A glistening fusion of silken noir and fresh candour, Auckland based queer pop artist Jack Panther returns with a lush new single SKI LIFT 001. Flowing with alt pop flavours and sharp vulnerability, SKI LIFT 001 is also accompanied by a bold visualiser, contrasting the heart-rending lyrics and melodics as Jack appears laying on the floor slowly bleeding out. SKI LIFT 001 also marks a peek into Jack’s impending new EP why don’t you come over? which is out today.
SKI LIFT 001 welds candid lyricism with a fresh-yet-moody sonic aesthetic, with alt pop whimsy coaxing you deeper and deeper into Jack’s intimate world via this schematic ballad. Inspired by alt-pop royalty like Joji, Troye Sivan, FKA Twigs and King Princess, SKI LIFT 001 also hints at the intimate wooze of James Blake amid sparse guitars and softly burgeoning soundscapes. Jack answers a few questions about the single and a little more on the EP.
How has the build-up been leading up to the release of the single SKI LIFT 001?
It’s been a lot of fun, I loved creating the visuals for this track. I always get nervous around release time and I think that’s probably because I just care a lot about the music I make. So many ups and downs but I do love it, when I get cute messages from people about my music it just makes everything week worthwhile.
Was the process of making your single as challenging as you thought?
Yes and no, writing SKI LIFT 001 was actually the very first time I had ever co-written. It was a challenge in a way letting someone else into your mind and your ideas but we also made the song in six hours because it all just fell into place.
Sonically, how would you describe your music?
Ooo in all honesty, it’s kind of project dependent and that’s something I’m really stoked about with the work I make – I try to make a world around the music I make. I find myself leaning more and more towards alternative/indie pop sound and I think that’s a lane I will always loosely fit myself in. I would say I also love sadder sounding music, meaning lyrics and melodies which I think can fit into my music too.
Who would you consider to be the biggest influence on your music and why?
A big influence on me was Amy Winehouse, I began listening to her when I was seventeen and it really shaped the way I viewed music, myself and the relationships I have with people. Like she states in her Back to Black album, there’s two ways you can go when you hit rock bottom – Back to Black, where you let yourself spiral. Or like in Tears Dry On Their Own where you pick yourself back up, grow and learn from your experiences.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
Keep trying, keep going. Don’t let things get you down, you just need to keep going.
What is the Jack Panther life story?
My mum often reminds me how as a kid I used to dance around and sing so much. I then thought at ten I was going to be an actor and then at fourteen it was pretty much just music and has always been since then. I knew it would be something creative but didn’t quite realise it was going to be in music. When I was fourteen I taught myself The Dog Days Are Over by Florence and the Machine. It was such an infectious song, I loved the way it made me feel. I think since then I just kept writing. I then had a couple of mentors growing up I just adored and really helped shape my understanding of writing and production, I’m so grateful to them.
At eighteen I did a year studying psychology, realised I was focusing more on music than studies and decided to study music instead. I entered music school as a writer and producer, then along the way picked up singing and became my own artist.
Are you looking to tour more broadly?
HELL YES! It’s my absolute dream to be able to tour for a career. I can’t wait to get on the road and have fun.
What’s next for Jack Panther?
EP is out June 3 whoop! I’m then off to Melbourne doing a writing trip for two weeks, then off to the UK in September for a month doing another writing trip. A bit up in the air but I’ll be in the studio heaps, doing what I love the most – making music.
Interview By Rob Lyon