London fusion duo, Temptress, dropped a new single and music video and we're in love
Vlad and Jess have a lot more in store for us in the months coming up including an EP which is sure to knock our socks off!
Music and video duo from London, Temptress, has made a return with their new single titled "I Say When" which was released on Friday, May 4. The single was co-produced with Chris Zane of Passion Pit fame and Kosuke Kasza from Holy Ghost!. The song is all about control and power play and it is definitely more on the heavy side but quite seductive at the same time.
The band members, Vlad and Jess, said this of the new song: "We wanted the video to capture the feeling of power and control in a visceral rather than narrative way. Instead of being between two people, we wanted to display the seduction in the uncertainty of the night, being unsure of what’s going to happen as well as where you'll end up. That halfway point between a nightmare and a fantasy."
The pair made the video for this dark song by themselves with a little help from one of their friends, Lily Newmark. In the video, a scene featuring a party scene was actually shot in Vlad's house on his birthday and the people handling the cameras in the scene were none other than their friends. The video shows how the duo first started out in Stockwell, the scene with Vlad's father's Saab parked in the Tesco car park, and how they made their way to Peckham to New Cross. The band, as mentioned earlier, is comprised of Vlad and Jess. They make fusion R&B with a mix of dark pop and hip-hop thrown in there with guitars and sexy vocals. They've been releasing videos since 2016 and show no signs of stopping.
We reached out to them and asked them about their future plans and here's what they had to say:
1. What’s the story behind the name of your band?
We actually used to go by a different name, Vlad VS Clover, (Vlads name and Jess’s Middle name) but it seemed to confuse people and didn’t feel like we’d nailed a name that fits our music. So we decided to hunt for something more simple.
We had such a nightmare coming up with it, spending months making endless lists and every idea we came up with was either taken or just felt wrong. Jess’ mum was actually the one who came up with Temptress in the end! We’d put it to the side, on one of our many lists, until our manager at the time brought together a shortlist and Temptress felt the most interesting from a band context.
2. When did you first start performing? How did you two get together?
We met at Goldsmiths at a gig in the student union where we were both playing in different bands. We started talking afterwards and having both grown up in London, had similar influences and had even gone to many of the same gigs. So decided to have a session and the first song we wrote was ‘Lies’.
3. Who are your biggest influences?
We listen to a lot of music so it’s hard to pin down specific people but definitely at the moment what Kendrick Lamar’s doing with his beats and instrumental’s dynamics, what Tyler The Creator's doing with his bold genre-defying productions and what Solange & H.E.R are doing in terms of vocal delivery and songwriting is really inspiring.
4. What kind of music do you like listening to?
Musically we are both really into anything that grabs your attention, feels fresh and hits you emotionally. We’re particularly into music that blends genres, feels playful/creative and aren’t fussed if it’s by a really mainstream or underground artist. Jess’s dad is a street dancer so she grew up listening to a lot of Hip-Hop and R&B.
Here’s link to our playlist ‘Thursday’ which is made up of all our favourite songs at the moment - to keep us going till the weekend.
5. If you had to pick just one artist/band that you would like to collaborate with in the near future, who would it be?
That’s a hard one! It’d be amazing to do a session with Kaytranada just because we’re really into his sound and feel like we could come up with something fresh.
6. What was it like in the studio during the production of your single?
The Vibe in the studio was great, this was one of the first songs we’ve ever written in collaboration with other writers/producers and working with Chris Zane and Kosuke Kasza was really refreshing. We wrote the song quite quickly, lyrics just flew out and we were firing ideas off each other left right and centre, just tweaking and perfecting each part. We then took the initial project home and re worked the production, then brought it back and finished it off with the others.
7. If you had to pick one favorite among all your tracks so far, which one would it be and why?
We do love all our songs a lot. They each represent a different stage in our journey and everything we have learned. At the moment ‘I Say When’ is a pretty strong contender for the top. It has elements of our sound from when we first started which is dark and heavy but also incorporates some of our later influences songwriting and structure wise. I think it encompasses a lot of our personality and working with Chris and Kosuke helped bring that out.
8. Who does what in the band?
Tempress is made up of Vlad and Jess. We both produce, sing, write lyrics and melodies on all out tracks, its pretty much a 50-50 in all aspects. Generally, Jess plays keys and Vlad plays guitar but a lot of the time we swap over and a large part of our sound comes from us both experiment on logic or with hardware.
9. Any new collaborators that you’ve been working with?
We’ve recently written a track with George from Alunageorge that we’re really excited about that will be coming out at some point in the near future.
10. What were some of the challenges / the greatest challenge that you faced while recording your music?
Our music has always been very personal to us and we want to make sure that we are happy with the stuff we put out. We approach writing and making music as producers and are heavily involved in every process down to the mixing. Collaborating with other producers/mixers was hard for us and took us learning a lot technically to express what we’re feeling musically and to get the sound right.
We realized to find our voice we had to take control of almost every aspect of our project. We record our songs in our studio, with our own mic and equipment because we know the sound well and it’s a comfortable environment.
11. Vinyl or digital? What’s your preferred format and why?
Although as a physical experience with the artwork and the way it makes you listen to music vinyl is amazing, digital for us is definitely preferred just because 99% of all music these days is made on a computer anyway so a lossless digital file it will always sound truer to the recording with less distortion, coloration and noise while equally as a producer in digital you’ve got fewer limitations creatively in terms frequency and dynamics.
12. What do you think about music streaming? Do you think it’s helpful or harmful for up-and-coming artists?
On the whole, we think streaming is a positive thing for up and coming artists. Although streaming does dramatically change listening culture away from albums and towards playlists, and artists aren’t making as much compared to direct downloads/CD/Vinyl sales, it is a changing time and artists have to adapt with it. With more and more people paying for a streaming service it’s possibly the closest connection artists have ever had to their audience. Equally with so many people on just a few platforms the chance of being discovered by a much larger audience as is achievable even without the highest budgets.
13. Any plans of touring soon?
We haven’t got any live dates at the moment but after our next few releases, we’ll be booking some in!
14. What can we expect next?
We have a few more singles and videos coming out over the next few months followed by an EP!