fashion design. Her debut self-titled 2012 LP was a genre-smashing exercise in rap, sampling, and pop, echoing CSS, Feist, and Yelle. Produced by Max Labarthe, Mai Lan also featured French rappers Nikkfurie and Orelsan on the track “Oysters.” It wasn’t until her appearance on Junk that she reached a wider international audience in April 2016. A stand-alone single, “Technique,” was released soon after in June. The sparse electro track channeled the off-kilter, beat-driven spirit of Peaches and Jain and was co-written with Labarthe and Nick Sylvester (Shamir). In addition to touring with M83, she began recording her sophomore long-player that same year. by Neil Z. Yeung
Follow Mai Lan