Sydney-based producer and musician KESMAR (aka Mathan Hawes) has shared some perfect mixes of bright analog synths, lush guitars as well as beat-crafts with his latest EP Forever Holiday, released via Nettwerk Records on May 21.
On this EP, we can find the single “Johastu” which features the vocals of Flore Benguigui, who is also the singer for French pop and disco band L’impératrice. She delivers her french lyrics on a cinematic synth hum with a laidback combination of funky guitar holds and a nu-disco beat pulsates.
KESMAR explained how Flore Benguigui’s voice arrived on this song, “It was originally just an instrumental set to close the EP. I put a little snippet on my story, and Flore replied that she liked it.
We had been song-sharing for a fair while, but we never really got around to properly collaborating. I sent her the track and said, ‘Hey, if you hear any melodies, feel free to try something.’ The next day or so, she sent back two whole verses that were pretty much finished“.
Flore Benguigui also added a few words about the lyrics: “ I am fascinated by Japanese culture and I recently discovered the Johatsu phenomenon. People who choose to discreetly disappear from their lives when things get too hard and decide to start from zero somewhere else, leaving all their siblings and projects.
I couldn’t help but make a connection with love, and more precisely with the boy I used to love and who suddenly left me, without any explanation. Besides, I felt Nathan’s song had this Japanese city pop vibe that I instantly loved. The music could fit the topic, but the mood was rather sweet.
So, when I composed the melody, I thought I had to bring some melancholy into the lyrics, I enjoyed working on this project so much. It’s the first time I created something from a distance with somebody I don’t even really know, but whose music tastes are so incredibly close to mine!”
The video for “Johatsu” finds its origin in the archival footage of Nathan Hawes’ parent, Mark and Michelle Hawes, taken in 1981 during their holidays in Europe. Nathan Hawes edited, colored and cut it to what we have now.
Nathan Hawes is a Sydney-based producer and songwriter. He realized his breakthrough with his 2019 debut EP Up To You. It featured LANKS on “Feel It Again” and he engaged himself in a largely collaborative approach in the songwriting and production process as Tim Ayre and Tobias Priddle were present on the EP credits.
The success of Up To You led KESMAR to land huge support slots alongside the likes of Vera Blue and Miami Horror.
After that KESMAR took a step back to refine his producing and songwriting in solace. Through 2020 with a lot of time in his home studio, he was able to refine his creative process in order to create this new body of work Forever Holiday. He was also able to create the “Johatsu” video and EP artwork himself.
Watch the video of KESMAR’s latest single “Johatsu” featuring Flore Benguigui here: