Nicolas Godin

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Nicolas Godin
Air mg 7091.jpg
Godin performing with Air
Background information
Born (1969-12-25) 25 December 1969 (age 45)
Le Chesnay, Île-de-France, France
Genres Electronica, downtempo, space rock, psychedelic pop, progressive rock
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Bass, guitar, vocals, vocoder, harmonica, shamisen, koto, drums, banjo
Years active 1995–present
Labels Virgin
Associated acts Air, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Beck, Jarvis Cocker, Orange
Notable instruments
Höfner Club Bass
Fender Precision Bass

Nicolas Godin (born 25 December 1969) is a French musician best known for being half of the music duo Air.[1]

Early life[edit]

Godin was born in Le Chesnay near Paris, Île-de-France, France, and studied architecture at the École Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles, along with soon to be musical partner, Jean-Benoît Dunckel, a mathematics student.

Before founding Air, Godin played in the band Orange,[2] with others such as Jean-Benoît Dunckel, Alex Gopher, Xavier Jamaux, Éric LaCourt, and Étienne de Crécy. He and Jean-Benoît have been working together since they were teenagers in the 1980s.[3]

Solo career[edit]

At its outset, AIR — an acronym for “Amour, Imagination, Rêve” (love, imagination, dream) — was a one‑person project. Nicolas Godin, then an architecture student and amateur musician, was asked by a childhood friend to write a song for a compilation to be released by Source, a small French independent label. ‘Modulor Mix’, a tribute to Le Corbusier, was recorded on Godin’s Portastudio, and appeared on the Source Lab album in 1995. With several remixes, it was re‑released on British label Mo’Wax in 1996.[4]


Following this small success, Godin asked his friend Jean-Benoît Dunckel, a classically trained pianist, to join him in AIR. Together, they produced further ‘maxi‑singles’ for Source, with titles like ‘J’ai Dormi Sous L’eau’, ‘Les Professionnels’, ‘Casanova 70’ and ‘Le Soleil Est Près De Moi’. Finally, in 1997, Source asked AIR to record a whole album. The duo spent several months in a recording studio near Paris called Studio de Saint‑Nom, and asked a friend — freelance engineer and former Plus XXX assistant Stéphane ‘Alf’ Briat — to work as a sound engineer on that project.[5]

Their full-length debut studio album Moon Safari, released in 1998, was propelled to chart success by the singles "Sexy Boy," "Kelly Watch The Stars" and "All I Need." Its mixture of synths, strings and guitar made it a unique release in the electronica genre at the time.[6] Moon Safari went Platinum in the United Kingdom[7] and Gold in France.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thompson, Dave (2000-11-01). Alternative rock. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 149–. ISBN 9780879306076. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Nicolas Godin". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  3. ^ "Interviews: Air | Features". Pitchfork. 2009-10-12. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  4. ^ "Nicolas Godin & Jean-Benoît Dunckel (AIR): Building Atlas Studio". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  5. ^ "Nicolas Godin & Jean-Benoît Dunckel (AIR): Building Atlas Studio". Retrieved 2012-03-31. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Disque en France". Disque en France. Retrieved 2012-03-31. 

External links[edit]