St. Lucia is what happens when the long and bleak winters of New York recede and summer emerges; giving birth to memories of childhood holidays, faded photos of exotic places and the dream of recapturing this. Inspired by his homeland of South Africa, his journey through the UK and relocation to Brooklyn, St Lucia could reference the sonics of Temper Trap, or the infectiousness of Empire of the Sun, but ultimately it is a wall of atmospherics crafted with an inordinate amount of time-consuming precision.
St. Lucia accepted to answer some of our questions :
How did St Lucia come into being?
The project started a couple of years ago when I felt like I’d hit a brick wall with the musical project I had at the time, and personally in a sense as well. The music I was making was a lot more cerebral, and I became tired of overthinking every step. I also began to rediscover and fall in love with a lot of music from my childhood and my continent (Africa), which in general was very immediate, but always seemed to have a sense of melancholy to it, and from listening to that it inevitably influenced the music I began to make.
How did you arrive at St Lucia as the name for your band?
I’ve always been really awful at coming up with band/project names, and I was struggling with it for a while until one night I decided to scour a map of South Africa. Eventually my eyes fell upon St. Lucia, which, similarly to the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, is a beautiful oceanside holiday destination. I spent a bit of time there during holidays in my childhood, and the name and idea seemed to fit with the nostalgic, hazy and summery feeling of the music. So, it stuck.
Tell us a little about where you’re from: do your surroundings affect the music that you create?
I’m from Johannesburg, South Africa originally, and spent pretty much my entire childhood and adolescence there, or at least in South Africa. Probably the most pivotal influence on my music was the time that I spent at the Drakensberg Boys Choir, which is this choir school in the middle of the Drakensberg mountain range in South Africa. Being able to have this almost fairy tale like childhood in the middle of nowhere and first of all being schooled in classical music and then rebelling against it and being around nature so much absolutely had an influence on what I want out of life and music.
What was your approach to the All Eyes On You ? Where and when did you record it?
All Eyes On You had a pretty ridiculously long winded journey. It started with me hearing some music playing out of a car that I passed on my bicycle. It was one of those moments where you hear something and you don’t really hear the music properly, it’s kind of muffled, but somehow your mind fills in the blanks and that was the start of the drum beat for All Eyes on You. So, it kind of started with a West African feeling and stayed that way for a while, but at some point I felt like I hit a dead end with that direction and tried redoing the track with a different groove, and that’s what you hear today.
So you guys have got an album or an E.P in the works?
We have an EP/Mini Album coming out on November the 14th, and then hopefully we’ll have an album done not too long after that. I have a ton of material in the works for it already, but I don’t want to promise anything because I’m a classic tweak head. It may take forever. Probably not. Maybe.
Any new artists or albums that you’re into lately?
Most of the music I’ve been listening to recently has been older records. I’ve been a huge fan of Fleetwood Mac for as long as I can remember, and then I’ve really been embracing a lot of ‘guilty pleasures’ from the 80’s like Toto or just random songs like the Neverending Story theme tune. In terms of recent stuff, I really loved the Twin Shadow album ‘Forget’, John Maus’s album ‘We Must Become The Pitiless Censors Of Ourselves’ and, of course, the new Bon Iver album is beautiful. There’s a lot of other stuff I could mention, but those are the ones that stand out for me in this moment.
Any closing words for TEEZ’FM listeners?
Un éléphant qui se balançait
Sur une toile d’araignée
Trouva ce jeu si intéressant
Qu’il alla chercher un deuxième éléphant
Thanks to St. Lucia & René
interview By Thierry Jaussaud
St. Lucia // All Eyes On You
All Eyes On You by St. Lucia