Recently I sat down with, and got to know the members of Sapphire Empire, a pop, R&B, jazz experimental band from Canada.


Let’s start with your name, then what do you play?

Gaby, guitar
Anatol, keys
Lucas, bass
Selci, lead vocals
Ben, drums
Emily, trumpet back up vocals
Decarlo, trumpet

Where are you from? And how did you guys meet?

Gaby: Winnipeg MB. Way north and west of the Twin Cites. Manitoba area. We met at jazz school.

Selci: I found myself dancing next to Gaby in the heat of some random show a while back. I asked her what she played and if she wanted to start a band. We got together and jammed cluelessly, then a spark lit and we knew we had to pursue it. We met everyone at jazz school, except for Lucas who has actually been in the band longer than anyone else. We gradually added everyone, one by one. We cycled through a couple drummers to find one who had the style we were looking for. Now we’re all in sync. We’ve been doing this for a little over a year now.


Where did you go to school?

Selci: University of Manitoba

What type of music has inspired you guys?

Decarlo: I feel like we need to come up with a more in depth answer than just Hiatus Kaiyote. Haha

Anatol: A lot of our early stuff was more folk-ish and now we’re more hip hop.

Gaby: I’m influenced by the folk and jazz that I learned in school. I feel like the guitar and voice determines the shell of the tunes. The guitar riffs kind of contribute to the sound of each song.

Selci: I study classical vocals, but I’m inspired by soul music. Electronic, and folk influence also contribute to my sound.

Emily: I feel like we’re a bunch of jazz musicians that are trying really hard not to play jazz. haha

You had two songs released for a while. Now you’ve just released a new self titled EP.

Selci: The EP has the old songs but they’re remastered. Same tunes, they just sound better. It’s a compilation of all the first tunes that Gaby and I wrote together. We are currently working on a full length album this summer. It’s going to be influenced by early hip hop, soul, experimental and jazz fusion.


What do you want the listeners to get out of your new EP? Why?

Selci: I think the new EP has a lot to do with overcoming personal experiences. Overcoming the experience of being in our first band and having an instant connection. The fact that we were learning how to be in a band, makes us feel accomplished because we did it. There are tunes about traveling, connecting with people and nightmares; I feel like that’s what we want people to experience when listening to it.

Emily: Coming in from an outsiders perspective, being that I wasn’t in the band when the EP was being made and being a part of Sapphire Empire for only two weeks, each song is a different story in, and of, itself. Each tune is an immersive experience.

Last question: how many of you have seen Whiplash? haha

Only Anatol, Ben and Emily.

Emily: I feel like it’s almost a perfect representation of jazz school!

Decarlo: I’ve been purposely avoiding it. haha

Selci: The trailer was scary! The kid was bleeding, a-ha.

Sapphire Empire’s links,




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