St. Lucia reveals the one thing that could make or break a musician's career

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If there's anything St. Lucia knows, it's how to stay creative and unique in a continually saturated music market. Jean-Philip Grobler, the man behind the moniker, has never been shy about creating music that breaks the pop mold. Inspired by 80s influence, St. Lucia has been crafting songs that skillfully combine throwback elements with modern-day pop. The result: nostalgia-infused tracks that somehow always manage to feel completely current. With a roaring synth and dance-inducing beat that underlies the songs, St. Lucia's sound feels like it was made for a music festival.

Concert-goers at this year's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival can attest to that. St. Lucia, accompanied by his full band comprising of Patricia Beranek, Ross Clark, Nick Paul and Dustin Kaufman played a packed show at the festival's main stage. There, fans were able to witness St. Lucia's unique "it" factor up close and personal. As Jean-Philip Grobler notes, it's because of the band's ability to tap into unique soundscapes that not only have they retained a cult following, but have also found success in the music industry. To him, it's the most important thing that rising musicians need to understand. As he notes, "You might not be the most viable, commercial commodity because of that, but over time you build respect and gain the admiration of people." And that is invaluable.

We recently had a chance to speak with St. Lucia or Jean-Philip Grobler himself at this year's Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival. Ahead, find out more about his incredible Outside Lands set, what went into creating his second album "Matter," and his incredible advice to aspiring artists.

This feature is a part of #KanvasLive, an interactive, cross-platform content series brought to life on the Kanvas app and AOL.com. See more on coverage here.

How is Outside Lands treating you so far?
Awesome! We've only been here for a couple hours preparing for our show and now we get to hang out. It's probably the first festival this summer where we actually get to be at. We played early on Friday and we're staying for the rest of the weekend.

What makes playing festivals at Outside Lands so different than doing a standard headline tour?
There's a lot of intangible differences and just the feeling of it. There's so many other bands playing and so many of them are friends of ours and you get to hang out. Generally, it's not like you're performing every day. You're just doing a festival then you get to party. It's a little more relaxed.

Let's talk a little bit about your newest album "Matter." What did your creative process look like for that and what really went into make that album come to life?
A lot. It was such a crazy creation process. I was in some ways forced to change up my writing process and the way I record because we started touring a lot. When I was making our first album "When the Night," we weren't touring that much yet so I had a lot more time to just be in the studio. With this, we were in vans and on planes and in buses all the time. I had to learn how to be creative on my laptop basically, which in the beginning was hard but it turned out to be a really blessing in disguise. When you're cooped up in a space and don't have any other distractions, in some ways it's easier to create than when you have other limitations. I feel like, it's a lot more brave as an album because we learned a lot about who we are as a band and who we are as musicians while we were touring the first album. I feel like I'm singing out a lot more on the album. I was less self-conscious on this one than on the first.

Was there pressure in creating a second album after so many fans felt connected to the first?
Over time it received a cult following. I always make what I feel is true to myself but is also progressing. I definitely feel a certain amount of pressure but I try to push that aside and rather follow what feels good. It maybe that people don't like it in the beginning, over time once it gets into the right people's hands they will realize that it's made with a lot of love, attention, and care. Then the pressure of opinions of people doesn't matter anymore.

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Miguel performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Miguel performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music & Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs on Day 3 of Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Steve Jennings/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lionel Richie performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lana Del Rey performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Kehlani performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artists Diplo Major Lazer performs during the Outside Lands Music Festival 2016 at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Douglas Mason/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Lana Del Rey performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Brandi Carlile performs during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by C Flanigan/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Music fans watch Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Erick 'E.D.' Coomes of Lettuce performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Erick 'E.D.' Coomes of Lettuce performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers attend the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers watch Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artists Walshy Fire (L) and Jillionaire of Major Lazer perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Fred Armisen performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Diplo of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Fred Armisen performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Diplo of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Walshy Fire of Major Lazer performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Lotti Benardout of Haelos performs on the Panhandle Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers play mini golf during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: DJ Lee K performs at The House by Heineken during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musicians Kryz Reid (L) and Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers visit Sound Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: A parade is seen among the festival goers during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: DJ Lee K performs at The House by Heineken during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been converted to black and white.) Recording artist Chance The Rapper performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen at the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen at the Twin Peaks Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen under the Windmill during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Festival goers are seen under the Windmill during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musicians Stephan Jenkins (L) and Alex LeCavalier of Third Eye Blind perform on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Stephan Jenkins of Third Eye Blind performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Musician Josephine Vander Gucht of Oh Wonder performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Dr. Teeth and The Electric Mayhem performs on the Lands End Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: Comedian Jo Firestone (C) performs on The Barbary Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 07: A musician performs with Natalia Lafourcade on the Twin Peaks Stage during the 2016 Outside Lands Music And Arts Festival at Golden Gate Park on August 7, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic)
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"Matter" was also a more collaborative creative process for you, right?
You know what, the more interviews I've done the more I've realized the first album was quite collaborative as well. But the first one was more of me writing with close friends of mine, if I would write with people at all. This one, I wrote with people whose work I've admired with and who I haven't written with necessarily. I just think it's good to open yourself up. My natural inclination is to do things myself but when you let other people into your creative process, I feel like it brings other things out of you as an artist that you wouldn't necessarily bring out yourself.

You play a lot with visual elements in your music -- whether they be costumes or music videos. How do you see visual art interacting with your music?
I think when all of us listen to music we see things. It brings to mind a scene or a place or some memory that you have. I think it's important to provide visual clues as to what the music implying. Whenever I think of my favorite records -- or any records I've listened to -- whatever the cover is, is how I see the music. So for Radiohead's "OK Computer" I see all that crazy, post-apocalyptic art. Because of that, I realize the importance of the visual. We take a lot of time thinking about how we visually want to represent the album. The cover for "Matter" was the craziest nightmare to make happen. We had this vision and we basically started making it when we went into the studio to record the album. So that was when we started to make the cover and it actually took longer to make the cover than to make the album. We wanted to have different elements that were separate and all these things happening in a room. We're very happy with the cover art.

"Matter" specifically plays a lot with different genres. How often or at all do you think about genre when you're creating music?
I don't think of it. I listen to a lot of different music and I think that naturally comes through in my music. The one thing I am aware of is that I don't want to repeat myself in the space of an album. Normally I'll write a few ideas that are quite similar and I'll normally pick the best one out of all of those and that will be a track on the album. And then I'll go through these different phases where I'm writing tracks that are little more R&B or writing songs like "September" which are more physical and exploratory. I'll go through these phases and the album becomes a mixture of all these different things. But I think it's brought together by the way it's recorded and our approach to making arrangements

What's the one piece of advice you wish you had received before entering the music industry?
I always got this advice but when you're growing up, you think you know all this really good advice because you think "I know what I'm doing and I don't care what people have to say," but the most important piece of advice I received was always to be myself and follow your heart or intuition. Everyone is going to have an opinion on what you do. Some of those opinions come from a place of openness and love, but some are from people who want to put you into a box. I think it's important to listen to the advice of people who want you to find yourself and be yourself, because at the end of the day that's what will make you stand out the most. It will make the most unique. You might not be the most viable, commercial commodity because of that, but over time you build respect and gain the admiration of people.

For more on St. Lucia, watch the video below!

Jean-Philip Grobler, of "St. Lucia," Discusses Singing At The 1995 Rugby World Cup

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