Jai Piccone is an Australian electronic music producer whose deep and dreamy style ranges from house to electronica.
Jai Piccone is a talented vocalist and musician, known for his work with the internationally successful band Tora. Tora is a chillwave/synth pop group with a style reminiscent of artists like James Blake. Jai Piccone is also a solo producer and DJ, who has a passion for electronic music. Recently, he released his latest single titled “Make Me Understand.” Additionally, Jai Piccone is a co-founder of Flow Music and serves as the artistic director.
Make Me Understand is a downtempo track which fuses the trippy sound of uplifting synths and crisp percussion with Jai Piccone’s haunting vocals. The track is reminiscent of other artists such as Fred again.. and Little Dragon.
Out today, Make Me Understand dropped via Australian record label Gallery Recordings, and to learn more about the release, we invited Jai Piccone for this interview…
Hi Jai, it’s great to be talking with you today, could you start by telling us about what part of the world you are currently based in, and what you think of the local music scene?
“I’m currently based in Barcelona. I’ve been here since April and also spent some time living here last year. The music scene here is vibrant, particularly over the summer. We have Sonar, Primavera, Brunch and loads of good club nights. Not to mention incredible flamenco, jazz musicians in unsuspecting locations. Classical music in concert halls. It’s great!”
You have roots in Australia, what made you relocate, and how does the music scene in Australia compare to your current location?
“I spent the last 9 years back and forth between Australia and Europe. Primarily, for touring with my other project Tora. I’ve been slowly but surely falling in love with Europe and the different places here. I recently spent 2 years living in Amsterdam before moving to Barcelona. Both places have incredible music scenes, I would say it differs everywhere in Europe and again in Australia. Australia is passionate, some of the biggest music fans I’ve met are there. The dance music scene is thriving and feels fresh in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. It has this new energy it didn’t have a few years ago, and that’s really exciting for the scene there. Barcelona’s music scene is still new to me. I feel it is a favourite place for musicians and DJs to come and play. The people here really love music and they know how to have fun with it. The event scene is huge, with the aforementioned festivals and brunch in the park happening every two weeks or so. Not to mention, great clubs and bars like Apollo, Les Enfants Brilliants, Razzmatazz, Curtis Bar and loads more.”
Can you give a bit of background on your career in music, as I understand that you are also the vocalist for quite a successful band?
“I have been working with a band called Tora since I was 15 so that takes us to a decade now. I got into dance music over the years through the shows and festivals we played. We as Tora have been working on our fourth record here in Spain, near Girona in the countryside. It’s been a great experience. At a certain point a few years back, I felt the need to release some of my own solo music, and today I’m following that up!”
Talk me through your solo music, and some of your main inspirations?
“I’m really inspired by the vibrant music scene of my home in Australia. The people there are so talented, if it weren’t for them, I don’t know if I’d be doing this. On top of that, I take inspiration from my favourites, at the moment some of those are Machinedrum, Joy Orbison, Overmono, Sputnik One, Floating Points, Moderate and Villager.”
‘Make Me Understand’ is your new single, can you talk me through the concept of the track, and what inspired the lyrics?
“’Make Me Understand’ is a song about dreams, the strange characters you play in them, and the amazing yet bizarre places you visit each night. I had a particularly vivid period of dreams last summer in Barcelona and found some recurring themes which feature in the lyrics of my new single. I believe dreams should be talked about more, and that they hold some secrets to solving our problems.”
I understand that this is the debut single from a mini album that you are releasing towards the end of this year, what more can you tell us about that project?
“Yes, that’s correct, there will be more solo tracks coming over the next few months. They are coming out on Gallery Recordings, which is an amazing imprint based in Sydney, and they have signed some of my favourite artists. There will be more tracks with a similar sound to ‘Make me understand’ and also some tracks that are more dancefloor focussed. I’m excited to share them with the world, as already there has been so much great support!”
I’d love to learn more about your studio set-up, and if you use mainly software or hardware, as there is often a lot of debate about which is better?
“I primarily use hardware, some of my go-to bits of equipment are mostly synthesisers, including the DSI 0B6, Moog Sub 378, DSI P12 module and Korg Milnilogue XD. I also have live instruments including a beautiful 100-year-old Bechstein piano that I’m lucky enough to have in the apartment I’m renting, and of course, all my guitars/effect pedals.”
What inspired you to make some solo music, as it sounds like your band Tora is also doing really well. It would also be great to know what else is forthcoming from both projects?
“I was inspired to make some solo electronic music by the vibrant dance music scene in Europe, as it really got me inspired on my first tour in 2015. Since then, I’ve been in love! Both projects are running and busy, as mentioned Tora is currently working on its 4th record, and I’m starting to release new solo tunes again! So, I’m happy both projects are going so well.”
It’s been great talking with you today, is there a message for fans or anything else you wish to add before we finish?
“Great talking to you, and thanks for taking the time to chat! I hope everything digs deeper into their dreams and starts chatting about it with their friends. Sleep is essential, and we should all try to understand our dreams better, as it’s a great way to be in touch with our inner selves!! Thanks so much, and I hope everyone enjoys my new single ‘Make Me Understand’.”
‘Make Me Understand’ is out now via Gallery Recordings, and you can buy a copy HERE.