ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: I M U R
The soundtrack to your next make out session
LEAH SCHEITEL // WRITER
Electro-pop trio I M U R (pronounced “I Am, You Are) is gaining a strong reputation these days. Known for complex beats matched with moody and intense lyrics, the trio – comprised of vocalist Jenny Lea, producer Mikey J Blige and violinist/bassist Amine Bouzaher – makes good “baby-making” music.
Since making their performance debut in 2015, the Vancouver trio has made an EP, Slow Dive, one full-length album Little Death, and are currently in the final production stages of their next EP, the name of which hasn’t been released.
The Courier caught up with Jenny Lea to ask about where the band is headed, their current accomplishments, and how they feel about making make out music.
You and Mikey played your first show two and a half years ago – a summer outdoor show on Main Street – and your laptops melted because it was so hot. And now you just played Bumbershoot in Seattle – that’s amazing growth in two years. Where are you headed next?
We’ve been working really hard on our upcoming music and have been working extra hard on our live performance. And our eyes are on the prize. There is nothing else that we want to be doing – this is our passion and our love.
How do you guys work as a group? With three people collaborating, is someone in charge with lyrics and beats and such?
To simply put, yes. We kind of mix things up – like sometimes an idea will start with a lyric and some chords from me, and other times it will start with full production from Mikey. But at the end of the day, we’re all in the studio together, cranking things out. Mikey is predominately on production and I’m predominately on the writing and Amine has his hands everywhere.
Can you give us any hints about the upcoming EP?
It’s done – what can I tell you about it. In the spring, you will start seeing some singles pop up. I think it’s six tracks and a couple of interludes. It was made in Montreal last spring, during a three month writing excursion, and half was written in Vancouver.
I M U R has gained some notoriety in the Canadian music scene and been featured on some television and commercials. How does it feel to be gaining recognition?
It’s been great. The Georgia Strait rated us as one of the top 10 albums of the year. Our track “Bumps” was just featured on CBC’s Working Moms and Wynonna Earp for a love making scene. As well, our music video for “Swirl” was just shown at the Vancouver Short Film Festival.
It feels really good [to be noticed]. I think our sound does have a cinematic quality to it and again it’s really about setting a tone and a mood and that’s what film does as well so they go hand in hand and it’s nice to be able to be apart of that.
You mentioned that you guys are working on your live performances – what exactly are you doing in regards to that?
We’re working on learning new tracks, working on our instrumentation. I’m personally going to be taking some dance lessons soon. I’m looking forward to that. Mostly making sure that it’s entertaining to watch.
How many instruments are on stage with you guys during a show?
I’m in charge of the keyboard and vocals. We have the bass, the electric violin, electric guitar. The boys each have their laptops. It’s a good amount of stuff to be carrying around.
Let’s talk about your make out music – you’ve kind of made a reputation as producing lovemaking and smoke hitting music. Is that something that I M U R set out to do?
It was not the original intention. I think especially with our first EP, it was kind of a sad girls club music. And somewhere along the line, someone decided it was sexy. I’m okay with it. I think now that we know that’s how something about our vibe is interpreted – whether it’s the sonic pallet or the mood or the vibe – I think now we are throwing some intention behind it. Our upcoming EP is kind of moody and geared towards maybe those kinds of situations. Who doesn’t love to make out, right? If we can be the soundtrack to those good times…