“It’s fantastic being nominated for the Choice Music Prize, there’s a real diverse mix of albums up for it this year.” Jape, a.k.a. Ritchie Egan, is enthusiastic about Ritual’s chances, not to mention the financial benefits of the competition, saying that “winning the €10,000 would be great!”
Egan is currently working on Jape’s next album. “I do most of the instrumentals for the tracks myself. I’ve got a recording studio at my home so I can just record one bit and then go back and do another.” Jape has an admittedly eclectic, but very distinctive sound, and there are a huge variety of influences audible in his work. Egan says: “the sound does change a fair bit, I’ve got quite a short attention-span… even the next album will sound different to Ritual, it’ll have a more romantic, laid-back sound”.
Speaking of laid-back, it’s worth listening to the remix of “Strike Me Down” by Friendly Fires, who Jape recently supported on their UK tour. By the sound of it, Friendly Fires lived up to their name: “They were really nice to us. It can often be quite difficult on the UK tours, but they really made us feel welcome.”
Jape is still probably best known for “Floating”, which gained widespread attention after Brendan Benson from the Raconteurs heard the song played in a Dublin bar and began to regularly cover it during their live sets. The videos for Jape’s singles have also attracted widespread attention, with their striking, often surreal imagery. “They’re produced by my friends Matthew and Emelie, who have a company called M&E. They’ve come up with the ideas for all my videos, they know what kind of stuff I’d like.”
Egan goes on to describe the processes behind making the videos, which all sound slightly traumatic: being pelted with rotten fruit by fourteen people, burning a giant effigy of himself on a deserted beach and hiding behind a gravestone in Harold’s Cross cemetery whilst covered in KISS-style facepaint, in an attempt to avoid an unexpected funeral procession. There’s no word yet on what’s planned for the next one, but judging from the previous videos, it should be interesting.
Check out the amazing videos, directed by M&E, below:
I Was a Man