Temptress talk shop with new music

Temptress, aka Vlad and Jess, are DIY handy-people coming straight out of South London with a mix of Dark Pop and R’n’B, you know the kinda stuff that they used to have on the radio when Tamagotchis came out… You know those little Japanese pet things… The ones you used to have to feed at midnight on a school night. Remember… Anyone?

First of all, how’re things going?
Hey! Really good thanks! 

What was the first instrument you got/learnt as a kid? If it isn’t what you play now, how do you think the experience helped you develop as artists?
Jess: Haha like most kids I think the first instrument I got was a recorder… I’m not sure it inspired so much but I got piano lessons quite early on and when I finally got a little keyboard to practice on at home, it was my go-to for inspiration and songwriting.. and as I got older and started producing using the keyboard was such an easy transition.

Vlad: I started off singing really young but didn’t play an instrument until a lot later. What really inspired me was picking up production and initially playing with loops etc. on logic express. It really motivated me to pick up the ukulele then guitar to start making musical parts myself to bring into productions. 

Where do you want your music to be heard?
Jess: Everywhere! I just want people to enjoy it, blasting from the speakers with the windows open so everyone can hear it. 

Vlad: haha definitely agree, but it’s also it an amazing feeling hearing your music played out in a public place. The first time I heard one of our songs out was in an H&M and it was a surreal experience. 

What brings you back to the table to write? What makes music so important to you?
Jess:  When I hear a sound that’s super cool, like when people I know show me a new synth or a new artist. Or when I’m super pissed off… literally words just seem to flow. What makes music so important to me is the feeling, it’s so emotive and I’m such an emotional person, it’s given me an outlet and a voice no matter what mood I’m. 

Vlad: For me, it’s quite similar, either if I’ve got something I can’t hold in, and want to communicate/ let go of. Or if I hear something really inspiring like seeing a band playing live and innovating in some way, it makes me want to step it up and experiment. Music is really important to me as it’s so broad in what it gives you, sometimes you can hear something that makes you just stop and think ‘how did they do that!’ Or other times someone says something that you completely relate to yet makes sense of it in ways you never thought of before. 

You each come from multi-national backgrounds, how does nationality impact your music? And what would you say your relationship to it is nowadays… considering you know… the B-word… 
Jess: I love being mixed race and the mixture of different cultures and backgrounds I’ve grown up with has been a huge influence on the type of music I make and who I am as an artist. I think Brexit is a load of shit that unfortunately has helped to push our wonderfully diverse country back into the dark ages and promote hate towards people who are different. 

Vlad: I feel really lucky to have grown up in London, surrounded by different cultures/ backgrounds as well as my own. That combined with the Internet has given me a really rich musical education and as gut-wrenching as the political situation is right now the people I surround myself with remain resilient and I’m hoping/praying it can still be turned around.   

When you find time to step back from your work, what fills up the gaps? And do hobbies or specific methods of relaxing help you focus creatively?
Jess: We run a production company, where we make videos, do photography, produce ..  I love working with other artist and learning from them and their experiences.  I also love to run about and just generally be active… I think it helps to clear the mind and focus. 

Vlad: We do keep busy and working on other projects can act as a kind of palate cleanser to come back to our own work with fresh ears. I’ve recently got back into sprinting that I used to do when I was younger and find it a great way to clear your mind of anything else.

What’s the plan for the year? Anything special in the pipeline? 
Jess: We have quite a few singles in the pipeline and little EP in the works.

Vlad: Yeah we’re really looking forward to having our most active year in music yet with lots of music, videos and live shows in the pipeline. Stay tuned.

Listen to Temptress on Spotify and Apple Music. Read the latest edition of our print magazine HERE.

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