Mehdi Benjelloun was only 15 years old when technology and music changed his life. After uploading “Sunset Lover” to SoundCloud in 2015, the track was a viral success and has now been streamed over 350 million times. The French producer, aka Petit Biscuit, has recently released singles off his upcoming debut album, Presence, including the latest, “Beam.” The album is to be released on Nov. 10, Benjelloun’s 18th birthday, a landmark of change, growth, and new adventures for the young artist.
A classically trained musician from a young age, Benjelloun plays piano, guitar, cello, and more. He began experimenting with electronics to form his signature sound at a very young age. We can expect Presence to be heavily informed by his formal schooling, combining acoustic elements with innovative electronic production and his trademark vocal manipulations.
Benjelloun has released three singles thus far in anticipation for the release of the debut album. Presence is the first project from Petit Biscuit since he dropped his self-titled debut EP, which featured the sensational hit “Sunset Lover.” “Beam” follows the release of “Waterfall” featuring Panama and “Gravitation” in collaboration with Møme featuring Isaac Delusion. The preceding singles have been met with incredible reception and streamed nearly 10 million times collectively on Spotify.
“Beam” is a masterful mix of piano, electric guitar, strings, and electronic elements. Unlike “Waterfall” and “Gravitation,” the track is purely instrumental. It’s quite classic of the Petit Biscuit sound and clearly demonstrates his comfort with both electronic music and incorporation of his classical upbringing. The accompanying music video is the perfect visual embodiment of the sonic imagery the song paints. The music video opens with a bird’s eye view of an abstract construction of colorful sand dunes. Upon one of the dunes stands a figure, completely silhouetted. The figure begins to walk over the dunes as the scenes then shift to the highest of mountains, expanses of palm trees, vast lakes, and swaying ferns. It’s all very ethereal. The video has a palette of pastel colors along with vibrant sunsets and clear blue skies, portraying the grandeur of nature in comparison to a one individual.
The music video was accompanied by a rather personal note in the description box, signed off by Petit Biscuit himself:
“This video is a metaphor of the genesis of my debut album ‘Presence:’ a long journey, from unreal situations to the next. It’s only now that I realize of all the paths I’ve taken these last months, the disproportionate achievement we’ve forged with hard work, with the kind of stubbornness that enables us to realize our dreams. The colossus that you see on my album cover and in the ‘Beam’ video is my music, or rather the debut album. Today is November the 3rd, I’m almost 18 and I’m proud to introduce you to it. xx P.B.”
The colossus he describes, the same one on the album artwork for Presence, is also featured in the video. The silhouetted figure walks upon a large rock in the shape of a person. In an exciting drum fill, he jumps into the mouth of the figure, from which erupt lanterns into a darkened sky. The colossus is ignited, like lava flowing over rocks. The figure begins to emerge from the ground until it rises to its full stature. It becomes fully black, just as the initial silhouette looked, simply bigger. The original silhouette emerges from the hole in which it jumped into. As rays of light in the sky—reminiscent of an aurora borealis—surround the colossus and the silhouette, we’re left with the album artwork for Presence. The song ends with a beautiful symphony of violin and piano, closing with a final, resounding hit of the kick drum.
Stream “Beam” below and stay tuned for our upcoming interview with Petit Biscuit: