Interview with 17-year old French composer Nadim Doueiri

Nadim Doueiri is a 17-year old composer in France who is inspired by games. He is also the creator of one of the largest Skyrim fan communities in France. His website is at http://www.nardoum.fr .

Q. You compose music for games. Can you describe your major projects?

A. I’m new in this world and I had a few projects with people I met on the Internet. I started by making game soundtracks for non-professional projects with people who are interested in arts and making something new, like a team!

My first game project was « After Dawn ». We didn’t finish it because we were a small team, but I met friends and shared new things- and it was an amazing experience! Next, I had some projects with other teams but I’m always looking for an interesting project with which I can express myself and make people dream! At the moment, I’m not composing a lot, but I’m making many covers for You Tube, first alone, and now with a guy I met on YouTube!

Q. When did you start composing? Do you have a music background of formal education? 

A. I’ve been playing the piano for years. I started when I was 6 years old. I grew up without learning at a musical school or getting private lessons, but when I turned 12 years old, my father found me a teacher. However, I was a kid and I didn’t realize the big chance I had, so I didn’t learn like I should have, and now, I regret it.

Then I met my passion, composing! I started with FL Studio, a software with which I made electronic music combining VSTi plugins. After that, I started listening to Japanese game soundtracks and movie soundtracks. That was such an amazing experience for me.

I remember the emotion I felt of my first real composition. It was for my sister’s wedding and she was smiling, surprised by my music! Since that day, music has made me feel better, and I think everybody can share and play music. I want to dream and make people dream, that’s why I’m composing, because I believe in people through music and feelings.

I don’t know music theory, I can’t read scores and write notes, because for 11 years, I haven’t been learning. But now, I have friends who want to teach me, and I started to read, because you can’t imagine how much inspiration comes and goes everytime, everywhere, and I have a short memory.

Q. What music inspires you? Who is your favorite musical artist?

A. What kind of music do I like and inspires me? Role Playing Game (RPG) music! That’s my favourite music, when I play in a giant world, with friendly characters, scenes, and music for a particular scene. For example, Final Fantasy VIII (then VII, IX and X) is my favourite RPG, because each music is based on the scene that goes with it, and I can imagine the story and the characters’ feelings. The artist who inspired me and inspires me still is the amazing Nobuo Uematsu, the master who made Final Fantasy’s music! It’s my dream to meet him and make music with him (but my mom has always told me not to go beyond the bounds of possibility!). I especially like OSTs and orchestral music.

Q. When you compose OSTs for games, do you play the game?

A. I’m rarely able to play a game I composed the soundtrack for because all of the art games I worked on were developer’s betas, alphas, and unfinished. I’m still looking for game projects because sometimes, I think I can’t imagine compositions because I need a theme and a project to make good work. I can’t feel new melodies when I don’t have a goal or a scene in mind. That’s why I need to find projects, because I have a ball of inspiration in me that needs to explode!

Q. You are a fan of Skyrim. Why do you like Skyrim?

A. It’s too long to explain why but I’ll try to be fast and short! Skyrim is the successor of Oblivion and Morrowind. Oblivion was such a terrific experience for me, and you know why? Because of the music… music with a big world, with fantasy, and creatures. I was so looking forward to the release of Skyrim that I created my first real French community on the Internet. I have been a programmer since I was 10 years old and now I’m the creator and the webmaster of the most visited website about Skyrim in France, with more than 177,000 viewers! I’m glad I made it because I did it to share things with people and fans, and I succeeded ! Skyrim is so huge that I can take years and years to write articles and speak with members about it.

Q. Do you feel connected with the characters you play in Skyrim?

A. You know what? I’m a girl in-game and I got married with a girl too (why not ?). But don’t worry, I don’t want to be another person in my real life! It’s just funny to change in a game and make something crazy and fun! We can kill dragons, we can get married, we can fight monsters, and listen to wonderful soundtracks, composed by Jeremy Soule, taking a look the sky and the moon, waiting for dawn or the twilight. When I play, honestly, I can’t enjoy the game if I don’t enjoy the music and background music. It’s important for me to feel it and to find it perfect with the scene of the moment.

Q. Why do you share your fandubs on YouTube?

A. I share my fandubs, covers, and original compositions on YouTube because I want to show what I can do and make people want to learn music too! You can’t imagine how honored I am when someone tells me I gave him the desire to learn!

I used to publish videos of me playing the piano, and only my friends and a few people watched me, and one day, before the release of Skyrim, I made my fan video of the Skyrim Main Theme, and in the first week, I had 1,000 viewers. Next, in two days, it went up to more than 80,000 viewers. I got a lot of comments. That’s why I want to share, because music can unite us.

Q. You talked about collaborating with other people via YouTube. How did this happen? Have you ever met in person?

A. A friend asked me to make « Iron » by « Woodkid » in a musical video cover, and I told him to wait a month. During this month, a viewer on youtube sent me a request : « Can you make Iron ? », and I thought I had to do it because it would please some people. Then I started looking for a singer to make my « Iron » cover, and I was done in the evening. Yes, I found him, it was the first singer I had met on YouTube and who had impressed me ! So I sent a private message to MithrilCipher and he gave me an answer the next day ! He was very friendly and gladly accepted! So I made my cover, sent it to him, and he sent me his wonderful voice. And that’s it ! Such an awesome experience ! I told him if someday, he wants to do another cover, I’m here! I want to thank him here, again, for his passion and creativity! And you know what is the best part? He’s in the USA and I’m in France, we have never met! Thank you Nick, you are my first collaborator! [See video here-Ed]

Q. Do you think that communicating through YouTube is similar (or not) to playing games?

A. I don’t think playing games is like playing music through YouTube, because a game is an individual experience (although sometimes it’s a team work or an online experience like in MMORPG) and I can’t share anything with people playing a game! I’m not a great gamer. I play a lot but I play old games, like when I was a kid. Everyone can share games and music with brothers and sisters, but YouTube is for me only to show people what we can do with a keyboard and imagination.

Q. What is the next step in your career?

A. You know I’m interested in orchestral music games, and I recently started composing with real contracts for companies, and my dream is to make the soundtracks of a game that thrill the world! I’m still looking for serious projects and games to work with a team, and I take my time because I don’t want to compose only for games projects. Movies, trailers, poems, and all forms of art are welcome in my world! I want to do more, and express myself! I want to be the guy dreaming and making others dream too.

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