PUZZLE is an electro-pop music artist from London who’s sound and style can best be described as dark and experimental. With rich and alluring vocals, he sings about the complexities of the human condition: it’s fears, desires, secrets and passions. Following the success of his three singles “Godlike”, “Trial By Fire” and “Comedown”, his very first EP, Babylon, a stellar collection of 4 tracks was released back in March.
We spent the day with Puzzle to shoot this Carbon Copy online special on the streets of London, with an exclusive interview. Read on…
Photography: Juan José Ortiz
Fashion Editor: Cristina Planelles
Interviewer: Nathan Best
Make-up: Kenneth Soh @ Frank Agency using Erborian
Hair: Bjorn Krischker @ Frank Agency using Fudge Professional
Welcome Puzzle! Tell us a little about yourself and how you got started.
Hi guys, thanks for having me! I started getting involved with music from a very early age, I used to be part of choirs and musical activities in my local Baptist church back in Brazil where I grew up and that’s where I developed my love for singing and performing.
I moved to London during my teenage years and worked in a variety of music projects doing session singing for many artists and eventually felt the need to find my own voice as an artist – that’s when PUZZLE was born.
We like the name Puzzle. It suggests an enigma. Is that how you would describe yourself as an artist?
It’s not necessarily about creating an enigma per se, to be honest, I wanted to have an artistic name that expressed why I make music.
I realised I was trying to understand the human condition through crafting songs; our inner-most thoughts and feelings, all these particles and pieces that create who we are as individuals… it made me think that we are all ‘puzzles’ in some shape or form and living is the process by which we try to fit all the pieces together. That’s where the name comes from.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your music?
Inspiration can come from anywhere really, I try to stay open to absorb what the environment is throwing at me. I tend to watch documentaries, go to live music concerts, art exhibitions, eavesdrop on people conversing on the tube, you name it. There are gems that spark creativity all around us, I try to tune in and let my imagination do the rest.
Tell us about the pleasure of recording vs the pleasure of performing.
Oh boy, they are very different beasts. I absolutely adore recording, creating something from nothing and the experimentation aspect which is so liberating… making mistakes and sometimes relishing in the mistakes because somehow they work. Recording really gives me a buzz and I feel like I’m in my element.
Performing is a completely different kettle of fish – I have a love/fear relationship with being on stage. The build up to it leaves drained and I get nauseous, I worry about what could go wrong and the attention I’m receiving.
All of that is short-lived though, as soon as start singing all that weight is lifted and it becomes the most joyous experience, connecting with the audience it’s the most exhilarating feeling in the world, it makes feel alive.
What do you want your audience to feel when they listen to your music?
It’s hard to predict how people react to your music, my intention is always to write songs that will resonate on a personal level to my audience, I would love to think I’m writing the soundtrack to people’s lives.
PUZZLE is more of a world than an individual, I’d like people to be transported to this ever-evolving place, where escapism and deeper layers await them.
What is your personal style when it comes to dressing?
I don’t necessarily believe in following trends all the time, I think wearing clothes that express who you are and you feel comfortable in equals dressing well. Fashion is a tremendous way to empower people, the fewer rules the better so I’d describe my style as experimental.
Apart from music, what are your favourite pastimes?
I read a lot, especially high fantasy books; I exercise often to counteract the inner foodie in me (I really love desserts/chocolate); I also enjoy tv series, Game of Thrones is one of my favourites but I have started watching a great new one – American Gods – based on the homonymous book by Neil Gaiman which I read years ago.
Any idea what we can expect in the future from your music as you evolve?
I’m introducing more organic sounds and orchestration to my new material, I’m quite taken by David Bowie’s Blackstar so what I release next will definitely have some tinge of that album’s vibe.
I have been experimenting with voice sampling and manipulation as well so it will be interesting to see the instrumental application of that. Sounds to cleanse the soul is what I’m aiming at… yeah, cleansing.