It was 2010 and music virtuoso, producer, remixer and collaborator, Jean-Philip Grobler was stuck. The rock project he currently belabored on felt forced, unnatural; he turned to the past, looking for inspiration from Peter Gabriel, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna – potentially DC’s very own Thievery Corporation, for a jolt of inspiration. At this moment of stuckness, the young South African found both the inspiration he was looking for and birthed the idea for a new project that would become St. Lucia.
St. Lucia’s sound is distinct with a solid grounding in the best music from the 80s and 90s, with a constant freshness and an eye towards the future. Think a harmonious, fun mix of Cindy Lauper, Lionel Richie, Rick Astley, John Secada, and All Saints. Throughout my first listen to their first record, When The Night, I was consistently noting rifts, sounds and harmonies that were clearly inspired from previous artists, although I was hard pressed to get specific to the artist or their track. Their sound draws on the past, but evolves it, making it their own.
St. Lucia will be at the BlackCat this Tuesday, and although the show is sold out, I highly recommend going the extra mile to snag a ticket because from my Q&A with Grobler it sounds like the band is going to BRING. IT.
You recently performed with Two Door Cinema Club and Smallpools at DAR Constitution Hall. How was that experience? Did you enjoy the venue and crowd?
It was awesome! I think that was one of the biggest venues we’ve played so far. It was almost like playing an arena, and as far as I can remember the crowd was awesome. I also loved having so many tourist attractions so close by, because I’ve been to DC so many times but never had the time to do the obvious touristy stuff like the White House.
When you’ve visited DC previously, what did you do? Was there any things you particularly enjoyed/remember?
The thing about DC for us is that it’s always just in and out. Because we live in New York, we’ll normally plan to leave really early or even leave after the show. But we’ve stayed at a friend’s house in Georgetown a few times (I know) which was lovely. I also actually like seeing all the monuments. I’m not from the States so it all still has a novelty value for me.
What do you do to get prepped for a show?
I’ll generally just make sure that I have dinner long enough before the show and then just do some warm-ups, nothing major. Of course there’s often some dutch courage involved.
How will you adjust/change/evolve your show for the BlackCat venue and DC audience?
We’ve added quite a few surprises and treats to our set. I don’t want to say too much, but if you’ve seen us before you should come again because the show’s going to be pretty different.
What’s your plan post show? You sticking around DC? If so, what do you plan to get up to?
Unfortunately, we have a completely insane schedule this tour so as much as I want to party every single night, it’s probably not going to happen most of the time. You never know what kind of mood we’ll be in though…:-)
Your show sold out super quick. Any plans to come back to DC in the near future?
Of course! We love playing DC, and have some really good friends down there, so I’m sure we’ll be back before you know it.