Next In Line is a series focusing on Australian artists on the way up.
Sydney artist Jerome Blazé is something of a product of the forever evolving and impressive Australian electronic scene, he’s young and really talented.
While we’ve got enough quality house and techno producers to play around every club around the world (respectfully), his approach is that of electronic music and a close relationship with live instruments. Throughout his releases, you’ll find saxophones, violins, pianos, and harps played by a community of friends who have each crafted their own art over the years.
This means his output is quite literally beautifully crafted and emotive pieces of electronic music, in line with global heavyweights Tourist, Maribou State, Tycho and Jamie xx.
In an effort to delve a little deeper into the processes and mind of the exception producer we hit him up for a Next In Line
SR: You’ve just released a new single titled UP, which is another release of yours that seems to blend orchestral and electronic music. What/who inspired this unique blend of music for you?
Jerome: It’s actually sort of hard to pin it down to a specific thing. I started my whole journey with music on piano, so that’s an obvious connection that underpins pretty much everything I do, but I guess one of the other parts of it has been my interest in different genres over the years; people like Jordan Rakei, Tom Misch, Kamasi Washington all the way to Sigur Ros, Dustin Tebbutt Tycho, you name it -even that’s hard to pin down! Studying at the Sydney Conservatorium and being surrounded by so many great instrumentalists has undoubtedly been a huge influence toward incorporating live instruments in my music. Recording and acceding great musicians is just so accessible through the environment that I’m in. I realised after my first EP that the live element was a real interesting point of difference, and a lot of the mindset behind UP and the rest of the new music was to really push that difference and see what happened.
SR: You mention the live element; having listened to a fair chunk of your past releases as well as UP, I could imagine the Jerome Blazé live performance seeing a lot of musicians on stage and a good chunk of instrumentation. Is that what you’re building towards? And are their any artists out there that you look to for inspiration on the performance level?
Jerome: I’ve definitely dreamed about a live show for a long time. Over the years I’ve had a bunch of cracks at starting to build one, but it’s never really felt right with just me and a bunch of midi controllers. That was an important realisation because where I’ve landed is wanting do a show that’s completely live – no backing tracks so it’s just all about the musicians interacting. I think that’s way more interesting to watch! It’ll definitely be with a big ensemble just because it has to be to make the songs sound like they do recorded. Nils Frahm is someone who does the everything live thing very well, even though it’s in a more one man band way. I want to be able to channel the energy of like a rock band – Gang of Youths had an incredible energy when I saw them live.
SR: There was quite a bit of time between releases. What can we expect from you in the near future?
Jerome: Second half of last year I really hunkered down to work on another EP. We had to do a collection of songs for our final assignment at uni, so I thought why not kill two birds with one stone and use the deadline to get a release-ready project done. I didn’t feel quite ready to do another big collection of songs after my first EP, ‘Perspective’, but this deadline came around at just the right time when I really wanted to go deep and figure out where my music was going. UP is the first single off that project!
SR: We’re looking forward to that project coming! Will this new project come with a tailored live show experience? If so, when might we expect to see it?
Jerome: All things going to plan hopefully by the end of the year! The show will be very live and very fun. I want to try and do everything without backing tracks and therefore no click. If we’re able to swing it, I think it would be so liberating to be able to play freely and not to a grid – seems like something a bit new in the area of my sort of music! I also want to do an intimate show around the release of the EP, which will be slightly different. As I mentioned, the live thing is something I’ve been thinking about for a really long time. It might take some effort to get to the show that I truly want, but it will definitely be worth it once we do.
‘UP’ is out now on Sydney label Eyegaze.