For our fourth Big Blue Session we had the pleasure of welcoming JFUN and Pithra from the Music.Art.Ppl Collective in Ottawa. The full collective consists of Corinne Blouin-Hudon, Eve Blouin-Hudon, Jordan David, Nick Hebb and Peter Albert. For this set, the live element they used was a Roland TR-8 drum machine. It was a very fun set, filled with cool lights and much dancing. Enjoy!
listen on SoundCloud here.
view on YouTube here.
JFUN& Pithra! Welcome to Studio Big Blue! Thank you for coming all the way from Ottawa!
Pithra (P): Thank you and this awesome space. It's really a blessing and an honor for us to be here. Being in nature is just so powerful; when you want to be creative, it's a good balance.
JFUN (J): I find that being here allows us to focus on the task at hand. It's a blessing and I agree that it's great being here.
How did you feel with your set today?
J: To be honest, it was very low stress and a lot of fun. It felt very natural. Peter and I have played together in the past, and it's something we’ve been developing over the years. I really loved the flow of the set, and it was great utilizing the drum machine.
How was it using that drum machine?
J: I've had the Roland TR-8 drum machine for four years, so I always look forward to having the chance to bring it out while I'm playing, I really enjoy adding extra spice to my sets. I'm used to playing instruments, so it's nice to get a few organic sounds during DJ sets.
For sure! I think it's very special to have those organic sounds. The whole idea behind the Big Blue Sessions is to have a live instrument. Although today wasn't a live instrument, instead, it was a…
J: A live element.
It was really cool, I really enjoyed the set. Thank you. So you guys don't only do B2Bs together, you also work together in the Music.Art.Ppl Collective?
How did you guys meet?
J: The first time we met was outside of Babylon, a nightclub in Ottawa that's been around for 20+years.
P: We met, but we didn't initially hang out.
J: Our second meeting was at Pithtra’s Birthday at Mercury Lounge. I remember our friend Michael Davidson was playing, and he began his set with a really amazing Latin track.
P: Months later, we all had a jam, and that's how the Collective was formed with Corinne Blouin-Hudon, Eve Blouin-Hudon, (myself) Jordan David, Nick Hebb and Peter Albert.
An electronic music jam?
J: No, it was more like everyone brought an instrument, and we would create. It was in my basement, we have visuals going, and it was grimy, to be honest, haha
P: That's when we all connected.
J: Yeah, and so that's when we started the collective. It started there, and it was honestly one of those things where you don't think much of it but then we hosted our first event.
I bet it was special.
J: It was special! From there, we just kept it going and threw events at different spaces, every month in our city. We did events in cafes, clubs, and moved on to the gallery spaces.
Amazing! Fast forward to this past year... Could you share some of the highlights?
P: For Music.Art.Ppl, in 2019, we began working with bigger organizations in Ottawa.
J: It's been great. For our second collaboration with the NAC, we were able to collaborate with their props team, and they have this basement space filled with vintage props from different era’s. We were privy to an amazing props team that has a lot of experience styling theatre events and plays in Canada. For our event we had the task of styling different areas. One was a 1920’s style living space that was remonstrant of a living room you would see in Paris. The other space was inspired by block party/ carnival.P: Yeah, all these antique items. People of all ages were interacting with it. I think that's the power of deco, that you can transform a space into anything! Whether it's a theme or different elements to engage people visually. Our collective really focuses on visual projections and live painting as core elements because we feel like everybody loves the music, but with visuals, you keep people engaged.
J: Yeah, and that's another way to include more people as well. Make it a community hub and space where we can share music and support artists we really like
P: But to actually answer the question… highlights!
Yes, thank you! Jajaja
P: XO Ball was a very cool event with the Ottawa Art Gallery. This event really allowed us to work with people we love like Dems & Dolls and create something huge. It was an event at the gallery, and they had a dance troop in the space interacting with people, and we had the music, visuals, living painting, there were structures where the projections were mapped onto them... It was very special.
J: It was!
P: Before that, there was ECHOES Vol 1, which is a new series that we started at Saw Gallery. We had Niko Schwind and Djuma Soundsystem that night. We really lucked out. It was a very unique night, and we also had a really amazing local funk band called The Lionyls! Its milestones like that are powerful.
J: Yeah, it's been a natural growth in our community and for 2020 we want to collaborate more. We want to see where we can take this idea and expand it. I'm really excited. I look back at 2019, for me as a DJ and I since I began Djing with the collective, I've had so much support from my peers. It's been nice to see myself and my friends grow. It's truly a wonderful thing.
What about you Pithra?
P: On a personal level, 2019 was about opening up to music creation. Jordan and I have been pushing each other to create. It's essential to create and be ok with sharing even when something isn't perfect. I think that was a big lesson for me last year.
J: I can attest to that. I used to play in bands and often we would write these amazing songs but we never really shared them. It's important to make art and have that outlet regardless, but it's nice to share with friends. It's been a huge growth leap.
It's part of the process of being an artist. Trying to let go of that perfectionism and recognizing that it's not that it's not all perfect, rather that it's not where you want it to be yet. I think it's a different narrative, and getting others to see it or listen to it really can help you find ways to take the song where you want it to go.
J&P: Yes, that makes a lot of sense.
So y'all are based in Ottawa, how is the crowd in Ottawa?
J: I think it's great. We're throwing events that are different, and our crowd is really supportive and it's expanding.P: There are a lot of cool events in Ottawa, but you kind of have to be in the know. Like some people know where to be and when. I feel like the Ottawa scene is still very niche, but there is more exposure to art in general. Like sometimes people come to events not because of the music, but because of the live painting.
Nice. So the last question to each of you... what are you trying to communicate with your music?
P: For me, it's how I am feeling. I remember that somebody had passed away, and my mind was reflecting on that. I walked into a gig, and all I wanted to do was play emotional deep house tracks with vocals as sort of like a tribute to that person. That was my way of sharing and grieving. For me, it's about what I am listening to at the moment, how I am feeling, and the space I am in.
J: I like to have a dreamy aspect. I like the way that feels on the dance floor. I really like percussion too. In terms of messages, I try to keep it positive. I try to write about things that have happened to me but in a therapeutic way, easy to relate to.
Anything else you would like to add to this interview?
P: We have many events coming up!
February 7th- Jesse Zotti, who is someone we really look up to, is coming to Mercury Lounge, one of our favorite spaces to throw events in Ottawa. We are really excited about a piece of Montreal to be in Ottawa.
April 18th, Hicky and Kalo at Mercury Lounge
May 9th, ECHOES Vol 2.
Thank you so much!
Learn more more about Music.Art.Ppl: https://musicartppl.com/
Listen to JFUN: https://soundcloud.com/jfun-1
Listen to Pithra: https://soundcloud.com/pithra