You wouldn’t really associate R&B with a white guy from Australia, but it’s clear in all of Blasko Taleski‘s output that he’s a man very much in love with the genre. And love is the keyword here for everything: his vibe, his theme, and of course the first part of his Blasko In Love mixtape, currently being given away on his website. He’s garnered quite some adulation after we first posted his solo debut a few weeks back, so it felt right that we’re also one of the first to get to know him…
First musical memory?
Singing ‘Angel of Mine’ by Monica at a school talent show. I was in year 11 (yep, a real late bloomer). I looked like a young Antonio Banderas, all black outfit with long hair tucked behind my ears. Quality viewing!
First album you ever bought?
Writing’s on the Wall by Destiny’s Child. 10 years old, rocking out to ‘Bills Bills Bills’. Seeing as in that day, buying singles was the only affordable option, I stole Born To Do It by Craig David shortly after (from my cousin, not the shops!).
Describe your vibe in three words (but then tell us a bit more about the new mixtape).
Soulful mellow warmth! The tape is all about warm R&B vocal layers sitting gorgeously over some nice electronic beats and trap hats. It pretty much mixes my love for harmony and melody, over some chopped and pitched vocals laying all on a bed of synth pads, with random sounds flying in and out… gotta keep the ears guessing!
Why did you decide to split it into two parts?
I think it’s nice to let people sit with the tracks for a bit, without bombarding them too much. It allows more time for people to interpret the songs based on their own emotional feeling.
What made you gravitate towards R&B as a genre?
Boyz II Men for sure! It is such an intimate genre; and I am all about that intimacy so it gives me more freedom to express myself without sounding like a creep! However, I did grow up loving trance and vocal house, melodically they are absolute perfection so I liked the idea of blending trance-y house melodies over some real sexy R&B tracks.
You get a lot of inspiration from the concept of love. Anything you’d like to share here?
I was in love once, at least I think I was! Who even knows what love really is? Again, it is all a self-interpretation. I find a lot of spiritual love and family love, so I have been super spoilt in that sense (a constant surrounding of love). Even though I haven’t experienced that ‘euphoric’ feeling of love that everyone talks about, I think it is super easy for me to translate what love is and seeing it from another perspective, so it makes for some interesting writing.
Back to the trivia.. an album you would never listen to again?
This is the world’s hardest question, I think I’ll have to go with something more recent and relevant! I did not care for the new Childish Gambino album ‘Awaken My Love’. I actually love everything that man does – he is so clever with his stories and his ‘rap’ melodies are so sonically interesting but this album, for me, didn’t hit home. I’m sorry!
Your inspirations, musical and otherwise?
How cliche is it to say ‘my family”? Seeing everything that my family have been through and for me to go in such an opposite direction of what is considered ‘normal’ in a traditional Macedonian home and to get all the love and support beyond this world, it’s what keeps my drive going. Words will never be enough to explain what they mean to me.
Musically I find inspiration in pretty much everything. Sound, melody, lyrics, it is too hard to narrow that down. Also having a spiritual connection I feel opens me up to better people which, in the long run, brings me to exactly where I need to be.
Any guilty pleasures, musical or non?
I love kicking soccer balls at my friends and just random people… not too hard, but enough to let them know whose boss! and my precision is Premier League worthy!
And finally: Favourite Beyonce song?
Seeing as my first ever album I bought was ‘Writing’s on the Wall’ I’m going to have to say ‘Say My Name’ – it’s a classic. I do however LOVE her rendition of ‘Resentment’, the live version she does for HBO is a vocal masterclass.