Toukan Toukän

Tours, France

La Jungle des Océans


Behind the Music

Each chapter of The Outlaw Ocean is distinctly rich with strong emotions. In order to recreate and translate that to music, we had to break from our typical music-making habits. We often settled on a general atmosphere before creating a melody, and chose to rely more on instrumental tracks than usual in order to make room for Ian’s samples and our own imaginations. Starting with our first song, “Hatching,” we wanted to illustrate a before and after prior to transitioning into a terrifying reality that takes us away from the fictionalized and fantastical vision of the ocean, as somewhere nature has all the rights. We explore its limits and weaknesses, and grow to understand how the sea serves as a backdrop of violence between humans. 

As artists, we each enjoyed different aspects of the project. For Laure, it was the very outset of the project — when all that was in front of us was a wealth of opportunity and avenues for us to paint a musical picture. For Etienne, it was getting to sift through the sound archive to add texture, extracts and voices, each of which gives weight to the ideas we had in mind when creating. Bringing these two mediums of journalism and music together on the same subject is, in a way, telling the same story in two impactful ways to two distinct audiences. Even if journalism is not seen as an art of creation but rather transmission, both music and journalism seeks to resonate with people.

Toukan Toukän
About Toukan Toukän

Laure is a singer, a songwriter and a composer. She sails with various projects, exploring pop and electronic territories. She also ventures into sound design for advertising.

Étienne is a drummer, a record producer and a sound designer. He glides above acoustic and electronic landscapes.

Together they invented their dream destination: Toukan Toukän.

Toukan Toukän is like departing in a dugout, taking off in a biplane. You experience electronic swirls and pop turbulence. Their “boundaryless pop music” is full of energy, colors and hilly and mountainous reliefs. With English and French lyrics, they look at the world–the light and the darkness–through an optimistic prism. On stage, the duo unleashes its nomadic and unbridled personality in an organic set design, stimulating the eyes, the ears and the body. An invitation to let go…

Based in the city of Tours, Toukan Toukän has been existing as a duo since 2018. It won the Fair in 2019 and released its “Le Merveilleux Voyage” EP in 2020. Growing on stage, in studio and in the media, it’s preparing the sequel to this adventure.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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