UK duo Blonde have returned with an LGBTQ+ inspired summer anthem ‘Me, Myself & I’ featuring Bryn Christopher – a track all about the positive reflections of individuality, empowerment and self-respect with an immediate uplifting quality and the best towering vocals.
The musical pair, Adam Englefield and Jacob Manson, are better known for their three major hits: ‘All Cried Out’, ‘I Loved You’, and the Craig David collab, ‘Nothing Like This’ – all of which have been a-listed tracks on Radio 1, giving them a noted 200 million streams and 1.5 million domestic sales. As well as producing music together, they individually work on other projects within the industry with Jacob co-writing tracks for the likes of Ed Sheeran, Ella Eyre and The Vamps; whilst Adam runs his own record label, Night Beast, where he releases tracks from different emerging talent as well as DJing around the world.
After deciding to keep Blonde on the DL for a while, they are now back with a track and music video featuring some of today’s best influencers such as drag performer, Freida Slaves; feminist artist, Venus Libido; Club Kid/ DJ, Prince Jay Jay; and Noctis’ very own creative directors Joel Palmer and Theo Maddix. Back to their irrepressible best, we find out more about their latest hit, ‘Me, Myself & I’.
How did the two of you meet and when did you decide to become a musical duo?
We met via the internet, actually.
Adam: I was running a YouTube channel called Eton Messy at the time, which promoted House music. I was making music under the alias ‘Thieves’ and reached out enquiring if I could support some of his new music. We instantly hit it off and then a few months later I had a track I was making for my production alias Beluga. I sent it to Jake with the idea of a collab in mind, and the end result was ‘Talk To You’, our very first Blonde track!
The reason why we decided to put it out under a new name was because it sounded so unlike a Thieves or Beluga track, and so Blonde was born.
Adam: tell us a little bit about your record label Night Beast and the sorts of talent you look after?
Night Beast is my new baby. After my success with Eton Messy previously, I wanted to start a new project where I could curate club music that I love. 80% of the records I’ve released on the label so far have been those of my producer/DJ mates, which is great because I’m proud to be part of their journey but also it feels like we’re growing a real community around it. Recently we put on a couple of Night Beast events on in London and they were just so much fun. You can’t beat DJing with your mates and I think the energy really rubs off on the crowd as well. So far we’ve had releases from Endor, Biscits, Trutopia, Parx, Norwood & Hills to name a few.
Jacob: where do you draw inspiration from when writing?
I’ve always listened to a really diverse mix of different genres. I think really interesting music is often created when the edges of some of those genres overlap. In terms of concepts and lyric ideas, I usually draw from things which have happened in my own life or stories my friends have told me. If nothing’s really been going on then I’ll think about storylines in TV shows or films I’ve watched recently.
In response to the themes and messages shown in your latest music video – what advice would you give to people who are struggling to be themselves are having a hard time being accepted for who they are in society?
In order to truly be yourself, the first step is to truly know yourself. Generally, society focusses so much on looking outward; looking at the achievements of others, looking at where we as individuals, fit in to it all. If we spent more time looking inward we would better know and accept ourselves and in turn that would help us to know and accept each other. It’s not so much a case of marginalised individuals needing to change in order to fit in, it’s more about society changing in order to be less judgemental and more accepting.
Why do you think it is important to have LGBTQ+ representation in the media/ music industry?
We have always been aware of the institutional and societal injustices, both in women’s rights and the rights of people within the spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community.
Jacob: I personally feel that the fluidity of gender and sexuality reflects a more natural form of society and that all socio-cultural or socio-economic walls or barriers are unnecessarily polarising and function as the root cause of prejudice and discrimination.
In an ideal world, we would wholly do away with any sense of ‘otherness’ or ‘normality’ because those terms only function in order to exclude. As white, heterosexual males we have always felt a compulsion and a duty to empower voices which perhaps wouldn’t always be given the same platform to be heard. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to use major label music video budgets to showcase incredible LGBTQ+ talent and culture, which maybe wouldn’t usually be given as much of a spotlight.
What were your favourite moments when filming the music video for ‘Me, Myself & I’?
The filming of the music video was probably one of the most fun and flamboyant days of our lives. There were loads of great moments, as we were surrounded by so many huge characters! A favourite part was the catwalk scene though. People were taking it in turns to do the catwalk and everyone was trying to up the ante. So by the end everyone was seriously extra. We were both momentarily tempted to have a go but chickened out at the last minute!
Where has been the most unusual, funniest, or surreal place you’ve heard your music being played?
Adam: I was on a first date the other night and about an hour into it ‘Nothing Like This’ came on in the bar. I think I went bright red.
We were in a taxi together at the time and heard one of our tracks on the radio for the first time ever, that was such a good feeling. We got the driver to turn it up and had him singing along by the end.
Name a Blonde in the music industry that you would love to collaborate with?
Debbie Harry, who wouldn’t want to see Blonde ft. Blondie!?
Have you both got anything excited lined up that you want to share with us?
Jacob: I’ve written and co-produced the new Paloma Faith single ‘Loyal’ which I’m very excited about.
Other than that, we can’t wait to get more Blonde records out into the world!