INTERVIEW: Blonde

Summer is well and truly over in Newcastle but that didn’t stop Abbey Brooke from catching up with Jake from Blonde, the house duo who have been taking the UK by storm with their fresh and fun beats which always keep the sun shining

NUSU
9th November 2015

Our two favourite Blonde producers have been stirring up quite the ruckus recently as they gain momentum behind their ‘All Cried Out’ and ‘Feel Good (It’s Alright)’ releases with outstanding vocal performances from Alex Newell and Karen Harding. Their mind-blowing collaborations have left us all itching for more, and they’ve teased that they’ve got more edits to be released in the near future and talk of a debut album, which you certainly won’t want to miss.

But while we’re waiting to get your hands on that, the UK producers Adam Englefield and Jake Manson gave us the low-down on what it’s like to be Blonde, where the inspiration behind their tracks come from and tips for surviving as a student.

 Where did the journey as Blonde begin and when was it that you knew you wanted to work together?

Blonde started back in late 2012, I was sending some of my tracks to Adam who founded Eton Messy and he posted a couple on the channel. We got talking after that and decided to work on some music together. At that point we were just sending things back and forth over the internet and hadn’t actually met IRL. We finally ended up meeting in a pub in Bristol around Christmas time. Thankfully we got on really well!

“I don’t think either of us could have predicted where we would be today”

When you released ‘It’s You’ on YouTube on Eton Messy, did you have any idea of the amount of success that would come from it?

We were really happy with that track and were excited to see what the reaction would be but no, I don’t think either of us could have predicted where we would be today. It’s pretty mad when you think about it like that.

Do you still use YouTube and SoundCloud to kind of ‘test the waters’ and see what fans think of a track before fully releasing it as a single?

We still like to give something away to our fans, usually we’ll do a little edit or bootleg for our DJ sets and then end up giving it away free online between singles. I don’t think we would ever release any of them properly necessarily. It’s more to give something back and say thank you for the support.

I think we’ve been through every phase imaginable: hip-hop, rnb, drum and bass, dubstep, indie, disco, metal, you name it!

What music did you grow up listening to?

We’ve both got pretty diverse taste! I think we’ve been through every phase imaginable: hip-hop, rnb, drum and bass, dubstep, indie, disco, metal, you name it!

What about Bristol or where you studied, would you say that has had an influence on your music production in any way?

Bristol is a really exciting city for music. There’s always a lot of different scenes going on but most people seem very accepting of what everyone else is doing. It doesn’t always follow mainstream musical trends as a city and that leads to a lot of really creative music coming out of it. Leeds was a great experience too because it has a very rich dance music culture and a huge variety of nights and clubs which are constantly reinventing and changing to cater to whatever new and exciting scene is emerging at the time. They’re both great cities and I feel very privileged to have lived in them.

Where did the inspiration for ‘Feel Good (It’s Alright)’ come from and what was it like to work alongside Karen Harding?

With ‘Feel Good’ we took the hook from a 90s Italo-house track by JK. We loved the original vocal but thought that we could add our own vibe to it. We built the track up around the sample and then got in the studio with MNEK who we then wrote the verses and middle 8 with. Working with Karen was great, we had already worked with her before and she’s such a lovely girl to hang out and write music with.

What about the video?

For the video we wanted to pick up where ‘All Cried Out’ left off in terms of the narrative style of our videos so far. We wanted a video which looked exotic and exciting but also told a bit of a story. We were really happy with how it came out.

Are there any emerging artists you guys are backing at the moment?

We’re loving Tommy Vercetti, TCTS, Tieks, Jax Jones and these guys from the US, Hotel Garuda at the moment! Big things coming from all of them.

“When you go home always steal the cheese. That stuff is expensive”

As university graduates yourselves, what advice would you give to first year students?

Whenever you go home always steal the cheese. That stuff is expensive.

Is there anything you’re particularly working towards at the moment or anything special you hope to accomplish?

Our live show which we have been touring over the summer, it’s like a full six-piece band so it’s always a massive party!

What material are you guys currently working on, and have you got any more collaborations lined up that you can tell us about?

We’re working on our debut album which we are super excited about! We’ve got some pretty crazy collaborations on there which we’re very excited about releasing!

Abbey Brook

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