homies: Hi Gaspar, first of all: How are you? Where are you located and how do you cope with the current situation?
Gaspar: I’m ok! I’ve had some ups and downs lately. I went back to Switzerland, where I grew up, in mid-March. I was so privileged to be able to: having access to nature made a huge difference during confinement. I’ve been writing new music which I’m really excited about and I’ve been cooking a lot – homemade pizza is the absolute best. On a more challenging side though, I’ve been trying to understand my role in an anti-racist future, and learning about my privilege as a white guy in the music industry. Super important stuff to my eyes but I can see that there’s work to be done! In the music industry and beyond, actually 🙂
homies: True words! It is a really challenging time, but also time so slow down and to deal with issues that we’re normally not facing off. And I totally understand the part with cooking and pizza – same here 😉 Maybe not the most serious question, but what is your favorite pizza? 🍕
Gaspar: Exactly! So lately I’ve been going for crudo, mascarpone (use little of it otherwise it’s overpowering) and homemade pesto. Great success!
homies: Hahaha love it 😀 You also can’t go wrong with arugula 😉 But coming back to you: You are born and raised in Switzerland and now you are living in London (normally, even if you are in Switzerland at the moment). Why did you choose London when „London is cold, London is grey“?
Gaspar: I originally went to London for university – I studied popular music at Goldsmiths, where I graduated in 2018. I stayed for the vibrant community of artists, the museums and, not to be redundant, the food! London is cold and grey, but it’s a city that can give you a lot of energy and inspiration. I always cherish the fact that I can go back to Switzerland though. I have collaborators that I love working with here, too. The Swiss rapper Nepthune and the visual artist Ulysse Berdat are two examples?
homies: Totally understand! A big city can give you a lot of inspiration. Can you tell us a bit more about your education at Goldsmiths University of London? Did your studies influence you as musician and your creative process?
Gaspar: Goldsmiths was amazing in many ways. Having the opportunity to be in London for three years is the first. The people in my class were also the most inspiring bunch of musicians I’ve met: all so passionate and talented. Art school can also be a bit of a bubble, and it took me some time to adapt to what the real world actually is after I graduated, but I think having had the opportunity to be creative without thinking of consequences for three years was freeing and forced me to find out what I really want to say and what sound I was going for. I try to keep this in my writing process. When I arrived at goldsmiths I was doing ambient downtempo, and acoustic pop, and figured out I actually wanted to merge the two during the process.
homies: Seems like the University really was a milestone for you and helped you to develop and to find your way! If you have to describe your music with 3 emojis, which ones would you choose?
Gaspar: That’s a tough one!
👨🚀 🌍 🥀 This was actually really challenging hahaha
homies: Haha even more challenging: Why did you choose those?
Gaspar: Good question! I think an astronaut on earth feels like a sad little romantic idea. The flower seems beautifully withered, a reminder of our ephemerality. I went to art school did I mention?!
homies: That’s maybe the best answer we received in our interview history 👍
Now moving to real art! Your new EP “Transatlantic” – a very personal piece, and a roller coaster ride of your personal experiences and emotions. Can you tell us a bit more about your new EP and the process of formation?
Gaspar: I worked on this EP for the past year and a half. It was the period of adaptation post-university I mentioned. It was a solitary process in writing apart from my friend Evie Ziegler who played violin on each track, and Nathan Cox who played additional guitars and bass and piano on Sit Here. The aim of this EP was to force me to go out of my comfort zone and sing – a bad experience with a singing teacher had made me scared of it.
homies: May we ask what kind of bad experience it was? Sorry that I keep coming back to food but look what I’m cooking right now:
homies: My gosh… It looks delicious! 😍🤤 In Austria we’re saying: „Mahlzeit!“
We really should do another interview based on food tipps and tricks! I got an excellent recipe for a sweetpotato sandwich.
homies: I really love the song “Sit Here“ from your new EP. It’s on heavy rotation right now. The combination of the lyrics and the punctual well-chosen beats is great! I read that you have recorded the lyrics with cassettes and with your mobile phone. It is true? How did you get that idea?
Gaspar: That sounds so good! Danke sehr!
Thanks so much for the kind words!
The use of cassettes and iPhone recordings in „Sit Here“ and the entire EP was more practical than aesthetic at first! I couldn’t record on my computer anymore because the instrumental used too much of the processor. It also forced me to be spontaneous and use the ideas I had on the spot without fiddling too much and look for perfection all the time.
homies: I think you couldn’t have done it much better! On your last song „Friend“ you gave a promise to yourself. What promise was that and do you still stick to it?
Gaspar: You’re right, Friend was a promise to myself! I’m not the kindest with myself usually, and this song is a way of saying: « hey Gaspar, let’s be friends. I know we tend to hate each other, but we’re in this together, I got your back. » (yes I talk to myself hahah)
homies: We are on the home stretch! How do you experience the music scene in Switzerland vs. London?
Gaspar: I think going back and forth is a real blessing. Switzerland has lots going on, too. Just yesterday I was the biggest synth collection in the world, in Fribourg, at the SMEM (Swiss Museum for Electronic Music), which is such an inspiring place. You can actually try a lot of the synths available! I was also invited in an old lime kyln in Saint-Ursanne last summer, for an artistic residency called Les FAC. It was so inspiring to explore this old factory alongside fifteen artists for two weeks.
London is obviously outstanding and so vibrant and diverse. You can find so many inspiring people doing so many different things. There’s this event company called Resolution who run immersive experimental shows with 360 visuals for example. Some of the most beautiful events I’ve been to!
homies: The museum sounds like, we have to visit this place with homies: soon!
Gaspar: You should, it’s an amazing space! That’s only one of four rows haha
homies: You just released your „Transatlantic“ EP. What’s next in your personal life and life as an artist?
Gaspar: I’ll be going back to London in August I think. Right now I’m writing new music. I have a single coming mid-July, which is in the vibe of a collab EP that I plan to release later this year. They’re songs that are more produced, less singer-songwriterish than Transatlantic, and all written with a selection of musicians I admire a lot! 🙂
homies: Really looking forward to it! Before I will ask you our last question, we got 5 statements to complete.
I’m Gaspar Narby and I…
Gaspar: I’m Gaspar Narby and I love to have a can of coke in the am. I don’t have a PlayStation but if I did, I’d buy Need For Speed Most Wanted.
homies: You went to an art school, didn’t you? 😉
Gaspar: How did you guess???
homies: (Insert magic GIF here)
As we have talked so much about food, we will finish this interview with the following question: What’s your favorite meal?
Gaspar: I mean, can anything beat homemade lasagna? It’s just such an amazing dish!
homies: True words have been spoken! Gaspar, it was really a pleasure to e-meet you in this nice & funny interview! Also feel free to send me more food pictures – I have always an eye open to new food trends 😉 Give us a shout out, when you are in Austria, we will show you some traditional dishes and of course musicians. Have a great day!
Gaspar: Thank you so much for time and insightful questions! Have a lovely weekend 🙌