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Nicolas Jaar Goes Far

The much-lauded newcomer to the New York house scene fuses melancholic Chilean folk with techno elements

The influences from a Chilean background juxtaposed with those from an upbringing in a New York scene are audibly evident in Nicolas Jaar's music. Jaar being surprisingly young should be a fact overshawdowed by his astounding musical ability, although having Seth Troxler remix one of his debut release 'The Student' at only 17 years old seems quite a feat. Now running his own label Clown & Sunset (named after an old photograph of his mother and father, artist Alfredo Jaar), he now has a platform to release artists like Soul Keita and Nikita Quasim and some of his 100 unreleased tracks of his own under his belt.

Such prolificity and intriguing productions blending anything from traditional folk music and hip hop elements in the structure of melancholic techno tracks led him to make a mix for Parisian collective/label Get The Curse and is now a part of New York's influential Wolf + Lamb label run by producer/DJs Gadi Mizrahi and Zev Eisenberg. One step away from some of their artists' usual breed of deep house, he adds a haunting pensiveness with often disconcerting sounds and dark qualities.

Dazed Digital: Considering your music has been inspired by everything from traditional Chilean / French music to Villalobos, do you listen to much modern electronic music? If so, what?

Nicolas Jaar: My favourite songs lately are "Looking For You" by Nino Ferrer and "De la Cara a la Pared" by the beloved lhasa de Sela (one of the great geniuses of our time I think). I listen to them like four times a day. I prefer thinking of music made organically as electronic music, it motivates me.

DD: What do you find refuge in outside of music?
Nicolas Jaar: Cooking! There's nothing that pleases me more... Take that back. There's nothing that pleases me more than cooking with people I love while listening to sad music.

DD: Have you felt influenced by your father in terms of harbouring creativity?
Nicolas Jaar: I think there is a necessary resemblance. It's my father! But I also think that my mother has been an influence, if not an even greater influence in my life. She is an angel and a dancer. And she scolds me when I make something "pop". She's the best. Totally an underground woman.

DD: What do you want to be doing in ten years time?
Nicolas Jaar: Hopefully I can be making films narrated by sad music. And music narrated by happy films!