PHOTO CREDIT: Yolane Rais
MY first interview of the day...
is with Gaspar Narby who has been telling me about his latest track, Words of July, and how it came together. I ask the Swiss artist if there is more material coming and what he has planned coming up – Narby reveals a few albums important to him.
I ask what music he grew up around and how he came to work with LEES on his latest track; if he gets time to unwind away from music – Narby ends the interview by selecting a cool track.
Hi, Gaspar. How are you? How has your week been?
Hey, Music Musings and Such! It’s been beautiful! Releasing new music is always a bit overwhelming, but I’m on it!
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m a twenty-two-year-old producer based in London. I mix elements of Electronic music, Pop and R&B; using organic samples I often record myself.
Words of July is your latest track. What is the story behind the song?
My girlfriend, Felix Gonzales-Torres’ Double Portrait and my cassette player inspired the track. To me, Words of July is about finding mutual trust, becoming a shelter for the other and vice versa - without ‘becoming one’ and losing your individuality.
IN THIS PHOTO: LEES/PHOTO CREDIT: Elizabeth Farrell.
How did you come to work with LEES? What did you think when hearing her vocals back for the first time?
LEES and I were at uni together (at Goldsmiths College). The first time I heard her sing was during our first week and it blew me away. Her voice has such a grain; it seems to carry her entire self in there! And, on top of that, she is one of the most talented songwriters I know.
The video, shot by Theo Le Sourd, was filmed on 16mm. How did you feel seeing the video back?
I was really excited! As I mentioned above, I used a cassette recorder a lot to add texture to sounds and getting some of this through the use of film in the video was great. Theo also brought his own vision of the song, which I thought was really interesting. I don’t hear a different song on YouTube and on Spotify now!
Might there be more material next year do you think?
That is the aim! Two E.P.s are on the way, if all goes according to plan. I have quite a lot of material ready and working on some more. I’m releasing a five-track E.P. on 14.12.2018 so I am still focused on this, but I’ll soon be preparing the next!
What sort of music did you grow up around? Which artists inspired you to get into music?
I had such a varied playlist when I was little. I was the biggest fan of Placebo. The Swiss band The Young Gods, who pioneered sampling in Rock music, were also a huge part of my musical childhood. My father is a big fan of Boards of Canada and also gifted me The Eminem Show when I was six.
I still don’t know whether that was good or bad parenting to be honest (but this album is brilliant!)… I can still hear my mother whistle CocoRosie, Yann Tiersen or Agnes Obel if I close my eyes.
PHOTO CREDIT: Les Mauvais Garçons
Do you already have plans for 2019?
Releasing more music (two E.P.s are on the way) and gigging! I’m not going to lie; I’ve had a hard time finding as many concerts as I’d like to play but my live show is ready and I think it’s great, so booking agents reading this hit me up, thanks!
Have you got a favourite memory from your time in music so far – the one that sticks in the mind?
It’s hard to choose one! Writing my first single, Home, with the British singer LEES was just such an organic and beautiful session.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
That’s so hard!
Bonobo – The North Borders
The sound-world Simon Green creates on this album is out of this world; the way he brings acoustic instruments and electronic layers together is pure inspiration to me. It really influenced my way of seeing electronic music.
Moderat – III
The way these guys approached songwriting within Electronic music inspires me a lot and every single layer of their production blows me away. Their drums and synths…no words.
Deru – 1979
This ambient album accompanied me throughout the past few years; when driving at night, when going on a run; when cooking lasagna, Deru’s textures and melodies just make things better.
PHOTO CREDIT: Yolane Rais
As Christmas is coming up; if you had to ask for one present what would it be?
I actually just got the Tascam 414 (a four-track cassette player that adds an amazing lo-fi touch to whatever you put in it) for myself as an early Christmas present, so I’m all good! If you’re willing to spend a thousand pounds I wouldn’t refuse a Juno-60 though, thanks!
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Lorde, of course. Just to be able to see her perform every night! My rider would revolve around food more than drinks I think. Get me sushi and Peruvian food please!
PHOTO CREDIT: Theo Le Sourd
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Believe in yourself! Experiment! Keep learning! Collaborate! Work harder than the day before!
Do you have tour dates coming up? Where can we catch you play?
Gigs aren’t confirmed yet, but I’ll be playing in January in London! Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to know when (I swear I’m not just trying to get more followers; I genuinely don’t know the exact date. Hahah)!
IN THIS IMAGE: IMOGEN
Are there any new artists you recommend we check out?
The singer-songwriter IMOGEN just released an E.P. and I can’t quite describe how beautiful it is. I saw her live and stopped breathing for forty-five minutes I think.
I’m not too big on Techno usually but this amazing Polish woman, L Ʌ V Σ N, has been releasing massive tracks that find a way to stay really subtle and intricate.
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I’d say running, but I usually use this occasion to listen to mixes and discover new music. So, cooking would be the answer. It started because I love eating, really (I’m conscious I mentioned food about two hundred times in this interview already…). It’s also super-nice to share good food with friends!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Nepthune – 20+17
Follow Gaspar Narby
PHOTO CREDIT: Les Mauvais Garçons