Semi Precious – aka producer/vocalist/whizkid Guy Baron – makes the kind of atmospheric, electronic R&B that you’ll be gutted your life was missing.
What started as a bedroom project whilst studying at the prestigious Goldsmiths University, 2016’s stellar debut record Ultimate Lounge secured Baron as one of South East London’s finest musical exports from an already-thrilling and thriving scene.
Here he teams up with fellow SE Londoner’s A House In The Trees, the collective formed within the much-hyped partying/musical collective The Rising Sun. The result is a reworking of No Distractions from his debut, switching up the woozy, atmospheric original for a trip-hop, string-laden slow jam. Both artist and remixers are set for a co-headline show at Elephant & Castle’s hot-spot Corsica Studios on 5 April (which we’d highly recommend getting on down to.) More information for the event can be found right here.
In line with the release of the new reworking, Semi Precious debriefs us on the collaboration, his own material and South East London’s enviable creative scene at present:
HISKIND: How did this collaboration between The Rising Sun and yourself come about?
Semi Precious: We’re all Goldsmiths graduates and based in Southeast London, so I’ve known The Rising Sun gang and wanted to join forces with them for quite some time. I like their multidisciplinary approach (their collective comprises artists working in various mediums) and open-mindedness, and we also share a soft-spot for 1990s, trip-hop-y electronica, so that also fed into our joint work. The guys actually approached me with the remix at the same time I wanted to approach them regarding a recently released video for the same track, so the collaboration turned into a bigger project than what we initially thought it would be.
As a Goldsmiths graduate, has there ever been a sense of pressure to live up to the vast list of alumni?
Well, I guess that the reason I chose to study is Goldsmiths in the first place was some of its graduates and the musicians it’s associated with. I still find some of them quite inspirational, but I try to steer away from measuring myself in relation to others. Obviously that’s not always possible, but I do think that it’s extremely important to be focused on your own creation rather than constantly comparing yourself to other people – that can be rather distracting.
South London holds a thrilling musical legacy, what is currently making the scene more exciting than ever?
I currently can’t imagine myself living anywhere else – it is indeed an amazing place for musicians and artists to live and create in and there are always loads of interesting things happening. For the time being the local scene in Southeast is still somewhat communal and it’s rather exciting to feel as if you’re taking part in shaping a scene-in-the-making.
Now that the debut record is out the way, is there a slight fear of ‘second album syndrome’ at all?
I suppose that the fear of failing to live up to previous expectation is something that’s always there – but I think it’s fair to say that I’m still at the beginning of my journey, so I try not to stress about it too much and allow myself to get lost in and enjoy the process. In general I think that musicians’ development isn’t always a linear thing – you can only work with what you’ve got at a certain point of your life and that’s the beauty of it, in my opinion. I’m actually in the process of recording new materials with my live band, which is quite a new thing for me, so I’m actually quite looking forward to see how this unfolds and develops into a body of work.
What do you think makes for a great remix?
I personally like reworks that are stylistically bold and perhaps not the banger-type-of-remixes (even though that’s also fun sometimes). I also think that awareness to the original track’s intentions and lyrics is important to some degree, even if the remix has a completely different vibe to it.
And what would your favourite remix of all time be?
That’s a hard one! My forever-favourite track is Herbert’s Leave Me Now, and I love Recloose’s take on it, so I think I’ll go with that.
Take a listen to the track below. A previous collaboration between Semi Precious and The Rising Sun came in the form of the trippy neon visuals for No Distractions which is well-worth having a watch below.
Semi Precious and A House In The Trees play Corsica Studios on 5 April with tickets available from here.