June 03 2015
Out of the sun soaked sands of the Southern California desert comes Lincoln Jesser, an artist/producer who combines melancholia, euphoria, and honesty to create tight dance pop records as conducive to long solo car rides as they are to prime time festival stages. Born and raised minutes from what would become the famed Coachella Music Festival, Lincoln gravitated towards music at a young age, and gradually worked his way from simple guitar songs to indie rock bands to electronic music after being spiritually and artistically awakened by legends across the musical spectrum, from The Strokes and The Killers to Daft Punk and Justice.
Determined to realize his potential, Lincoln declined an acceptance to study Economics at Yale University, instead moving to LA to pursue his musical career. Since then, Lincoln has steadily built up internet momentum, repeatedly topping the Hype Machine popular charts and garnering millions of plays of songs off his 2014 debut LP, Modern Color, such as "We'll Be Fine" "Something Right" "Tops" and "Wicked Son," to name a few.
Now, Lincoln is looking toward the future, working on what he feels is his best collection of music to date. His new single, In My Place is an infectious electronic-pop masterpiece that has already gained massive attention by reaching #3 on Hype Machine.
Hi Lincoln, Thanks for taking the time out to chat with us. Tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm a post-post-modern quantum spiritualist who still enjoys a good party. I live in Los Angeles and I'm the father of a dog.
How did you get into writing music?
I would run around waving a stick like a conductor when I was really little…so it's always been in me. But I got an 8-track recorder for my 13th birthday, and my first recording with it was an acoustic version of Green Eyes by Coldplay that I hoped would help me win over my crush. It worked. Haven't stopped since.
You were previously in a band called 'Technicolor Wolves', how did the that project transition to your solo work?
Tech Wolves was my high school indie/garage synth-rock band (I was the singer/guitarist). It was just me and my close friends learning how to play and write together, but it turned into something our friends, and then their friends, really latched onto and made real. Packed backyard shows every weekend. An epic performance at our senior prom's highly illicit after party. Real support from our valley, which I will never forget. I was so filled with ideas that I wanted to share with the rest of the band for new music that I started recording my own demos. When I realized how much potential the electronic format had, coupled with the fact that the band went separate ways upon graduating, it was a natural progression.
How did the track 'In My Place' come about?
In My Place is me trying to articulate the conflicted emotions I've dealt with in recent relationships…the strange clashing of guilt and relief one feels when they go through "detached" phases of life. Basically, I'm in love with music right now, and it's hard for anything or anyone new to break through. With IMP, I did my best to express all that, while still trying to make something that would hit hard and deep in the clubs.
Your music video for 'In My Place' features the mind blowing dance moves of Franchesca Bass, how did you link up with her for the video? My management and I reached out to a few dance agencies with a general idea in mind…I knew I wanted someone striking, with unconventional beauty…and when they suggested Franchesca we all saw it right away. Her unique, sleek aesthetic coupled with the grace of her dancing helped give the video that stark, vulnerable, visceral feeling we had hoped for.
Where do you draw your inspirations from? What artists are inspiring you the most?
There's someone new inspiring me so often these days…and I find so many incredible one-offs on Soundcloud, etc…but Duke Dumont, Cashmere Cat, and Alina Baraz/Galimatias have been doing it for me lately.
You grew up in LA, not far off the region where Coachella is held, have you experienced Coachella before? I'm actually from a small city called La Quinta, just 10 minutes from the festival…so yeah, I've gone every year except this last year since I was 13 (so 10) years. It's been incredible to see the festival mature into what it is today. And I can hold my own against almost anyone when it comes to live experience variety.
Tell us a bit about your live setup?
The music I'm making as I evolve is becoming more equipped to the dance format than the live/pop format, which suited my older material a bit better…so expect a shift towards the realm of DJing. My voice works on some songs, but some of the new music I'm making features other incredible vocalists, so expect more focus on inspired visuals and other experience-based additions to the set than live singing/instrumentation. With the live setup, my focus is on creating the deepest connection with the crowd and tapping into the individual vibe of each show to put on a warm, soulful high-energy dance party every time.
How do you describe the music that you make?
Music to dance to. Music to drive to. Music for your friends. Music for your lovers.
Where do you think your music sits in the electronic landscape?
It's Emotional Dance Music. E(mo)DM [lol]. But everything I make is shaped by my love and respect for pure "pop" music as well. Technology guarantees that the sonics of electronic music will continue changing, and the sounds that are hot now are likely to sound dated in no time at all. So the way I see it, it's the song driving that music that has the potential to stand the test of time. So with this new music I have coming up, I hope people can get down with me at festivals and still want to throw it on at their parties 10 years down the road.
What are you hobbies outside of music?
My 2 year old puppy Ike, is basically an 85 pound person, so we kick it pretty much all day. Hiking (the best part of LA), lifting, and yoga. And I'm a big huge film geek, martial arts and sci-fi in particular.
Pizza, Burgers or Burritos?
I'm a SoCal boy: burritos, of course.
In My Place is out on Astrx/Ministry of Sound on June 5, 2015