It’s difficult to classify the genre-explorative sound of the Ottawa-based group Garçons – which is kind of the point. Their music is felt as well as heard, weaving in and out of genres with little resistance and pure finesse. The emerging duo, comprised of musicians Deelo and Julian Strangelove, are fans of originators, artists who are not afraid to stand out: James Brown, Nina Simone, Pharrell, Outkast and Erykah Badu. To no surprise, the unquantifiable characteristic that made the aforementioned artist who they are today is the spear-head of Garçons musical profile; no barriers or stipulations, just music that makes you feel.
Garçons first surfaced with their single, “Numba One” released in May of 2018. Incorporating crisp claps, subtle steel-drum patterns and bright vocals, the eclectic duo revels in an island-like energy. The vibe-teaming sound is a resounding and deceiving introduction into a group whose musical facet goes way beyond one style. Before the single’s release, Garçons shared a brightly colored, charismatic video that successfully aided in introducing the dynamic duo to the world.
A month would pass until Garçons released their second single, “Little Things.” Best described as a sonic embodiment of a disco ball, the duos follow-up record reintroduces the neon-lit roller rink energy of the disco era. This revolving carousel of sound reaffirms the groups commitment to originality and standing out. The obvious familiarity with a wide range of genres expressed on their second single made the anticipation for their third single incredibly grueling.
Switching things up, Deelo and Julian Strangelove decided to slow things down for their third and final single, “Pink Dress.” Focusing on the rosy felicities of love, Garçons paints a mesmerizing picture atop glittery production and soulful serenading. The group’s image-invoking performance, dedicated to “the angel in the pink dress,” is yet another incredibly successful showcasing of their musical range and ability.
Garçons debut EP, Body Language, was shared a few short weeks after their final single in late July of 2018. The debut begins with the aforementioned singles sequenced in the order of their release, each record becoming reborn amidst the 26-minute exhibition. To no surprise, the thematic ideals of originality that birthed the previous releases are fully present throughout the rest of the debut.
“Fly Solo,” the seven-track EP’s halfway mark, is a departure from the groovy arrangements of its predecessors. Deelo uses this gleeful medley-interlude to recount a magical night of bliss, infatuation and future charm. This brief moment of idling preps the stage for the debut’s following record “Hang with Us,” a soft and subtle jazz-infused, bass-thumping production that rides in tandem with the welcoming attitude of the song’s subject matter.
The second to last record on the seven-track EP is none other than the body-rocking orchestration of “Take It Slow.” Backed by Pharrell-reminiscent production and sexy lyricism, Garçons come together to effectively turn up the temperature for its listeners. This masterful concoction is without a doubt the steamiest record on the debut comprised of piercing falsettos, soulful scatting and rumbling bass.
Garçons close their stellar introductory debut with “Morning,” a funk-filled lo-fi ballad that leaves a lingering sweetness. This light-hearted closer brings an end to an incredible body of work. Body Language is a towering affirmation of Garçons’ ideals: be original. The powerful pairing of Deelo and Julian Strangelove is one we are beyond excited to watch flourish.
We had the pleasure to catch up with Garçons about being human, the making of Body Language, and their fanboy love for music.
OTW: First, thank you both for taking the time, I’ve been really excited to catch up with you guys. Let’s start at the beginning, how did you two meet one another?
Garçons: It happened pretty naturally. We were both doing our own things in the beginning and then somehow the universe just brought us together and it’s been dope ever since (laughter).
OTW: It really be like that, for those new to your music, what would you tell them about it?
Garçons: Don’t think, just take it in. We’re not trying to do anything, not trying to be anybody or make people think, it’s up to them. If they take something from the music - whatever that may be - like a certain type of feeling that’s great. We are happy as long as they feel comfortable that’s what’s awesome.
OTW: Well the music is super eclectic, who did you guys listen to that helped shape your artistry?
Garçons: We are both big lovers of James Brown, Nina Simone, Frank Ocean, Outkast, Tribe Called Quest, Pharrell, Bob Dylan and Erykah Badu.
OTW: I find that so cool because not only can you hear those influences in the music but it sounds, at least from what I gather from the music, like they also influenced your decision to remain creatively open minded.
Garçons: For sure! I think if you list all those artists that’s something they definitely share in common. It’s just about being weird, being original and not being afraid to be weird honestly.
OTW: What do you want people to know about you two?
Garçons: We’re just two very normal guys and hopefully people can relate to that. Just be human we’re not special or anything we’re just having fun making music.
OTW: Jumping into the music you guys recently released a new music video for your single, “Froggin,” and before that “Pedigree.” Could we take the new visuals as a sign that new music is on the way?
Garçons: Yeah! We are going to put out another EP - seven songs again - in September sometime and “Pedigree” and “Froggin” are the first two singles. We are hoping those songs represent us coming to terms with our own originality. With the previous project you can see influences on every song and with this one we are really trying to create our own sound, so hopefully those first singles are a good example of that.
OTW: Speaking of Body Language, was there anything you were listening to on the side while making it?
Garçons: That one was special because that was the first time we ever really took the time to work together - we pretty much wrote all those songs in a month in my apartment. The cool thing about it was that there was no Wi-Fi for most part so couldn’t listen to music but it was pretty cool (laughs). It’s hard to pinpoint anything, it’s just everything we were individually listening to at some point mixed in and what came out we thought was dope - stuck with that and just tried to push that sound further and further.
OTW: Being that both of you have experience in production and recording, what was that process like?
Garçons: It’s pretty much back and forth whatever each of us can add to the song at the time we work on it and sometimes he records himself sometimes I record him sometimes he will play an instrument and sometimes I’ll do it. It’s more than me making a beat and he just recording on it. It’s really a process – sometimes it’s slow sometimes fast but it’s never the same - I know a lot of artists say that and it sounds cliché but it really is that way (laughter).
OTW: Besides the new EP that is on the way, should we keep our eyes out for anything else from you guys?
Garçons: A lot of those songs on the upcoming EP will have videos for sure. In terms of tour and all that stuff not really at the moment. We are playing a lot of shows in Toronto and Ottawa and in September we will be in Montreal for the first time. We are very excited about that but right now we are just trying to take it day by day - going with the flow. Really just excited to have people see and hear the new stuff we have coming out.
OTW: Alright last question, are there any artists you are listening to right now that we should know about? Who are your Ones To Watch?
Garçons: Burna Boy! We are opening for him next week - it’s going to be awesome. Love the new Blood Orange stuff personally and Steve Lacy. We are listening to a lot of our own music at the moment though (laughter) since we are in the process of mixing it but obviously keeping an eye out for other music dropping. Our ears are always open, we love hearing new music and seeing new artists come up and we are both such fanboys - we know so many artists and songs by heart and just big fans of everything.