London based jazz/funk musician Kieron Garrett, brainchild of the Synthonic project has just released his new EP entitled, “Sunshine”.
“My USP would be the fact that I write, record and produce everything by myself. I think also designed my own website, established my own videos, etc. because after playing jazz in London for 10 years, often to small audiences and for very little money. It was time for a change! With the project, I don’t have to rely on anyone else.”…Kieron Garrett
Synthonic is an innovative and relevant project filled with wild sounds and funky jazz rhythms. For the jazz lover it’s pure heaven, although he breaks the genre barriers with electro and classical influences as well as jazz and funk.
I spoke with Kieron regarding his music, future projects, and inspirations. He also spoke about the jazz funk market and how tough it is out there for jazz artists.
Tell me about your music and the Synthonic project, and the new EP.
It’s a five track EP. I released two single tracks first, “Head Banging” and “Sunshine”, and then I released the full EP. It’s been influenced by jazz funk because I’ve been playing jazz funk for a long time. I’ve been playing in the London jazz scene for 10 years or so, and it’s just so tough. I think it’s just as tough in the states as it is here. So I do some teaching as well as most musicians do. I’m teaching more and more kids to come out into a market where there’s just no gigs. In London you do the same 10 gigs a year and it’s tough. So I figured it’s time for change and I wanted to do everything on my own. I don’t have to rely on people, no waiting on people for rehearsals. The music was tough and it was hard to figure out because people didn’t do their homework. So I started writing my own. I started listening to Anomalies, who writes this R&R, funk, jazz, kind of stuff. So I tried to emulate that kind of thing. But it didn’t turn out exactly as I planned. His production skills are so amazing, and what came out with me was what I had been writing and playing for the last 10 years. It’s just a lot of jazz and funk with a bit of dancey, pop kind of influences. There are listeners, it’s just trying to get them there. There aren’t so many jazz clubs in London apart from Ronnie Scotts and Jazz Cafe that you can only get in once a year. My stuff is more Jamiroquai meets goth punk.
Where in London are you based?
Kingston, that’s South West.
Do you plan to tour in support of the EP?
Again, it’s a brand new thing. So I just want to see if there’s enough listeners first.
You’ve been doing jazz for ten years?
I’ve been playing jazz for 20, but seriously for about 10 years.
What are you working on now?
I’ve been doing a lot of writing, and have a lot of stuff ready to go. But I’ve only just put out this EP so i’ll hold back for a couple of months and see what happens. It also cost money to put stuff out. You’ve got to get your PR, you’ve got to get it mixed and mastered probably. This EP has bits of electro pop in it. The next one is more downtempo and head funk. It’s what naturally came out of me basically.
What other instruments do you play aside from piano?
The first instrument that I played in music school was the tuba. But I don’t play anymore because it’s not cool. I haven’t played it for so many years so I doubt that I would even get a note of it. I’ve always done a bit of singing and I play very basic guitar and drums. Just enough to be able to write for different instruments.