INTERVIEW: Block J; alter-ego for heartbreaks & recovery
Block J is the project of pop singer-songwriter, Helloluqman, and Joseph Chua, with some fresh R&B pop tracks in their arsenal.
"The name came about as we were at Jaya One for lunch and I was at the car park ticket machine still thinking of a band name. The sun shined through one of the pillars towards my eyes and revealed Block J. So then we locked down on it, making it stand for B-Luq(man) & J(oseph)".
Recently, they released a single called Inamorata.
The song comes off as your typical contemporary R&B cut at first but quickly reveals its slick power balladry with retro guitar solos and luscious harmonies. It doesn't feel as focused and compact as their first single Call Me, but there are some production sheens here that give Inamorata a cool, nocturnal vibe with some tinges of tasteful vocal effects.
Block J, after having released two singles, is a welcomed contrast to Luqman's other persona, Helloluqman. A lot more cheerful and unabashedly teen pop in sound. In a written interview with us, we asked him whether Block J was an alter-ego of sorts. He stated: "Helloluqman is more for the Malay pop stuff under my label, Monkeybones. And Block J is more of the English indie stuff I get to write and release independently on my own. So I would say it's more of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing!"
The parallel is not surprising, considering the origin of the side project itself."Block J is a band that my coworker who is a composer/producer and I started off going through my breakup. I was sad one day and went into his composer room (studio) and told him of the whole story of my relationship and break up. We had some downtime and he told me, hey man let's write a song about it".
"Then our first single 'Call Me' was born within 15 minutes haha".
The latest single Inamorata follows the same strain of emotion. Luqman took a liking to the word, (which means 'female lover', just to save you a Google), and used it as a title for their song about losing someone you love.
If you've noticed a similarity between the cover art of Call Me and Inamorata and think there's an album coming up, then you've got a good eye and should write for Awful Track Record too! (send us your music thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org. I jokes. Unless...).
"There will be [an EP]. It's an EP called Until 4 In The Morning talking and describing the story of my relationship and breakup from start to end, the good times - bad times - and sad times. So there's an entire rise and fall throughout the EP for those who are going through the same thing", said Luqman.
No release date has officially been confirmed.