It doesn’t take long to become one with the groove in Norwegian-producer, Jerry Folk’s hypnotic new release, “Sweetness On My Tongue.” The second single off his forthcoming EP, Leisure Tapes, is a synth-rich and funk-driven track, a vivacious ‘70s throwback yet fresh with splashes of modern production.
Press play and let the hypnosis begin, as you are gradually introduced to Folk’s funkadelic world with smooth-R&B tinged beats and dashes of a bright synthesizers. Once the vocals begin, Folk reveals the beauty of this sonic landscape, while the music builds and begins to envelop you. As we move into the catchy hook, Folk features multiple synth lines, all of which rise and fall, spiraling in various directions. Though this close attention to funk and R&B is off the beaten path for most EDM producers, the synthesis of these genres has become an essential element to Folk’s dynamic sound.
Boasting only 22 years of life, Folk has developed and continues to experiment with his style, having made significant strides in his professional career for several years now. At 15 he began dabbling in EDM, by 19 had released a slew of popular singles followed by his 2017 debut album, Purple Evenings. We got the chance to catch up with Folk to discuss his unconventionality in the genre, DIY tactics in jumpstarting his career, his new Prophet-6 and much more. Take a peek at the full interview below!
OTW: How did you get into electronic dance music? Did growing up in Norway affect your decision to start making music within that genre?
JF: When I was about 15, my friends and I started listening to a lot of electronic music through people like Røyksopp, Lemaitre and a lot of Latvian electro house from this website called LivingElectro. Both Lemaitre and Røyksopp are Norwegian so I guess growing up in Norway helped expose me to their music.
OTW: In past interviews you’ve mentioned having difficulty finding a place in Norwegian club culture because your music is neither techno/house nor underground. Do you feel that not fitting into a mold has helped you in your career? Do you still feel in between mainstream and underground?
JF: That’s right. There is definitely a bigger market in the US for what I’ve been making. I think not fitting into a mold has helped not feel stuck in a scene or sound and has allowed me to always experiment and push myself in new directions. It keeps me from getting bored with creating and not having to deal with writer’s block. On the other hand, I think maybe if I had an easier time defining it, it could help with growing my “brand” and identity as an artist.
OTW: Your music encompasses a wide array of genres including hints of R&B, hip hop, soul, funk, disco, etc. Who are your inspirations within EDM? How about outside of the genre?
JF: There are so many. My inspiration comes from all over the place. A lot of the UK artists like SBTRKT, TEED, Mura Masa and Disclosure. Definitely Soulection artists, especially Kaytranada, Sam Gellaitry as well as all the “sound-design” kids on SoundCloud. Outside of electronic music I get a lot of inspiration from listening to bedroom pop, James Blake, Tom Misch, Jamie Woon and Majid Jordan. I guess these guys make a lot of their music on computers too.
OTW: Anyone you’re dying to collaborate with?
JF: All of the above^ + A$AP rocky, The Weeknd, and Drake would be a dream.
OTW: You garnered your initial fanbase in a very DIY fashion. Can you tell us more about the journey of getting where you are now?
JF: Yeah I started out sending all of my music to a lot of blogs and every once in a while a blog would hit me back and post about it. Eventually that led to me charting on Hype Machine with some of my tracks which led to me getting management and a booking agent in the US. The music kind of randomly got most popular on the East Coast of the US so I decided to move there and have been able to tour there the past years. I’ve stayed independent the whole time so as my songs have gotten more popular on Spotify and so, owning all my music has helped me be able to make a living from it.
OTW: Tell us about your most recent co-headlining tour with SAINT WKND! What was it like collaborating with a fellow producer who has a similar flair for merging genres within EDM?
JF: It was definitely a fun experience. We played in around 24 cities in the US in about 6 weeks. A big learning experience and it was fun to meet new people that listen to my music in real life. It is exhausting too though. Not a lot of sleep and a lot of early flights. I’m a guy that enjoys being in the studio over playing a show any time but it’s good to get out there and find inspiration.
OTW: Any upcoming performances we can mark our calendars for?
JF: I’ve been taking some time off touring to focus on my EP and want to get a proper project out before I expose myself to crowds again. Hopefully, it will all fall in to place and I’ll have something nice to present by fall this year.
OTW: Are there any specific motivating factors behind your upcoming EP, Leisure Tapes?
JF: Pushing myself as an artist doing stuff I’m not too comfortable with. Taking more use of my songwriting and wanting to create a nice journey for people to listen to.
OTW: What was the inspiration behind “Sweetness On My Tongue”?
JF: I bought a Prophet-6 so I initially wanted to create a track using the Prophet for all the sounds. (apart from drums). My roommate, Bearson laid a really nice hook on the track to.
OTW: OTW: Who are some of your Ones to Watch?
JF: Bearson, Travis Bickle , Elujay , quickly quickly , Fieh to name a few.