Ukraine In Focus : The Lazy Jesus / UA Tribal

Ukraine in Focus… To celebrate our collaboration with Eurovision we are delving into the musical careers and minds of some of the amazing Ukrainian Artists and Projects that will be going live on Melodic Distraction this month.

Next up we have electronic music producer The Lazy Jesus who gives us a wonderful insight into his early musical experience, his eclectic mix of DJing and production styles!

1)    First of all, can you tell us about your first musical memory, whether that is the first record you ever bought or the time you first picked up an instrument!

My father was a musician. Even though I grew up without him, I think music was passed on to me by DNA, or maybe it’s just my mission from God in this incarnation. From my earliest childhood I developed an interest in music, I was sent to music school in the class of piano, which I hated studying classical music, but now I am aware of the profit that I received, because all my music I compose just through this instrument. After music school I went to jazz music college to study bass guitar.


2)    You are an incredibly talented electronic music producer, can you tell us how you might describe your music to someone who has not heard it before?

It’s probably not going to be easy, because in my solo work I don’t limit myself to being reclusive in one genre. My first release was more in the hip-hop direction with electronica, probably because of that they started to compare me with Flying Lotus. After that there were several releases in collaboration with different artists, more in indie new soul style. In the penultimate release I was more into the electronic sound, moving further away from the hip-hop rhythmic structures. And for today I’m doing something of modern ethno music with elements of Ukrainian folklore in my last project – UA TRIBAL. So my music is most likely for a listener who is always searching for something new, as well as myself. 


3)    Not only are you a producer, but you also play bass in a great band called Sensitive Content – can you give us an insight into how this live project influences your solo music production?

This is a very fresh project that we created less than a year ago, we had only two show. Before my period as a solo artist, I was an active session musician, playing in many bands in different genres, on bass and keyboards. But beyond that I always had my own bands in which I experimented, as I always had a passion for something new in me from an early age. One of those long-playing projects was New Brain Trio, where we were crossing improvisational freedom of jazz with electronic sound – we were outsiders in Ukrainian jazz scene, but took part in all major big jazz festivals in our country. In this band we created music completely improvised on stage without rehearsal. Now with Sensitive Content we dive into the field of drum’n’bass / jungle playing it as a fully live band, which also includes very interesting solo artists – Monoconda, Andrii Barmalii.


4)    As a music producer, can you tell us a bit about your production process and your favourite and least favourite parts?

I’m quite lazy, so there is no one particular universal formula for my creative process. There were long periods when I didn’t write anything, because often the action of creating a new track was triggered by some spiritual feeling that came into me, and I realized that this is it, I should sit down to create again – now I can do something worthwhile, or rather just be a translator of information sent from above. On the whole, my theory is that I am just a pencil in the hands of God.  

Most of all I like to work on the rhythmic drums basics in my tracks – it’s my passion. I love broken rhythms and I can drown in it like a child in a pool of chocolate. Often I even have to restrain myself to leave the listener some island of clarity. 


5)    I have seen that you have got a huge range of mixes including house, ethnic dance, afro house and UK broken beat! How did you into mixing so many different genres of music?

I’m just a total music lover, which is both a plus and a minus. Since it’s not always possible to individuate me with one genre for the audience. But my passion for music started when I was a kid, when children collected cars and gum stickers, I collected cassettes and CDs in completely different styles. That’s why in Kyiv I am known as a digger and breeder of interesting music in different genres.

That was one of the reasons why I ended up in the GRV GRV community, which brought together DJs who could not play their selections anywhere because it was not a format everywhere. Now our comuunity that gathers a large audience at its events, and in the ranks of which there are fresh young blood of interesting young artists from Kyiv, such as – Oi Fusk, Badwor7h, Chocollab, Figurat, Human Margareeta

Thanks to my good taste in music, I worked as A&R in the Kyiv label Masterskya – and it was my dream job, to look for diamonds in a bunch of applications from young artists sent to us. 


6)    Who would be your dream artist to play alongside?

I’m crazy about the harmonic beauty of London-based producer Vegyn. I love the way Baauer weaves ethnic world elements into his tracks, and I’m sorry that in the minds of many, he is labeled as Harlem Shake and nothing more. And I’d really like to collaborate with the Portuguese producers of the Principe label – they are totally crazy.


7)    What can our readers and listeners expect from your Melodic Distraction radio show?

This will be a mix of my new unreleased tracks for my project UA TRIBAL, this is a new part of the program in which I’m looking for a golden mean between Ukrainian ethnicity and modern dance rhythms, it is very different from the first tracks, which sounded wilder due to broken rhythms, here there is more emphasis on a clear dance component


8)    Finally, can you recommend 5 of your favourite Ukrainian artists/creatives at the moment for our readers to check out?

It’s a very small number, I think probably 20 would not be enough to list all the very worthy ones. But ok let it be:

Oi Fusk – one of the brightest freshmen in Kyiv

Hyphen Dash – the best band of new jazz in Ukraine

OTOY – Ukrainian rap mastodon
RUSIIIK – explosives of the new Ukrainian scene

MagistrMagii – crazy illustrator who makes my visual live shows