The Kaje talks nightlife to CAAN

Camden’s CAAN first found success as part of the synth-pop trio Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, only to suffer the loss of his close friend and bandmate Mark Haddon in 2010. Having kept his head low for the past couple of years, CAAN is back and this time taking centre stage as a solo artist, with a gritty, urban driven sound that is making heads turn and tearing his way into people’s hearts once again. With The Kaje more than a little enchanted by his brutally honest lyrical wisdom, we jumped at the chance to hang out on a rooftop and find out more…

Establishing yourself as a solo act must be an interesting position post-Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. With such a different sound, how have you found the Ou Est Le Swimming Pool fans reactions?

 It has been mixed, but mostly good. What I do is quite different from what we did, but at the same time there are lots of similarities. A lot of the fans have been great and really supportive, others have said they don’t like it, but then not everybody will like everything you do. You have to take the good with the bad and I just love making music so I will continue to do so.

Can you tell us a little bit more about your latest single, “Into The Night”?

I just wanted to take it all a little bit more old school, channel in to some of the tracks and sounds that had really influenced me. It is not just really about going for a night out and losing it all, it is just about losing yourself in yourself. Being able to just completely let go.

Your videos, both for “Into The Night” and last single “Every Little Thing” show the importance of the visual to you. Do you think it is about exploring every aspect of the creative?

I think it is important to work with other creative people and really push an idea to the max. I love to see ideas realised and I love to tell stories. Music videos are more than just a visual feast, though it is important that the visual works.

What are your hopes as a solo artist?

I want to be able to explore as many sounds as I can. I don’t want restrictions. I like to listen to so many things, that I want those influences to be heard in my music. It is not just about success, it is about creativity. I am currently working on my album and I can’t wait to get that finished and out there.

Interview and Photographs by Jeremy Williams

Single of the Week: Caan “Into The Night” / Helena Jesele “Let The Game Begin”

The Kaje have been hit by a conundrum this week. With a plethora of insanely brilliant singles set for release, we whittled our list down to two very different tracks that we simply couldn’t choose between. So why choose? This week we will simply honour two instead of one..

First up is the firm The Kaje favourite Caan. The former Ou Est Le Swimming Pool member blew us away with the haunting “Every Little Thing” and returns with the hypnotising “Into The Night”…

With a swing in her step, Mancunian born, Dublin raised Helena Jesele wears her Aretha Franklin and Ella Fitzgerald influences on her sleeve. This is no bad thing. Oozing class, Jesele’s latest single “Let The Game Begin” will knock you for six…

WIN! Tickets To See CAAN at Dingwalls, London

Former-Ou Est Le Swimming Pool star CAAN is a firm favourite of The Kaje. Having more than wowed us with the sensationally stirring “Every Little Thing”, CAAN is back with the raucuous sizzle that is the single “Into The Night”. To celebrate his latest release with his rapidly increasing fanbase, CAAN is taking to the stage at Dingwalls, Camden on May 31st and we have a pair of tickets for one lucky reader! If you would like to get your hands on these, simply tell us CAAN’s full name… Email your answers to by May 29th.

The Kaje talks solo to CAAN

CAAN is  no doubt best known to you all as one third of Ou Est Le Swimming Pool. With the band meeting an end that sent shockwaves throughout the music industry, CAAN is now making headway as a solo artist. Having left the synth-pop sound behind him, CAAN has focused on his own musical influences and crafted the intensely moving single “Every Little Thing”. With an impressive vocal and outstanding songwriting capabilities, there is little doubt that CAAN is about to make it big on his own. So before the explosion sets in fully, here at The Kaje we jumped at the chance to chat about his transition to solo stardom…

Having spent so long as a performer as part of a group, how daunting is the prospect of a solo career?

I love it. I’ve found my feet and am loving every minute of it. It was a great feeling to sell-out London’s XOYO at the end of Feb, now I’m in rehearsals for a UK tour in June. I have an incredible live band behind me so it doesn’t feel too different.

Your sound has taken a very different direction to Ou Est Le Swimming Pool-would you say this was a conscious decision?

In Ou Est we were always very focused on the 1980s synth-pop sound. This is just a little more diverse. I still love that sound and everything we did, and I’m still in the same studio, but this has got my stamp on it. My sound is a lot darker and the album draws influence from many areas of music.

How would you describe your sound?

A mash-up of everything I grew up listening to.

Who would you say have been your biggest influences musically?

Gil Scott Herron, Bob Marley. Conscious songwriters. But mostly my family and all the great music that surrounded me as I grew up.

Your current single is “Every Little Thing”-what is the track about?

It was the first song I wrote as a solo artist and encapsulates a part of my life when I was in a very emotional place. Really it’s about anything or anyone, but mostly a few special people and memories. But I find that as much as the listener can, I can also relate the song to many different things depending on my mood.

How did you decide that it should be your single?

Everyone loved it, especially the fans who’d seen it performed live. I’d have the whole crowd singing it back at me, which showed that it wasn’t just me that felt it was a special track. And like the guys at Record Of The Day said, sometimes a minimal track can have maximum impact!

What are your hopes for the track?

I’m looking at the project as a whole, so the effect so far has been astounding. It’s been amazing getting so much radio play, and really I hope that people enjoy it as much as I do.

How have your ambitions altered since the Ou Est Le Swimming Pool days?

I just love making music, not much has changed.

Chazzstock has been announced recently-have you any involvement with the project?

We did one at Koko shortly after Chazz died as a big celebration of his life. A lot of good friends we’d made along the way performed like The Kooks, The Horrors, Tribes and even Tony Hadley! It was wonderful that so many people congregated that night to remember him in such a beautiful way.

What else do you have planned for 2012?

UK tour and second single called ‘Into The Night’ in June. A few summer festivals – I’m most looking forward to Secret Garden Party! And then third single and album in September.

If there is one thing you could achieve by the end of 2012, what would that be?

To instigate World Peace.

For more information visit

Interview by Jeremy Williams


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