GOLDEN BOY PRESS Interview #126
A young artist that’s on a mission to create something new and unheard. With that said, the tranquility, uniqueness, and harmony that’s in his “Westbrook” EP, is on a whole new level. These vibes are something that connects our thoughts to our soul, there’s just something amazing about it.
Could you introduce yourself?
Hey, my name is Jonathan Baker from Sydney, Australia and I make music under the name ‘Anatole’
Why music? What started it all?
Music is actually something that I have been doing my whole life. I only recently finished a performance degree in classical trumpet from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and have grown up playing in orchestras and jazz bands. As I started to head to more gigs and listen to more of the music I am into now, I think it was natural to want to try and make the sort of sounds I wanted to hear.
Could you tell us a little about your Westbrook EP? What was the motivation behind it?
The EP is a weird collection of sounds I have made this past year. I struggled for a long time trying to make music in Ableton using samples and presets, but I felt a lot more comfortable recording all my own sounds and performing the parts myself. So these sounds that were mostly recorded in my bedroom and all over the place I feel are a much more honest representation of me as a musician. It has been a strange experience for me to see it get picked up and received the way it has been and I feel like my writing style has already changed, but I am certainly proud of it as a release and hopefully I don’t find it too hard to listen to in the future.
How do you feel about the music scene in your area?
The Sydney scene is absolutely amazing – it is filled with some of the nicest people who are really interested in each other’s work. There seems to be more venues popping all the time willing to host electronic gigs, which is nice, and people are willing to come out to the shows which is just as nice.
What kind of mood do you like to portray when you perform live?
I guess the mood I like to portray is one of engagement. I perform as much of my music completely live (drums, keys, percussion etc.) and I feel like the audience really responds to that a lot more than seeing some guy on stage staring blankly into a macbook screen. That relationship between the performer and audience in electronic music is still something that I feel needs active attention within electronic music, gigs don’t happen within a vacuum.
What’s your ideal setting that helps you feel inspired when you create?
My ideal setting is somewhere removed from where I am used to. I wrote the title track for Westbrook in the shed in the back of my ex-girlfriend’s dad’s place, surrounded by weird guitars he had collected and a microphone. The tune came together within an hour and I hardly had to change anything afterwards. I have a lot of problems with self-doubt when it comes to creating music, and I have definitely never considered myself a ‘song-writer’, so the setting is actually pretty important to me when it comes to writing tunes. Nothing I write is ever planned and usually just happens within a short creative burst, and I never have any idea where it comes from.
Who are a few artists that have made an impact on you recently?
The artists who have made the most impact on me definitely have major pillars in the Australian music scene, some who I am lucky enough to call my peers and friends. Artists like Marcus Whale who are involved in so many different projects around the Sydney scene (Collarbones, Black Vanilla, Scissor Lock) and Lavern Lee (Guerre, Cassius Select, Black Vanilla) are a real inspiration and reminder to not be afraid to push forward regardless of what everyone else is doing. Others include HTMLflowers, Rainbow Chan, Thomas William and young gun Jaysways.
Are there any plans for another EP?
Oh definitely, I’m writing all the time, but then immediately moving on to something new, which is annoying but exciting at the same time. At least the new stuff is always better than what comes before it, but it would be nice to actually release something new sooner rather than later!
Do you have any other goals for your music that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m working on a few remixes at the moment and have some collaboration projects coming up that I am really excited for. I am working on some audio visual works with an amazing visual artist, Rory McKay, which has been a major source of inspiration – the guy is life’s #1 hype man and is going places. My goals at the moment are to play as many shows as I can and try and reach/meet as many people as I can - If you see me at a show, come and say hi!
What makes you happy?
Being able to write and perform the music that I enjoy and really feel is indicative of my own personal style, it’s really amazing and humbling. There has definitely been some pressure to write bangers and hype machine my way to the top as fast as possible, but the support I have received from those I admire both as musicians and people has definitely made it all the more worthwhile. Also I grew tomatoes the size of my fist last summer and that made me really happy. I think I’m going to try pumpkins this time.
Any closing comments?
It’s a really nice and sunny day here in Australia right now – everyone should come here and enjoy it with me.
Interviewed by POI