First Beige, an up-and-coming six-strong ensemble, is arguably Brisbane’s leading group within the intriguing “70’s fusion of jazz and house” genre (as lead singer David would describe it).
Their unique sound screams “dense chords and positive vibes” and channels big names like Jye Paul, Stan Getz and Flying Lotus.
This week, we had a chit chat with their lead singer David about their recent signing with New World Artists and bookings for The Squeeze festival and Gizz Fest.
We heard about your recent signing with New World Artists, how does it feel to be represented by the same group as some of Aussies big names like Allday and Mallrat?
Since then it’s been pretty flat out, so I haven’t actually had the chance to think much about it. But it’s definitely pretty cool to finally get onto a booking agent. It’s that surreal sense of recognition, like, okay, we are getting somewhere, okay we are gaining traction. I think overall it really just gave us hope for the future.
What was it like finding out?
It was actually more something we have been working towards for a while, our manager works for New World Artists so we knew if we just kept it going, kept the ball rolling, working hard, that we would get there eventually. But it was still super exciting. I think it was more exciting seeing people’s reactions: I put the post up on Instagram and we got this huge response – it was a weird feeling,
Your new single ‘Desire’ just landed today, what should those who haven’t heard it yet, expect to hear from this track?
Desire is us trying to write more moving, driving rhythms with hooks. Going towards that new jazz, unlike the traditional stuff. Something that catches your eye, has dense chords and overall is just positive vibes.
You have a fair few exciting gigs coming up in your home town of Bris, including Big Sound, any plans to visit your fans in the rest of Australia?
Yeah, we’re doing a lot actually, I probably couldn’t tell you all of it. But we are going on a tour in a couple of weeks, going around Australia, along the coast and Hobart which is pretty cool, to be able to take our sound there, somewhere completely different that we haven’t been before. We’re also hoping to do some shows over in Europe. It would be pretty cool to be able to play shows and see the world at the same time. That’s the ultimate dream.
Your BigSound performance, what should people who have never been to a First Beige gig, expect to see?
Well, they’re pretty short-sharp sets of about 25 minutes so you’ll see the real thing with super-high energy. We plan on just going in hard and hitting everything from start to finish, which is exciting to be able to do. We did a rehearsal before and got the timing perfectly, so we aren’t worried about the flow.
There is something very 70’s, 80’s disco/electronic vibe about First Beige’s sound, how would you describe it?
That’s a hard one – I don’t think there is one way to describe us, but I like the term new jazz, almost 70’s jazz… it’s a fusion of 70’s jazz and house really. I think it’s something different that hasn’t been done before which I really like. It’s funny, when we upload songs to SoundCloud, you’ve got about 20 genres to choose from and every time I just scroll through trying to figure out what to pick and end up just going with something random.
Do you have a favourite/stand out gig in your career so far? Or do you think the best is still yet to come?
Our launch for the single ‘Details’ earlier in the year. I think when you don’t have crazy expectations, that’s the best. We went in just like this will be the single launch, it’ll be a good night, it’ll be fun. But it ended up being packed, everyone was stoked and super high energy.
Is it a lot of pressure to get a big crowd?
It can be, but I don’t really think about it. It was cool to have that launch at the Brightside, we have played Foundry heaps (which I love) but it was good to have a different vibe, because I feel like you channel that in your performance.
We obviously spoke about your music being pretty unique and not really fitting into one genre, so who do you think are your biggest influences on First Beige’s sound?
I feel like in the core, Jai Paul. His whole approach to music is something I’ve never heard, sometimes it’s a lot and sometimes it’s not. There’s something about an artist that does something really different.
But in our sound, definitely a bunch of 70’s jazz people, some Brazilian music like Arthur Verocai, Stan Getz, Tori, Flying Lotus. We definitely take a lot from the UK jazz scene, it’s pretty huge at the moment, all their sounds are doing something special.
Are there any artists on the Big Sound line up that you are excited to see?
Oh, definitely Love Deluxe, love his stuff so much. Really hoping for the full band though, because sometimes he does just the DJ set, but still, it’s pretty dancey stuff. But we won’t have much time to see many unfortunately, I think we are playing like 5 or so showcases which will be good rehearsal for the tour.
What is your best festival tip or advice for festival-goers?
Be safe with what you’re doing. It’s really scary that planning to go to one festival to have a good time ends up being pretty bad sometimes. The drugs and all of that can be pretty bad. Especially seeing heavier bands, people get trampled on, it’s scary. I once saw King Gizz in the mosh and it was nuts.