It certainly is a treat when you attend a concert and the opening act puts on so great of a show, it isn’t difficult picturing him as a headlining band. So when St. Lucia rolled into town with Ellie Goulding, he not only warmed up the crowd, he blew the lid off of the venue.
Hailing from Johannesburg, South Africa and currently based out of Brooklyn, New York, St. Lucia is Jean-Philip Grobler. Along with his band mates, Grobler makes magic happen on stage. With tracks that are as danceable as The Temper Trap and as catchy as The Naked and Famous, St. Lucia’s instantaneously infectious blend of pop is seriously some kind of wonderful.
With the self-titled EP and September EP out so far, St. Lucia explains that a huge inspiration in his music stemmed from his time at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. Although the choir helped lay much of his early musical foundation, interestingly enough, starting his own rock band was the result of a subconscious “rebelling” against the choir, which inevitably worked out really well.
Call it following his musical intuition, whatever it is, the bold and fateful move is paying off. “I’ve been working for so long at making this happen that to see it happening in some way is completely surreal, and I constantly have to pinch myself,” says St. Lucia of his steady rise and success in North America.
Part of that success can be attributed to a boost from one of the world’s sexiest brands. The new Victoria’s Secret ad campaign features St. Lucia’s appropriately named track, “All Eyes On You”. St. Lucia says of the incident, “In general, as long as I don’t vehemently disagree with that brand or ideology I’m okay with it, because I know that I made the music with a pure intent and to me that’s the thing that matters the most. I also think, in terms of exposure, the Victoria’s Secret campaign is great because it’s pretty unlikely that someone is going to change the channel when it comes on.”
When asked about his songwriting, process according to St. Lucia there is no perfect time or place or ingredients that can help you best write a song. It’s all about when inspiration hits. “The ironic thing about inspiration is that it’s so valuable, and yet you can’t choose when you’re going to be inspired, or know when you’re going to be inspired,” describes St. Lucia.
Another point of inspiration for St. Lucia that might sound mundane to some is the act of staring out a window. He explains, “I’ve always been a big fan of staring out into the distance, and often, even on really long 12 hour drives, I’ll just sit staring out of the window listening to music. I find that really inspiring, the way that music can fill or inform a meaningless space with emotion and meaning…where you are can completely change the music you’re listening to. Sometimes you don’t understand a certain artist or album until you’re in the correct context to listen to it, and then suddenly you have a ‘eureka’ moment.”
So what is St. Lucia listening to these days? They say you can tell a lot about a person based on the music he or she listens to. St. Lucia was kind enough to share with us his cheesy love songs mix tape, also appropriately named Cheesy Love Songs mix tape. It happens to be his wedding mix too. Enjoy!
1. ‘S Wonderful – João Gilberto
2. I Would Die For You – Prince
3. Time After Time – Cyndi Lauper
4. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell
5. Wicked Game – Chris Isaak
6. I Love You Always Forever – Donna Lewis
7. She’s Always a Woman – Billy Joel
8. Hang With Me – Robyn
9. Your Love is King – Sade
10. I Swear – All 4 One
11. Take My Breath Away – Berlin
12. Eternal Flame – The Bangles
13. (Everything I Do) I Do it for You – Bryan Adams
14. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
15. The Look of Love – Dusty Springfield