Bearcubs is the immersive solo project from 26 year old electronic artist Jack Ritchie. Over the past 3 years, Bearcubs has honed in on a distinctly unique blend of emotive electronic music, future garage and lofi house music in his meticulously crafted productions. His past two EPs have been heavily championed by Annie Mac, MistaJam and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and he received support early from NPR, Fader, Mixmag, Noisey, Pigeons & Planes and more. Bercubs will perform his new live show Monday 26th at Sugar Factory, Amsterdam. Don’t miss it and enjoy our interview by Georgina Ustik and Hey! How’s your tour going so far? Good! We’ve finished rehearsals now and are getting ready to set off for the Copenhagen show on Wednesday. What was the first music you ever bought? I think it was a compilation CD of the best of British artists in about ‘97. It was pretty decent — had songs from Blur, Prodigy, and Supergrass on it from what I can remember. I think after that I went and bought Firestarter by The Prodigy. You’ve been compared to James Blake and Jamie XX — are they an influence? Who else? Yeah I definitely take influence from them, as well other contemporary artists like Sampha and Young Fathers. British electronic music to me is some of the most forward thinking in the world. Aside from that my influences are quite wide. I listen to a fair amount of dance music on the more underground side, and have always listened to classic artists like John Martyn and Gil Scott Heron who I admire a lot. Your music definitely has an individual flavor to it. How did you develop it? And how did you get started in music? I’ve been into music of some form for most of my life. I started playing the drums when I was much younger, and then went on to learn the piano, played in a few bands, but I didn’t really take producing electronic music seriously until about 5 years ago. It’s taken me a while to develop my style from experimentation and trying to refine more what I’m doing. You just put out a new album, Ultraviolet. Tell us about it — how does it depart from your previous work? What inspired this album? It’s the first album I’ve attempted to make under the name of Bearcubs. I wrote it during a short, intense period of time last year so I see it as a sort of snapshot of that time in my life. It was inspired partly as a continuation of my previous E.P Underwaterfall, but after a while it definitely took on its own life. You were on Tom Misch’s 2015 album, Beat Tape 2. How did this collab come about? I think we had heard each other’s music through Soundcloud and someone introduced us. We had a couple of writing sessions and came up with ‘Colours of Freedom’. He’s still playing it in his live sets at the moment, so it’s nice how well the song has been received and that it still has life in it. London has such a vibrant community of musicians putting out great work. There really seems to be a great sense of community — who else are you looking to collab with? I’d like to collaborate with Nilüfer Yanya and Kelly Lee Owens, they’re making some amazing music at the moment. Anything in the works? Just focusing on my tour for the moment, then I’ll be looking for new collaborations with people throughout the year, writing new music, and preparing for festival season. What other artists are you listening to most right now? I’ve been listening to the new Young Fathers record, Kedr Livanskiy, Ross From Friends, Kelly Lee Owens, a bunch of stuff really. What does Bearcubs bring to electronic music that no other artist does? Hopefully a piece of myself, a concoction of my own tastes and ideas, which I guess no one else can bring! Where do you hope to see Bearcubs going in the future? What’s your dream for the project? I hope to have the ability to meet and collaborate with artists I admire and to be able to play around the world. That’s the dream, really.