Music duo Blonde is behind some of your favourite hits, anthemic rallies to the dance floor like All Cried Out and I Loved You. This summer they’re back with another floor filler, Me, Myself & I, a manifesto on freedom, independence and having a good time. We caught up with Jacob and Adam, the duo behind Blonde, to talk about their upcoming projects, how they craft such a distinctive sound and what the rest of 2018 has in store.
Jacob started out producing as Thieves and Adam was running the Eton Messy YouTube channel, how did your paths cross?
We actually met when Jake sent me a Thieves track to post on Eton Messy. I really liked what I heard and got on well with Jake, so asked him to remix one of my tracks. After that, we collaborated on a few tracks that sounded unlike any of our solo projects, and Blonde was born!
After a string of hits you’ve taken some time away from the spotlight recently, what have you been getting up to? Was it just downtime of have you been hard at work?
A bit of both actually. I’ve been focusing mainly on growing my label Night Beast Records and Jake’s been working a lot as a producer and songwriter for other people’s projects. It’s really helped us sharpen our focus and now we feel really excited to be back full force on Blonde! I think it’s healthy to get perspective on things ever so often. Definitely helps with growth and progression!
You’re both established individual artists in your own right. What the benefits of working as a duo? Is it easier to bounce off someone else, or do you have the exercise a bit more diplomacy when it comes to taking on board each other's ideas?
Both are true actually. Sometimes you need someone else to help flesh out an idea and to bring that little extra something to the table. It’s important that you are both on the same page though, and we were very fortunate to stumble across each other when we did! We were at separate ends of the country at the time but going to a lot of the same events and listening to similar stuff. Of course, you also have to practice diplomacy at times as well, like any partnership in life.
Your tracks tend to have quite an upbeat, optimistic message, whether it’s finally moving on in ‘All Cried Out’ or self-belief and independence in your new track “Me, Myself & I’. Do you consciously make an effort to convey empowering themes like that?
Yes, it’s a huge component of the Blonde ethos. We want people to feel good when they are listening to our records. If at any point people feel empowered or uplifted when listening to our music, then all the hard work has been worthwhile!
You seem to like working with strong vocalists as well, do you create a track first and then try and find someone that fits? Or do you tend to hear a singer and craft the track around that voice?
Taking influence from 90’s house and R&B, I think the theme of powerful vocals is definitely a theme we like to keep across all our songs. The process for every song is different, for instance, when we wrote ‘I Loved You’ we already had the vocal and wrote the track around it. Whereas ‘All Cried Out’ we had a particular vocal performance in mind and sought out Alex Newell.
'Me, Myself & I' was different from both of them as well, as the track was written with Bryn Christopher.
You’ve gained a bit of a following for you bootleg house versions of ‘90s dance and R&B classics, are there any other genres you want to explore that you haven’t yet?
Jake and I are both huge music fans with varying tastes. We’re definitely looking to expand some of Blonde’s influences over the next few releases. Drake if you’re reading this.. hmu
Festival season is in full swing at the moment, what’s been your favourite show of the summer and one you’re really looking forward to?
The secret set at El Dorado festival was mega. It’s one of my favourite smaller festivals, so many great DJs and a really cool crowd. Plus I was playing on a beautiful lakeside stage on one of the hottest days of the summer.. what more could you want?
We’ve got a load more shows coming up this summer but I guess our launch party in August is the one I’m most excited about. We’ve got loads of our DJ mates performing alongside us, so it’s set to be a fun one!
What sort of clothes do you like to perform in? Do they differ from your day to day outfit?
When you’re stepping onto a stage to perform you want to look good and can get away with making a bit of a statement. Depending on the show I’ll usually have at least one wavy item on. You can’t beat a loud shirt for a festival show!
What’s your summer sneaker rotations like?
This year I’m rotating between 3 pairs. Black Vans Old Skools, black Clark’s Weavers and a pair of New Balance M991
What does the rest of this year and into 2019 look like for you guys?
Loads more shows and plenty of new music. We’ve got our foot on the gas now so expect to be hearing a lot more from us!
Polaroids shot by Jordan Rossi.