wHistorically, Jack Daniels has played a fairly significant role in the music industry – although it might be fair to say it has more often taken the role of provider of creative juice than patron of the arts. Recently however, with support from Jack Daniels Future Legends, local producer Sable has released a new track titled The One, featuring Kele Okereke of Bloc Party fame. SHAUN COWE speaks to John Dewhurst, aka Sable, about being on the fast track to fame.
“Currently, I’m just getting a project to sent to someone,” John Dewhurst says.
“It’s just an idea at the moment. I just send ideas to people and I’m like ‘Oh, do you want this?’”
Dewhurst seems quite relaxed, considering the biggest single of his career was just released on Monday. When questioned about it, he admits he has been feeling the hype lately.
“It’s going crazy, actually. It’s going off pretty fast. I guess I’ve got to attribute a lot of that to the Pilerats team – they’ve been really good about it – but yeah, people are listening to the music as well. I guess sometimes, coming up to the big shows, I feel nervous about it, but in my head I’m still doing the same thing; I’m still making music because I want to make music. It’s just snowballing into something else.”
Of course, a lot of the hype comes from the guest producer and vocalist, Kele Okereke, who is better known as the frontman of Bloc Party. For Dewhurst, the chance to work with Okereke has been a mind-blowing experience.
“It’s surreal. I’ve been a fan of Bloc Party since way back. Just meeting him was a little weird in itself, but then we got in the studio and we both had the same ideas with the track – in terms of where we wanted it to go – and it was really smooth. I mean, he’s a professional, so he knew exactly what to do and it was a really good process.
“Jack Daniels has been pretty good – they organised the whole thing. I got to meet him at Circo and we hung out for a while there and had a chat. Then they sent us to a studio to record a song. They’re basically the messenger between us. Like sending demos his way and sending feedback mine. It’s been really good.”
When asked about the actual process of recording with Okereke, Sable admits that it was more complicated than he’d anticipated.
“The original idea sounded completely different to what it does now – at least I think it did – but you’ve got to write around the vocals. I’ve done it before with band music but it was definitely writing the song to his vocals, rather than just writing a song.”
What he’s referring to, it seems, is his history playing funk bass and guitar for bands. As Dewhurst talks about it, it becomes clear that his music history has a big effect on how he sees himself as a producer.
“‘Producer’ is kind of a loose term these days; it’s almost kind of songwriter/producer, in most cases. So the songwriter element is still there, it just took a long time to learn the production side. It’s still getting there but I’m still trying to be a songwriter first.
“I’m more geared towards sound designs, so I’ll try to make sounds – like synthesise and stuff. I really like instrument samples, so I try to use instrument samples when I can. I just think electronic music – this is hard to describe – it opens you up to any instrument within a bedroom. It’s just infinite possibilities.”