Even in the urban wilds of Brooklyn, there may be no one else like Jean-Philip Grobler, otherwise known as St. Lucia.
Originally from Johannesberg, South Africa, Jean grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School. When the choir wasn’t traveling—St. Lucia toured Japan, Australia, Europe, the US and more—they stayed in an enclave tucked in the South African mountains, learning everything from Bach and minimalist opera to African War Songs and Celine Dion.
A young musician could hardly find better training, but as a young teenager, he started to feel that he’d had his fill of classical music, and it felt like an epiphany when he discovered the music of Radiohead. “In South Africa, we used to be quite limited in what we were exposed to in terms of experimental music, and so hearing OK Computer for the first time was like experiencing a completely new Universe. I think it was also my own little form of rebellion against the rigidity of choir life’, he laughs. Eventually, he left the creative “small pond” of South Africa for England, where he spent three years studying music in Liverpool.
St. Lucia’s journey thus far ended—as many do—in New York City, where he started working on the tracks that would turn into his debut EP, that was released this spring. Here is the first video from the EP, Before The Dive
Here are St. Lucia's U.S. summer tour dates with Passion Pit and Young The Giant:
7/16 - Central Park Summerstage - New York, NY #
7/21 - Capitol Hill Block Party @ Vera Project - Seattle, WA
7/23 - Bardot - KCRW School Night -Los Angeles, CA
7/24 - Popshop @ The Echo - Los Angeles, CA
7/25 - Casbah - San Diego, CA
7/26 - Rickshaw Stop @ Popscene - San Francisco, CA
7/28 - Launch Festival @ Cesar Chavez Plaza Par - Sacramento, CA