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Now Out of Water, The Jellyfish Tells its Tale; Breaking Down Jellyfish EP with Sir Bastien

Now Out of Water, The Jellyfish Tells its Tale; Breaking Down Jellyfish EP with Sir Bastien

If you are a good follower of this space, the name Sir Bastien should definitely ring a bell to you. If you aren’t, well, welcome aboard. 

Sir Bastien is a French-Nigerian multi-instrumental multi-genre singer, songwriter and producer whose works of production and music are an evidence of his understanding of space, dimensions and how sound could translate all of that intricately through music. His imagination of how music should be created is expressed through the otherworldly, dreamy soundscape he creates with his sound. He draws his inspiration from Beatenberg, The Lijadu Sisters and Galimatias. An ardent believer in creating where and when one can, Sir Bastien plays, literally, with his instruments and tools, carrying his listeners along through every step of the way of his process.

Sir Bastien is a French-Nigerian multi-instrumental multi-genre singer, songwriter and producer
Sir Bastien is a French-Nigerian multi-instrumental multi-genre singer, songwriter and producer

Recently, Sir Bastien released a project titled Jellyfish. It is an extended play (EP). One word that comes to mind with this EP is serendipity, as the project takes you on a journey into discovering sounds you never knew you needed, but turn out to be just the thing for the moment.

I caught up with the artist recently. This article is birthed off the conversations we had.

Hello Sir Bastien

Hello June

How are you doing today?

I feel great, how are you?

I feel good too, thank you. 

Let us progress into the conversation for today – Jellyfish! Where do we begin… hmm, the name. You’ve been talking a lot about Jellyfish for sometime now. Why did you choose that name for this project?

Okay… firstly, I’d love to make it clear that Jellyfish can be said to be a sequel to Mango Island. So, the protagonist’s journey starts from Mango Island. And the protagonist more or less finds himself living in the Island and he has to kind of make his way through the sea. And how do you talk about being underwater? Submarine or something. To me it’s more like seeing a man as Jellyfish. Animals that don’t have brains. They’re just going through life as it is. It’s pretty interesting Sha.

But yeah. That’s pretty much why I named it Jellyfish. It was made just to describe the serenity of being underwater.

To me it's more like seeing a man as Jellyfish. Animals that don’t have brains. They’re just going through life as it is. It’s pretty interesting Sha.
“To me it’s more like seeing a man as Jellyfish. Animals that don’t have brains. They’re just going through life as it is. It’s pretty interesting sha…”

I think I understand that concept – living through life without doing much thinking about it. Going through it as it comes.

Yeah. Exactly.

But, I mean you’ve been working on this project for a long time as you’ve always said. You’ve been planning it for a very very long time. I don’t know for how long but I think you mentioned that it’s up to a year or two. I’m not so sure…

Yeah, like a year and half.

A year and half. There must have been periods when the plan went through upgrades. I just imagine that you must have had maybe you had an original idea which kept on developing over time. How has that process been for you?

True. Luckily for this project, It was very… I was just working on a bunch of songs; just demos or things, ideas that I could have followed through. Do you get it? Just making a lot of music as regards to making music for the sake of making. There wasn’t any general music stuff until we put all of the songs that we had into a playlist and  we just kept working on them, we kept adding some songs to them and then the idea started flushing out from there. So, it actually started with producing. It wasn’t that serious. 

I had to work on something new and that’s what I was doing. 

This project felt quite different especially because you involved other creatives in the rollout through The Jellyfish Show. It kind of made me think of Nardua, this approach… Do you know Naduar?

Naduar?, Yes, I do…

That’s the kind of vibe it gave. The whole Naduar thing. Where you bring them on the Jellyfish show… You had AV, the artist, SOLIS and some others. You’ve had a couple of artists on The Jellyfish Show who are not even on the project but they were just like on the pre- release thing that you did for it…


When did that idea strike and why did you think it was necessary to do that?

We were actually working on a series. We were working on some videos, content wise. We’ve had a lot of videos that we plan to roll out. Some of them had issues with quality as we were trying to push the boundaries and make really high quality stuff. Some of them didn’t really turn out as great as we anticipated. Some of them had budget concerns. So, they were a little bit complicated to execute. And while those plans were still in motion, I thought of an idea. I was working, I was doing a lot of production work for all the artists in the Jellyfish rollout and I was just thinking, there are a lot of times when you need to take breaks or you need to eat or relax. And I was thinking, ‘what could be a good thing to do with these artists?’ 

The fact that I was with them meant that there was a potential to capitalize on the fact that I was with them. So, instead of telling them, ‘Hey, I’m working on a project, make a video of you doing something…’ but that was not it for me. That wasn’t the intention. The plan was to leave it open-ended. And it’s important to be very clear with what you want. So I said, ‘Okay, I’m going to do like a small TV show on Instagram Reels that nobody has done before and I’d love you to be a guest’ And they’re like, ‘what! Let’s do it!’. They were all very excited to do it. It was a very interesting idea. 

