Jean-Philip Grobler of the synth-pop band St. Lucia has traveled internationally since he began making music at 12 years old. It's hard to believe that Arizona has not yet been a pit stop.
"I have never been [to Arizona], but all the pictures I've seen are absolutely beautiful!" Grobler exclaims. "I would love to drive out to the desert and have dinner or go on a hike and go golfing."
Grobler is originally from South Africa, where he says, "being successful in music, or in anything at all, is extremely difficult." After originally making plans to study architecture, he had come to the conclusion that music was the thing he had always wanted to do.
"I thought, 'If I'm going to have a real career in music, I need to leave South Africa.' All American schools were expensive and I didn't want to study at a classical school, so I set my heart on Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. I had heard great success stories from the school, so I wanted to go and explore the school myself," Grobler says.
With South Africa and England now crossed off of his list of places to live, the next stop for him was the States. Offered a job as a jingle writer, Grobler followed his girlfriend (now wife) to Brooklyn. He admits, "It was never my ambition, but I had finished school and needed a job and I saw it as a great opportunity to learn."
From there, the band St. Lucia was born. Grobler experimented with synthesizers and electronic guitar loops and drum machines to produce the catchy and pop-driven '80s-anthem-rock sound he's so proud to play today. And it's taken him all over the world.
When it comes to Europe, he loves playing in Helsinki because "the food and architecture are so great." When it comes to the U.S., he loves playing in Los Angeles because of "the great weather." But it's hard for Grobler to choose just one destination as his favorite.
"I've discovered that the more I've traveled around this country, the more I'm surprised at how interesting and different each city is." Grobler describes. "Each city has its own thing to offer. There are so many cities we have loved. I personally have never been to a city where I've thought 'this place sucks'. However, we've noticed people in New York complain about the rest of America."
Grobler hopes people in Arizona will enjoy his music as much as he enjoys playing it. It's safe to say that his music would fit perfectly into a John Hughes-directed '80s film. When asked what his favorite John Hughes film was, Grobler quickly responded with The Breakfast Club. He explains, "It's such a snapshot of the time. It's quintessentially an '80s movie without being super '80s. It's dated, but it still retains some magical feeling to it."
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