With mass hoopla surrounding the resurgence of house and deep house, the bandwagon is getting full quickly. Enter jackLNDN to cut through the fat. The London-based newcomer is fast becoming one of the leading figures in modern house music, an ideal poster boy for today’s deep house reawakening. His smooth, sultry originals and immersive remixes have put him on the fast track to stardom.
jackLNDN made his initial splash with last year’s Drop Out EP, an exploration of pop-driven house made equally for the cabana and the club. His forthcoming Summer Never Ends EP is only days away from release, and it sees the bubbling artist mature as a producer as he dives into new aural territories, as best heard on the deeper bass of “And What.”
Summer is still four months away, but I’m already in my board shorts and boat shoes, listening to Summer Never Ends, sipping on Arnold Palmers, and wishing that this year’s summer solstice were indeed forever.
I see you’re in the studio working on your new EP. What’s it sounding like, and what can we expect?
Indeed, it’s almost done, and it is sounding rather wonderful. I’m so excited for people to hear it and to see the reaction it gets. There are definitely some new flavors to be found on it, and, for the first time with my original stuff, some vocals, too. Expect some warmth and some sunshine to get you through the colder months.
Quick-rising artists come and go every day. Some are fads; some have longevity. Is it dangerous or risky for a rising star at your stature to blow up too big too fast?
Provided your growth is organic, it’s not something you should worry about. I’m lucky that more people than ever are open to the kind of music that I love to make, and that people are starting to listen to it. I guess the producers who become fads are quite often the people who pigeonhole themselves into a very particular sound and then proceed to rinse it till the cows come home. It’s not something I’m looking to do. The artists with longevity are the ones that evolve and consistently push themselves to the limits of their talents.
On your SoundCloud account, you state, “Hopefully my music will make you happier than you were before.” Is that your musical mission?
[Laughs] In all honesty, it’s not what I specifically aim to do. I just hope it has that effect. I wouldn’t categorize myself as a “feel-good artist,” nor am I trying to be one—as long as you feel something when you hear the music. It doesn’t matter if it’s a physical feeling or an emotional one, whether it’s happy, melancholic, nostalgic or just escapism. The fact that you’re connecting with the music and feeling something is plenty to be happy about.
Tell me about your Summer Never Ends EP.
It’s a representation of some of the tracks I made across the past year, with the aim of introducing a wider palette of sounds. This is most obvious in “And What,” which is a bit of a departure from the stuff people are used to. I’m glad it was so well received despite being a harder, more bass-heavy track. It gives me the confidence to go down any musical route and know that people are going to be open to it.
How is it different from your Drop Out EP?
Drop Out was my debut EP, my first original work and one I’m still very proud of. But a lot happens in a year. I’m growing as a musician, and I hope the Summer Never Ends EP shows that. Tighter production, sonic exploration, and more variety are all really important factors for me, and I’ve been working hard.
You’ve remixed some huge names and big tracks. Does it ever make you nervous when reworking such classic artists and originals?
I think maybe I skipped that stage of nerves altogether. I’m so selective about the tracks I choose to remix, and once I’ve chosen, I get stuck in straightaway. There’s no real time for nerves. I get so caught up in the initial stages of writing, which are probably the most fun. I’m always hugely into the original, which makes it a lot easier to work on. To date, I haven’t remixed anything I haven’t seriously vibed with beforehand. I don’t think it would work if I didn’t like the music to start with, but there also has to be room to take it somewhere different.
Your curation for playlists and mixes is beyond “wow” factor. What’s your secret, and how do I get on your level?
The truth is, there is no secret. Well, not that I can think of, anyway. I guess when I’m picking tracks, the first step is to ignore all the hype, play counts, followers, and all that jazz. There’s such a pool of undiscovered talent waiting right around the corner, and you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you choose to ignore it and only hunt for the big tracks. I’m also very lucky that my personal taste in music seems to resonate with other people, and that comes through both in the music I pick and in the music I make. I have no general rule for picking tracks. I just play the music that I love and music that makes me want to dance. That’s the whole point, after all.
What do you make of this whole deep house trend? Is the resurgence of the deep house movement organic, or does it feel manufactured to you
I think there’s a genuine interest out there for the deeper flavors that house music has to offer, and it’s grown bigger alongside the resurgence of deep house. As with any genre that is having its mainstream moment, there are people who jump on the bandwagon and saturate the market with similar-sounding rubbish. But what else would you realistically expect to happen? It’s a good thing, provided you can see past it. It means that demand is at an all-time high. In terms of it feeling manufactured, it’s harder for me to comment on that. My personal experience says no, but I can only speak for the UK. I was throwing deep house nights in London with my mates back in 2011, and even then there was a real scene and an appetite for those kinds of sounds. As far as I can tell, the growth has been organic, but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t change.
Do you think deep house is the future of electronic music?
I would never claim that anything is the future of any kind of music. It undeniably has its place in the future of dance music, but it will only be a big one if it continues to evolve and artists continue to explore new sounds and ideas. I think what helps make the deeper, sexier music so sustainable is the level of energy within the music. It’s not a “when will the bass drop,” face-melting kind of energy; it’s more refined than that. There’s more energy put into the groove and the soul of the track. If people want more of those things, we are headed in a great direction as a movement.
What’s next in the world of jackLNDN?
I’ll be back out touring the States in a few months—including, of course, the recently announced Electric Forest. It was an honor having my Clean Bandit remix on the lineup video, too; I think I will now have to squeeze it into my set on the day. I’m always working on new music, and the focus has shifted a little from releasing remixes into original music this year. Along with the new EP, you can expect plenty more remixes, singles, EPs, etc. I’m also looking to bring more live elements into my performances this year; it’s something I’m really enjoying exploring at the moment.