Another cloudy Thursday morning rolls around which of course isn’t anything new for the UK, but rather than listening to Capital FM en route to the office, pouring a rather large coffee to get us over that final hurdle before Friday and becoming fully immersed in the office conversation topic of choice, this particular Thursday is a little different for us.
After months of planning, weeks of discussions and endless hours trying to tie all the loose ends together, our Social Media and Marketing team ditches Head Office rituals for a morning of casual chats, competitive ping pong and hilariously lad-like stories with Jake Manson and Adam Englefield – better known as UK house music DJ duo Blonde.
Since completely smashing the music scene both by themselves and through collaborating with the likes of Craig David, Sigala and Imani Williams, Adam and Jake are working their way through a heavy summer of festivals. We have the pleasure of meeting with the cheeky chaps ahead of their SW4 set this Bank Holiday weekend in an attempt to get them to dish the dirt.
A complete tardis tucked away just outside of Old Street Station in Shoreditch is Bounce – our chosen location to meet the boys. We may have encountered a slight mishap involving a walkie talkie and the front door, but we’ll save that story for another day. Oh, and the boys are completely diva-free we’ll have you know – a really lovely couple of lads, actually.
While Shoreditch is typically renowned for its industrial heritage, creative roots and urban crowd, Bounce exceeds all of our expectations with its unique mix of vibes all neatly contained within one room. Greeted with a fluorescent and flamboyant steep stairway, we’re amazed at the complete attention to detail which gives the space an extra edge.
The grand dining space is immaculately set up with extravagant silverware while the bar across the far back wall is laden with an eclectic range of spirits and liquors. The side seating area channels that of a traditional working men’s club with deep burgundy leather booths and rich wooden tables – a small yet cosy area which oozes sophistication.
Amongst all the plush interior decor lies the main space, central to the room, which is peppered with ping pong tables, a graffiti feature wall and a decorative abstract wall with broken guitars and wooden chairs protruding from the infrastructure. A bizarre yet intriguing interior which reinforces the raw and gritty nature of Shoreditch.
Perfectly suited to an edgy and carefree yet professional clique, Bounce’s centrepiece is the grafitti-ridden ping pong table, slightly set back from the bar and intentionally placed directly below the UV light hub. A special and intimate addition. The only single thing more personal is the private room with equally urban decor and a private bar, sectioned off by glass doors.
Jake arrives first and has a warm and friendly nature, telling us about his crazy whirlwind 48 hours in Ibiza for Danny Howard’s birthday. A casual yet completely unpretentious name drop – his laid back and open attitude makes us all feel totally relaxed and at ease. I mean, we hear these guys on the radio all the time so it’s a pretty big deal.
If you follow the boys on Snapchat you’ll recall seeing their Ibiza speed boat antics, and Jake tells us how all the boys drove up to a group of girls on a pedalo and told them they could hire the exact same speed boat for 60 euros a day, chuckling as the excited girls ferociously paddled back to shore. Ibiza bants 2k16.
Asking whether we’d prefer him to have facial or no facial hair for the shoot (IMAGINE being let loose on Jake’s beard), we learn that he loves Topshop Jamie jeans, has an uncontrollable obsession with Kinder Choco-Bons and wants to skydive with a shark. We assume he means dive with a shark underwater – either that, or he’s incredibly ambitious.
Adam isn’t far behind and is equally as charming and chatty. After a quick de-brief we get stuck in and set up in the private room to start the interview for our video. Both Adam and Jake answer openly and honestly, with humour and an effortless humble nature at the forefront of the entire chat.
It’s hard to believe the boys first struck up a friendship online, only meeting once they’d produced a number of songs together, as the visible connection and chemistry between them is endearing as they take it in turns to answer our questions. The boys are incredibly sincere and their laid back yet professional demeanour only makes us warm to them even more.
We learn that Adam’s guilty obsession is The Smurfs Go Pop! album, the boys would love to have written and produced Sia ft. Sean Paul – Cheap Thrills and that Craig David is a complete and utter crazy ball of energy in the studio. We’re talking riffs here, there and everywhere. IMAGINE studio and chill with CD.
As the interview comes to an end (you’ll have to watch the video on Twitter or Facebook to find out what they have to say about the highlight of their career, their summer plans and the last person they told they love), we take a quick mid-morning break to take advantage of Deliveroo and sit down over brunch – Vietnamese is their food of choice, if you’re a stalker.
Team SOLETRADER is far too basic for Vietnamese brunch so of course our order consisted of a bacon butty and a little poached eggs with avocado number. Don’t judge. The avo isn’t going to end up on Insta, don’t worry. After a much needed break, we get back to business and let the boys get dressed for the photo shoot. Eye emoji when Jake takes his shirt off mid convo though.
To thank Adam and Jake for their time, we invite them to pick some shoes to keep which they wear for the shoot. To be honest, they are completely deserving and do the shoes justice. Wearing Burberry, Dr Martens and Y3, we can tell the boys are used to standing there looking pretty for the camera as it just doesn’t phase them.
Laughing and joking around, they make their way round the venue to capture the whole vibe, and again we’re really impressed with how well they interact with both the videographer and ourselves, considering we’re complete strangers. But it’s both flattering and humbling to see two successful boys so grounded and well equipped with manners.
Unfortunately Adam has to shoot to catch a flight to Kavos (he ended up getting stranded in Prague, btw) but it’s a pleasure spending the morning with him and Jake. Don’t worry girls, he was performing not reliving a 2k10 holiday – your dreams haven’t all been crushed at once. They both have girlfriends but we thought we’d leave that until the end to save any teary screens.
Jake packs up his stuff while chatting and both the boys leave Bounce in their favourite pair of Y-3 trainers we gifted them. We check that they actually like them and aren’t just being polite, don’t worry. Oh, and we hate to break it to you, but we’re on first name basis, hug goodbyes and invitations to say hi at SW4. All in all? A bloody successful day if you ask us.
You can still get SW4 Sunday day tickets here, book out tables at bounce here (they now do bottomless brunch on a Sunday – how AMAZING) and listen to Blonde’s latest single ‘Don’t Need No Money’ here. A big thank you to Blonde, SW4 and Bounce for all being equally as amazing. Lots of love – Team SOLETRADER.
Disclaimer: We will be attending SW4 on Saturday 26th August (the day the boys are playing) and you will find us fangirling at the barrier desperately hoping they remember who we are. But we are totally on first name basis so it’s cool. Totally cool. We got this. We spent the whole morning with them AND got a picture so…
All shoes featured in the photos and video with Blonde can be found below. For our full range of shoes please visit our website.