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INTERVIEW: Jacana People

Rising UK production duo Jacana People announce the highly anticipated new EP 'Sunblind' and single 'Liana' featuring Lawrence Hart. The EP and single will be out via Hide The Moth on June 9.

We have had the pleasure of interviewing them and this has been the result.

Congratulations on the release of your new EP, ‘Sunblind’! Can you tell us about the overall concept behind the record?

Often when we’re writing we find that we accidentally land on some kind of theme or idea that brings different pieces of music together, almost subconsciously. As the name ‘Sunblind’ suggests, images of the sky and the sun, and the flood of sunlight kept coming up when we were compiling the different moments that make up this EP. For whatever reason, these tracks feel like they look upwards towards the sky; they have this lightness and optimism even in the more bittersweet moments. With every release we’re trying to push ourselves and have been ambitious with the scope of some of these tracks. The whole thing has definitely been a labour of love and feels like a good jumping off point for whatever comes next.

How would you describe the sound and direction of this EP, compared to previous Jacana People releases?

Everything we do feels like a progression from the next thing. It’s one big arc as opposed to different, disparate moments. The way we create and write music is all about channelling what we’re feeling and what we’re interested in, and learning from the last thing we put out. Because of that, it’s always hard to get perspective on what you’re making and how it fits in with your broader catalogue. This EP feels summery and warm, it centres around our love of collaborating and covers different corners of our tastes which is something we always try to do. There are some moments that feel typically “Jacana” and some that might be surprising to people.

There are moments of calm mixed in with more clubb-y elements - do you try and find a balance between the two when creating, or is it more important to go with how you feel when you’re in the studio?

Instinctively, we try to cover a range of different energies when we’re writing. Often if we’ve put some work into a big, clubby intense thing, the next day it will feel refreshing to write the opposite. We tend to write in batches so always find that one track will pick up where another left off. When we’re putting together an EP we do want to make sure we’re including these different moments but we usually find that they’re there for us to pick from.

You’ve worked with some amazing artists, Antony Szmierek, Lawrence Hart and Kiimi, on ‘Sunblind’. What was that like, and how do they contribute to the overall vibe of the project?

We’ve always said that collaboration is something we love doing and find it really enriches our work and output, and having Kim, Antony and Lawrence involved on this EP has been a great example of that. They’re all super talented and have brought different qualities and energies to ‘Sunblind’. Most obviously, Antony’s work on ‘Twist Forever’ has led to our first proper vocal track; seeing people’s reactions to that has been amazing. By the same measure, the tracks ‘Ladybird’ and ‘Liana’ would not exist without the influence of Kiimi and Lawrence Hart - they’ve all widened the vision of what this EP could be.

How did those collaborations come about, and how important is it to the project to work with other artists?

Like a lot of the people you meet in music, these things just come about through the odd email, a random meet at an event. With Kim and Lawrence, it always felt very obvious to get in the room together; we all share a similar scene of producers and artists creating in this UK electronic space. We’ve actually met a lot of friends and collaborators this way; it’s lovely how vibrant and alive it is. Antony similarly was an email and then a meet at a show we played, and from there you’ve created something and are building a friendship. From the beginning of the project we knew we always wanted to work with other artists and are lucky to be getting to do that on a regular basis.

We loved the recent video for ‘Twist Forever’ with Antony Szmierek, can you tell us a bit about the process around that?

We were chatting with Antony about how we could express the message in ‘Twist’ visually. This idea that life is short so we should move freely, literally and figuratively. We wanted it to feel very contained and focused on the intensity of movement and self-expression. From there, we put this concept to the guys at UNTHNKBLE, Oska and Harry, and with our amazing dancer Munio created something really beautiful. Their vision and passion for the project brought the song to life and we had an amazing day altogether doing it; some of our favourite memories from this project for sure.

Are there any specific tracks that hold a special significance to you?

That’s a hard question, we love all of these tracks - they represent something different and all hold different memories within them. Writing the two part closer to the EP, ‘Find Her Hand’ / ‘Now That You Have Reached The Sky’ was a lovely process and it was great pushing ourselves to construct something with a real narrative and journey. Sometimes when you’re thinking of your music in relation to streaming and singles, you can feel like you’re compromising slightly on your vision for what a track could be. But we knew this piece, originally written as one long track, could just exist happily as a deeper cut on the EP - that is meaningful to us for sure.

The last 12 months have been huge for Jacana People, with touring, and releasing, how do you find the balance between your creative and personal lives?

Like lots of artists and producers those things are closely intertwined and are hard to separate sometimes. We try and carve out the time to work in our weeks so we are able to unwind and try and think about something other than the next project. When we’re creating we still try to retain that idea that there’s value in creating for creating’s sake, not always looking forward to the next release. That also helps maintain the joy of writing and making music.

Your new Apple Music show, Ankledeep, explores the relationship between electronic music and the natural world, can you tell us a bit more about that?

First and foremost we’re fans of music and we love sharing the diverse, interesting sounds that we are inspired by, especially when we’re DJing. ‘Ankledeep’ is really a home for us to showcase diverse club music and how we think it shares links to sounds in nature and the outdoors. We are always searching for music that takes you to a different place and hopefully in this mix series we offer a platform to share some of our favourite music, and a different context to some club records that we’re really into at the moment.

And lastly, what can fans expect throughout the rest of the year?

We’ve actually got a few really exciting live moments to announce soon, as well as new club series that we’ve been planning. We’re always trying to stay busy and of course we have lots of music in the locker that we’re starting to piece together for everything that follows ‘Sunblind’. We’re feeling really good about what’s to come.


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