Behind The Lens With: Hablot Brown

By Eros Surya

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Everything happened so fast. 

After it was all said and done that’s all it was– a memory and an experience that pushed these talented individuals into the limelight they deserved and worked so hard for.

Come September 2017, after meeting in a summer program at Berklee School of Music in Boston and creating works under lead-singer Linus Hablot’s name, 3 young striving musicians decided to drop everything and move to LA and make things happen. That’s exactly what happened, Hablot Brown was born and soulful experimentally beautiful music was made. Believe me when I say the work was put in, endless days were spent in the studio, the group wrote til’ exhaustion, and live sets were practiced to perfection. All that was left was to get their masterful work into the ears of likeminded fans. 

The group’s music soon reached a listening session at Soulection, and thanks to that moment, traction rapidly increased and two major support tours were booked. First, it was none other than Jordan Rakei– London based vocalist and Soul/Jazz/RnB master. Rakei’s music is body consuming, with songs like Midnight Mischief, and his collaborations with London rapper Loyle Carner, one might find themselves lost within the stories being told. 

 

The first show of the Rakei leg was the backroom at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Being able to cover these shows was nothing less than a dream. It was surreal to be able to share these once in a lifetime experiences with my friends and meet some of the most talented musicians of today. Many times throughout the course of these shows, we found ourselves looking around in some of the most iconic greenrooms and venues in the world, pinching each other to see if what was happening was real or not. It was. After the most intimate fan engaged show I’ve ever witnessed at the Observatory, we played The El Rey the next day. Being a Los Angeles native and reminiscing on the countless shows I spent in the crowd here, I couldn’t believe I was in the press channel shooting both my friends and Jordan Rakei himself. From the very start to the bitter end, not one person had anything but a smile on.

Next, we traveled to San Fransisco to support Tom Misch on his album release tour for Geography. Yes, Tom Misch, one of the most talented self-taught guitarists and vocalists of today. He is a groove genius, for lack of a better term. From Beat Tape 1, to Beat Tape 2, to Geography, every record, album, or feature he has ever released is groundbreaking. With the genre of music that Hablot Brown produces, Tom Misch is nonetheless their biggest influence and mentor, so to be able to support him and successfully introduce their own vibe to each and every crowd was an unparalleled experience. The group then went on to support Tom for sold out shows in Denver, Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, and Montreal. 

Two years ago, none of the guys would’ve even dreamt that they would be supporting one of their biggest role models. But there we were, standing outside the Warfield in SF, sharing cigarettes and laughing about how crazy Tom thought it was to see so many cows on the drive up from Los Angeles (being from London and all). I cannot emphasize enough the hypnogogic sensations this whole experience brought. It still feels like a dream when reflected upon to this day. 

A funny representation of the tour and reality of the situation was the scene at the load-in dock. There was Tom’s stretch tour bus parked in front, (probably had a heated toilet seat) and behind it were our two Honda CRVs, packed with our whole lives inside. None the less the shows went perfectly, and Hablot Brown time after time continues to shock crowds with their sense of professionalism and downright talent. I cannot thank these guys enough for bringing me along for the ride. These few shows and trips will forever be held close to my heart, and I’m beyond gratified to be able to share these experiences through the photos I’ve taken. 

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