UNBLOOM is the project of Jonathan Zarola and a couple weeks back we featured his new single ‘Lost Myself’. The track is the latest in a long line of reasons why you need to be keeping an ear or two on UNBLOOM, as he’s dropping some of the most exciting beats of the year. He is also a sweet little egg and I am very pleased to have had an interview with him! Enjoy.
Hey UNBLOOM, how’s it going? It’s going well! Been busy in the studio recording new material for myself and a bunch of other projects–just trying to stay on top of things before they somehow, inevitably, swirl out of control haha
First of all, how did you get into music? I started out as a drummer for jazz, funk, and indie bands. Those projects would occasionally head into the studio, and I found the process of recording and creating (often simultaneously) in that environment really appealing. Eventually, I realized that I could record my own ideas on a laptop. At the time of this discovery, Disclosure had just dropped their debut masterpiece ‘Settle’ and I knew almost immediately that wanted to make music that could move people.
You’ve recently dropped your new single ‘Lost Myself’. What can you tell us about it? ‘Lost Myself’ interrogates the idea that a piece of ourselves is dissolved into a relationship in order to make that relationship grow. I think, as we all come to realize, giving up the things that make you unique to foster a relationship is a fool’s errand and often ends in the worst of ways. But I think ‘Lost Myself’ pushes us to ask the tough questions like “so the relationship is over, now what?”, and in that sense, I view the song as a necessary part of the reclamation process–finding your old self in the rubble of the past.
Do you feel you have regained your old self again? If so, will this reflect in future material? It’s interesting, because I don’t know if we can truly become the selves we once were, at least not entirely. I think we can grab the essentials; and maybe that’s not a bad thing. After all, our past selves shouldn’t be considered our best selves–just the foundation to build something better on top.
Honestly, I wrote this song as a message to a friend (although, who hasn’t felt this way before?) and I don’t necessarily place myself in this narrative. I’m merely adopting a voice. Will the music change moving forward? Probably, yes. But it has to, doesn’t it? I think I’m going to always push my abilities as a songwriter and producer, and that usually entails changing certain characteristics of my sound (whatever people deem it to be).
You’ve dropped a handful of singles across 2018. Can we expect to hear something a little more substantial from you soon? In an ideal world, I would love to drop another EP–maybe a “mini EP” that only contains three songs. As it stands currently, however, we live in a streaming age where playlists rule and tastemakers are limited to how much content they can enjoy at a time. It’s a sad reality that if I release a six-song EP, only 10% of listeners will get to the last song (which I would usually consider the best song). I am constantly weighing the pros and cons of creating a long-form project, and if I do, deciding whether it works as a package or as staggered singles.
You’ve mentioned in previous interviews that you’re a perfectionist. Is it still a constant struggle battling against that this far into your career when it comes to recording material? I think I’ve gotten better at letting go; I’m still a perfectionist, absolutely, but I realize now that it’s much more satisfying to send a piece of art into the world than to stow it away for no one to see or hear it.
What part of being an artist do you enjoy most, producer, writer, performer? I think I enjoy production and writing equally, probably because it usually happens simultaneously. My writing is informed by the production, and the production informs the writing–it’s a very reciprocal process.
Can we expect to hear more from yourself before the year closes out? Not a new song per se, but expect some great visuals to accompany ‘Lost Myself’. We think it really pushes the Music Video genre, and hope to have it out in late November!
Finally, if you could close out this interview with one final thought, what would it be? Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Fuck artifice and the facades we’re forced to create.