The debut single from multi-talented Londoner Caspar Leopard started life as a piece of music for an indie flick. But after realising some of his movie concoctions had taken a more autobiographical route, the composer, producer and filmmaker enlisted the studio skills of Luke Smith (Clor, Depeche Mode, Foals) and his brother Orlando Leopard (Arthur Beatrice, Florence & The Machine, Thurston Moore) to work on a new project.
Together, the three collaborated on Leopard’s inaugural collection of songs, with first taste ‘Expire Pt I’ proving to be the perfect cinematic intro to the newcomer’s deeply intimate world.
With Caspar Leopard’s shiver-inducing debut EP earmarked for release at the turn of 2018, we caught up with the man himself to talk past, present and future.
Your first single ‘Expire Part I’ is lovely. How did the track come about?
“I was writing, directing and composing the score for a surreal independent film, and found that some of the pieces I’d composed for it started speaking for themselves and didn’t fit the vibe of the film. Rather than pull them apart or rework them I felt there was something worth exploring and decided to let the tracks breathe on their own. After I’d worked them up a bit in the studio, I realised I’d stumbled on a sound that I wanted to release as a new project – ‘Expire Pt I’ is the first of these tracks. Because of the cinematic feel it had, I still felt like it needed to be released with a video that reflected that, so I had to make another film for it!”
How did you start out in music?
“I’ve always been involved in music really. From a young age I learnt classical instruments, played the flute in an orchestra, got teased and then took up more ‘manly’ instruments (the guitar and piano), joined a prog rock band, learnt to DJ, ran some club nights, a few other band projects, and more recently the film composition. I’ve always had an insatiable desire to do a bit of everything, which can lead to me getting a little overrun with projects – music is always at the heart of them though.”
Who are the Top 5 biggest influences on your sound right now?
“Difficult question! I’m never any good at narrowing down to five of anything when there are so many good things out there. Someone made me do that with crisp flavours the other day – so difficult – so many that are so damn tasty. To give you a spread: Bon Iver, Hans Zimmer, Darkside/Nicholas Jarr, I’ve been listening to a lot of Felix Laband’s album ‘Dark Days Exit’, and I’m a long-time Radiohead fan – ‘Kid A’ changed my life as a teenager and I continue to be inspired by them hugely.”
Any other new artists that you’ve played with and would recommend?
“My friends HÆLOS are recording their second album in my studio at the moment. It’s completely brilliant – you’re in for a treat. I’m also really vibing the psychedelic rock scene coming out of LA. I got to hang out with the Vinyl Williams lot out there a little while back and love that scene. Hopefully, I’ll get to do some shows out that way someday…”
And finally, what does the remainder of 2017 hold for Caspar Leopard?
“I’m currently in the final leg of production for a dark fairytale drama I’m directing at the moment called ‘The Blood Bride’. It’s been a huge project to take on. We wrap in a week and, as fun as it’s been, I can’t wait to have my life back and get back to the studio to make some music. I’ll be spending the remainder of 2017 getting my live show together and finishing the upcoming releases for this project. Very excited to release my first EP and do some live shows early 2018.”