Composer, producer and exponent of “Avant-pop”, the Paris-based Jazzboy releases a double extended play “Jazzapocalypse Vol. 1 & 2” today.
The release is to be followed by a short-film as Jazzboy continues explorations of multi-media potential. It is not the first time that the visual, performative and musical have been conglomerated by the artist; his ﬁrst art exhibition, 4ever, featured two live videos (one in heaven, one in hell) shown simultaneously in 2 different spaces. He was then invited by Marseille's MUCEM to bring this concept and make it a live performance. The idea of duality, doubleness and otherness appear to be recurring themes in Jazzboy’s practice.
His ﬁrst ever solo show in 2017 was held in an illegal art space in NYC where he praised "Jesus Jazz" to the crowd while covered in fake blood. The French artist fell in love with New York's underground scene and keeps ﬂying over for more; the video for his hit single ‘Harlem’, that looks like “a Spike Lee theatre play on LSD”, was shot in the Bronx.
Jazzboy seems to enjoy every single part of the making of his art. It is perhaps so very eclectic that it is impossible to summarise. While directing weird yet viciously pop music videos around the globe seems to be his take on some kind of new internet cinema, the futuristic (and hectic) theatrical “Jazzodrome” parties he regularly throws in Paris blend live performance with art installations, often featuring in-ﬂesh apparitions from collaborator and actress Lucie Garrigues. Producing forward-looking pop music in his tiny bedroom studio ﬁlled with odd broken gear and Matrix-like screens is ultimately what forms his very own world between pop music and avant-garde culture.
“Jazzapocalypse Vol.1 & 2 is basically a musical about human metamorphosis divided into 2 acts. In the ﬁrst one, characters tell their story in a ‘pop song’ format, whereas in the second one, those characters have vanished and we can hear the soundtrack to the story they just told.”-JAZZBOY
Photography: Louise Desnos
In anticipation of Jazzapocalypse, Vol. 1 & 2; Sophie Black and Jonny Black of STRIPED held parlé with the artitste:
Do you consider yourself a surrealist?
I don't consider myself anything really, but I do feel close to some ideas of Surrealism.
What is a "Jazzapocalypse"?
Jazzapocalypse is the abrupt revelation within a morphing human character called Jazz.
Why do you feel compelled to make music?
I think it's the first and most accessible thing that appeared to me in order to express myself freely, outside of any social conventions.
Your earlier releases were sounds of New Romantics' Pop. Your new EP 'Jazzapocalypse' harks back at 90s rave, what was your decision behind this?
Making music is never a decision for me, I always end up with something I didn't really expect. But I did change a few things in my writing process, and using more digital gear is one of them so that might be one of the reasons it sounds different from my previous EP.
It's hard to say because I mainly focus on emotion rather than tools, so what it ends up sounding like is often totally unconscious.
Your recently released self-directed video cites German Expressionism and Cronenberg. Why do these influence you and Jazzapocalypse in particular?
I had these images in mind when writing the song (autumn leaves flying around, human butterflies, a chrysalis and a cemetery), and I wanted to do it in a monochrome expressionist fashion and to have a "fairytale" feeling to it. I'm always interested in contrast, and I particularly liked the idea of playing with this kind of lighting and more sci-fi elements like the chrysalis, to kind of blur the time period of the story.
You perform in popular underground community-curated art spaces in New York and Paris. What is a 'Jazzodrome' and what goes down at a 'Jazzodrome' party?
"Jazzodrome" means basically "where jazz happens" ahah.
We did the fourth and last one a few months ago. Each party looked different because we would have a special theme and colour for each one of them, and we would build entire sets, cook food and unfold different musical tragedies each time. So people could usually expect a lot of freedom, music, theatre-like stories, alcohol and probably more from what I've witnessed... It was very exhausting, fun and liberating!