Q&A: Black Saint

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The West London trio known as Black Saint are creating a buzz online with their distinctive, razor-sharp brand of electronic soul, hip-hop and house – their much-admired track, ‘Could You Love Me’ has clocked up five million Spotify streams so far.  ‘ASBO’ checked in with DJ, Jermaine and Justin ahead of their eagerly anticipated DJ set at London’s Koko on 8th of April to chew the fat about influences and inspirations, music formats and platforms and their creative ambitions.

ASBO: What music did you guys listen to when you were growing up, what were your influences?

BLACK SAINT (BS): Growing up we listened to a lot of old-school soul and funk music from our parents’ collections, stuff like Michael Jackson, Motown, Curtis Mayfield and James Brown, with some classical, hip-hop and country thrown in.

ASBO: When did the band form?

BS: We’ve been jamming and making music for years; Jermaine was in an electro-punk band, but officially Black Saint has been in existence for about 18 months.

ASBO: What do you think about the changing landscape of music and the importance of streaming for up and coming acts like yourselves?

BS: Streaming has changed the whole framework of music, it’s opened up whole new audiences to bands that they wouldn’t normally have heard of and has given us a much better chance of getting our message out to the world. We are focused on the music, we are not too focused on the numbers. If the music is of a good quality then people will find you.

ASBO: What’s the ethos behind Black Saint?

BS: Integrity! As musicians we aim to reach an audience by not wasting our platform and making the most of what we have, we want to make people dance and don’t want to talk a lot of nonsense.

ASBO: Where do you see yourselves in terms of the spectrum of music and scenes, to whom do you compare yourselves?

BS: The Prodigy, Basement Jaxx, Groove Armada, these are the people we’d like to be associated with and who’ve been like role models. Those artists who go between the genres but with a continuity of form. The artist Kaytranada is someone we identify with too, his ability to juggle different styles.

Check out Black Saint’s much-streamed cut, ‘Could You Love Me’

Michael Sumison