Originally from Johannesburg, South Africa, Jean-Philip Grobler grew up performing with the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, learning everything from Bach to minimalist opera. St. Lucia was born out of a moment in early 2010 when Grobler was looking to the past for inspiration. Growing frustrated with a rock project that was starting to feel forced, he delved back into the music that had first inspired him: Fleetwood Mac, Peter Gabriel, Madonna and other songs from his youth.
After setting up shop in a small studio in Brooklyn, Grobler began to experiment with these new influences and open the lid on his new project. Teaming up with friends Nick Brown, Ross Clark, Nicky Paul and Patricia Beranek to perform live, Grobler was signed to HeavyRoc Music after grabbing the attention of NYC production team The Knocks. Shortly after, St. Lucia partnered with Columbia imprint Neon Gold Records—and the song “All Eyes On You” was used in national advertising campaigns for brands including Victoria’s Secret and Taco Bell.
St. Lucia’s previous releases—2012’s “September” EP and self-titled EP—transported listeners to decades past while staying firmly rooted in the present, drawing out melodic bravado and euphoric energy while discarding any trace of the saccharine. When The Night, the synth-pop outfit’s full-length debut (out October 8th), expands upon St. Lucia’s unique brand of dreamy, nostalgic pop. Produced by Grobler, When The Night features additional production and mixing from Chris Zane (Passion Pit), Rich Costey (Muse, Foo Fighters) and Andy Baldwin.
Grobler remains heavily involved in projects outside of St. Lucia, serving as producer for the debut album by Brooklyn-based labelmates HAERTS, remixing songs for bands including Passion Pit, Foster the People and Charli XCX, and collaborating with DJs ranging from The Knocks to RAC. St. Lucia has recently toured with Ellie Goulding and Charli XCX, performed at festivals including Lollapalooza, Governors Ball and Firefly, not to mention shared stages with fun., Two Door Cinema Club, Young The Giant, The Shins and more.