Events

House Music Producer JackLNDN on Performing for the Queen

Lafayette producer JackLNDN.
Lafayette producer JackLNDN. Jane Greer @thejanegreer
Lafayette-based producer Jack Aisher, aka JackLNDN, has amassed a solid catalogue of releases. He’s worked with artists such as The Polish Ambassador, The Funk Hunters, and Felix Cartal. His most popular track, “The Feels,” currently sits at over 11 million streams on Spotify. However, Aisher is not your typical house-music producer.

Born in London, he started his musical career early, joining professional choirs by the age of seven. At nine, he was recruited to sing eight services a week at Windsor Castle. Around that same time, he also recorded at Abbey Road Studios, famous for producing albums by the Beatles, Radiohead, Kate Bush and many more.

Up until the age of eighteen, he didn't know anything about house music. Instead, he concentrated his efforts on classical music and playing in hardcore bands. However, a fateful trip to the European club paradise of Ibiza on his eighteenth birthday changed all of that.

Westword caught up with Aisher ahead of his October 2 performance at the High Ground Music & Arts Experience at Levitt Pavilion to talk about his transition from royal pomp and circumstance to the bacchanal of house music.

Westword:
So how does one even get involved in British high-society music at such a young age? Isn’t Britain known for being pretty classist?

Jack Aisher: Yes [it is classist], in the sense that I was singing in the choir in Windsor Castle, where the Queen lives quite a lot of the time. So I was very much exposed to it, even though I’m from the make-things-happen service class. It’s getting better and better, but I think everywhere in the West has a pretty obvious class system. The difference is that the British actually named it.

I was very lucky in the sense that my parents loved music and exposed me to it my entire life. My dad played a lot of classical music, and they both sang in the choir, where they met. My mom played a lot of disco, funk, ABBA — and they both would play a lot of jazz.

They noticed I liked singing, so they asked if I would like to join the local choir, so we did that. Then [when I was] around age nine, they said, “Do you like it enough to go to one that’s one of the best in the country, and you can do it all the time?” My brother had done it before, and he came back with all these cool stories, so a year later I joined him.

Now we were singing eight church services a week, all with brand-new pieces of music, rehearsing two hours per day; once before school, then once after. We’d have supervised instrument practice before breakfast. It was a very rigorous routine. The boys were the top part of the harmony in the choir, but the rest of it were salaried professionals who had homes within the castle walls. It was nuts, especially for a nine-year-old.

How do you keep a nine-year-old under control and disciplined enough in order to perform for the Queen?

Well, I credit that system for my rebellious teen phase and my adult “Well, you know how to get a lot of things done in a short period of time” phase.

Do you remember what corrupted you into getting into house music?

I didn’t realize it at the time, but my mom had already been playing a ton of house music at home. There are a lot of remixed, re-released disco classics from the ’90s. But [what] got me into it was two things: First, I was playing in a band with friends of mine that was more indie. One of my favorite bands at the time was called Enter Shikari, and they sort of meshed hardcore with trance music. Really aggressive, half-time drums, mosh pit, rock-and-roll things with arps and synths thrown in.

The lead singer had an Electribe EX-1, so I got one and started building grooves in that. That led to me trying to force the electronic vibe into the band, which was very much rejected. I had a synth that we tried to use in the live stuff with the band. However, it never really became fully part of the sound of the band.

The seed of being in the studio was planted during those summers, because we’d buy studio time in a local studio and make a four-track EP over a couple of days. This was the first instance of realizing that you can record music on your own.

Fast forward to my eighteenth birthday. I go to Ibiza with my best mate, on a family vacation of his. I didn’t know a great deal about house music or the clubbing scene there. I never had a good fake ID, so I had never been clubbing before that. So my first experience was Space Ibiza, with Fatboy Slim, who was filling in for Carl Cox, since he was sick. I had bumped into a girl at the airport, just waiting for a taxi, and she brought us there. I asked her what she was doing that night, and she said they were going to Carl Cox at Space, and I was like, “I don’t know what that means, but I’ll follow you there. That sounds great!” And then my eyes were opened to what a proper superclub is and to what a DJ really was. You see Fatboy Slim up there just slaying, playing classics that I actually knew, even though I wasn’t into dance culture. So naturally, I liked it, and I was looking up at Fatboy Slim thinking, “I think I can do that,” or at least I wanted to know more about it. Then I actually ended up spending six years of my life with that girl.

What inspired you to move to Colorado, where, at the time, there was only a whisper of house music?

When I first started touring, I was signed to Madison House, which is based out of Boulder. On my very first tour, I played the Fox, and I had a week before my next show, and I stayed in Boulder. So I was shown a resident’s version of Boulder, and I loved it, with the mountains and nature. The only thing that was keeping me in London was the relationship with the girl I mentioned before. Then that came to an end under mutual agreement, and that was the last reason for me to stay. So when my tour finished, I moved. Boulder was easily the nicest place I visited on my first tour of the States. It was on a whim, and I didn’t really overthink it, so I went on Craigslist and found a place. I’ve been here for six years now.

If you had no choice, do you prefer the company of the most slurry, smelly wook or the most elitist British aristocrat?

I think you’d get a wilder conversation out of a stinky wook, especially if they were on something and had been on something for several years. I was walking down Venice boardwalk the other week, and there was a guy openly debating magic with anyone who would listen. And he was in a fierce discussion with some dude who just walked by his wook wizard tent. And I was thinking, even though I don’t have time to hang around, that would be wild to be a fly on the wall of that conversation.

I’m an open-minded man, so whatever level you’re coming in at, I’ll hear you, and I’ll be curious to hear what you have to say and see if I can hang. I think one time I went to Vegas, I got stuck on a layover flight. I got to it in the middle of the night to a coupon hotel, and the first thing the guy says is, “Obama’s been to the moon.” And that’s the one time in my life where I wasn’t like, “Please tell me more; I must learn from you.” He listed pretty much every conspiracy theory that night while I’m trying to eat a burger at 3 a.m., needing to get up at 6 a.m. to catch a flight. It was good times.

Catch JackLNDN at High Ground Music & Arts Experience, which runs from noon to 10 p.m. October 2, at Levitt Pavilion in Ruby Hill Park. Tickets are $85 to180; learn more at levittdenver.org.
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