St Lucia delivers 'dreamy, nostalgic pop'
St Lucia’s music might best be described as a mix of the throwback sounds of Wham! with unique synth-pop vibes, giving the group’s music a kind of 80s feel with a definite now sound. Originally from Johannesburg, South Africia, St Lucia front man Jean-Phillip Gorbler is a musician who early on studied classical opera and then burst onto the music scene in 2010. His pop music is grounded in early inspirations, such as Fleetwood Mac and Madonna, among others. Flash forward to 2015 and Gorbler is belting out songs like “September” and “All Eyes On You” as St Lucia, and his newest album is called When The Night.
His native South Africa and his current home base of Brooklyn, New York, may seem a far distance from Nashville, however the whole crew that supports St Lucia is based right here in Music City. Gorbler sees Nashville has having a “traditional country side, as well as a progressive side,” and he feels very fortunate to have been able to spend time here not only spreading the wonderful sounds of his music but helping to produce other artists, such as his label mate HAERTS, in our great city. That’s why he jumped at the chance to come back to Nashville and perform at Pride. St Lucia also has a large number of LGBT fans, so he said performing at Pride 2015 in Music City “just seemed natural!” That’s a wonderful thing to hear from such a great ally for our community.
When you listen to St Lucia, you will hear sounds that are often described as “dreamy, nostalgic pop,” and you may feel transported back to the days when his inspirations were on top of the charts. While some artists might resists such a characterization, St Lucia embraces it, even if, as with any artist, he finds it hard to classify his own sound. “If you ask any artist how they would describe their music, we could go on for hours because we live it,” according to Gorbler. He also stated that “there is always a balance [in my music], but also juxtaposition between happy and sad, a tinge of melancholy. I like to have a rub between those because life is like that. I’m always aware of the two opposites of life; I want my music to reflect that.”
When he’s not on the road performing, chances are you’ll find St. Lucia still working. According to Gorbler, “writing takes me long time, with all the layers in the music.” He does also take time to visit his family still in South Africa and his wife’s family in Germany as much as possible. Working out, seeing friends, and “just trying to be as balanced as I can within the crazy framework of music” are how he described his down time away from the scene.
St Lucia has recently performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, an event he described as “kind of a South by Southwest in the desert.” According to St Lucia, “It was blazing hot, tons of people, amazing sets by loads of different amazing bands. The sound is amazing. It’s the first proper festival of the season, and everyone is trying to put their best show forward.” And that’s exactly what St Lucia did, performing for a live crowd of about 30,000, with about 50,000 more tuning in online. To him, those numbers were unfathomable. He said “at best my brain can absorb about 2,000 people, but I can’t picture that there were 30,000 people watching!” St. Lucia is also touring with Empire of the Sun this fall on the West Coast. But love for Nashville will bring the act back our way sooner than you think!
photo via Showbams.com