So, working on the show, there were eight original episodes, we only aired six. The other two are just there in the box. And then lots of artists have reached out that they want to be on The Jellyfish Show but I don’t know if that’s something I’d want to continue. Maybe I will, I don’t know.

But yeah, the Jellyfish show ended up being the perfect thing for the rollout. It just made the rollout more fun and more organic than having this high quality short film type of videos. And there were more interactions with the episodes than having oh my God! Some epic view of a drone shot. Nah mehn! All those things are excessive and unnecessary. Nobody connects to that. So we ended up creating a space for fun at the end of the day.

I especially like the fact that you use the word organic and I’ve seen somewhere that you said that you are about encouraging artists to create where they are, with what they have.. so when I saw the rollout I was like, okay this is you sticking to what you have said before and it’s actually very cool.


[CHUCKLES] So, yeah. Still on creating with what you have and sticking to what you can control. I feel like all the songs were produced by you right?

Uhm, not really… Genuine was produced by Yinka Bernie with additional production from me. I produced the rest.

That’s really beautiful. For the art direction, you reached out to Niyi Okeowo. Niyi is quite well known in the art scene right now. So, I mean, that’s something I didn’t see coming too until I saw that art and I was like, Okay! Cool! This is getting very interesting. 

Cover Art Creatively Directed by Niyi Okeowo

I’ve observed that you are always been collaborating with artists, even in your previous works. Mango Island, was by Tiolu Yoloye if I’m not mistaken?

No, it was by Oluwatobi…

Okay… but wasn’t there one by Tiolu Yoloye?

Oh, yeah… Tiolu illustrated the cover. The direction was by Oluwatobi.

Okay… thanks for the clarification. I’ve seen also that a song was done by 46th Ronin. I think that’s your sister

Yes. That’s my sister.

So yeah, you’ve always collaborated with artists. Why do you do that? Do you think it’s something you just have to do or is there a statement behind it?

Well, with Mango island initially, there was the chat of having Oluwatobi do the creative direction, and he mostly did all the conceptualization for the images. I spoke to him like ‘Yo! Let’s work on a cover. What should it look like?’. 

He dropped some ideas and We sent some things back and forth. And then he now decided that there are some key elements that should be added to Mango Island. And then some of the plants in the background. He gave the idea over to Tiolu who then illustrated it.

So, I think it was more of having the music speak for itself. And not necessarily just by how it sounds. It’s more like seeing a thing related to the music and saying, ‘Oh! This is Mango island. It is it’s own entity’, I guess. I don’t know.

But then with Girlfriend I was trying to do something that looked like a comic book, you know. It ended up looking great. And I decided to just go through with that same theme for all the singles of 2021.

So maybe I don’t know. Maybe it’s just by chance that I work with illustrators. But like, I’m hoping that the next thing I do would be with a photograph. I want to try photography next time.

Like, photography without edit. Like, the picture is the picture. You get what I mean.

Yeah. I do. I do. Kind of like what Obongjayar does sometimes. But  sometimes with his there are edits too. But most times his backgrounds are usually very raw and you can see that this is real life. There’s nothing photoshoppy about this.


So, you opened up the project with Angel eyes. That was the first pre-released single off Jellyfish… why?

Oh! Yes. It was the first single. Sure. Jellyfish is the intro but Angel Eyes sounds like an intro after the intro. I don’t know if that makes sense to you… 

It does. So why was that song chosen? I mean, you have Genuine on the project and you have Changes with SGawD. Why did you choose Angel Eyes as the first single before the project?

Okay. We chose Angel Eyes because we thought that was the strongest song that didn’t have a feature. And the agenda right now is to say that I can do songs without features. I mean, I’m a producer first before an artist. And that’s very clear on Mango Island. There were like ten features on that project.

So, we were trying to make it look like, ‘let’s try to do something with less features. Let’s see what I can do by myself’. That was the motion we were trying to push. Pretty much.

“And the agenda right now is to say that I can do songs with features. I mean, I’m a producer first before an artist. And that’s very clear on Mango Island…”

Seems like that agenda is “agendaing”. 

This next question will be from a more personal point of view; you had just recently graduated from uni before this project and it seems like your networking has been way stronger since you finished schooling. So, the question is, there was a time you were doing all of this while still in school, how were you able to merge school life with music life, and what difference do you think leaving school has made since it happened?

Well, I mean. We thank God for the internet you know and the fact that you can collaborate with people far and away. That was pretty much what I was doing as far as being in school was concerned. But the major issue you’d have with working with people far away is they are a bit reluctant a lot of the time. And there are a lot of people who would not have equipment. So, you asking them to make stuff and send things over to you might be complicated for them because they don’t have any way of getting it and of recording it. And they don’t seem pressured to do so. But if you’re in the same place with the person. It’s like ‘Yo bitch, I’m here. Let’s record this thing now!’

So, I guess the only difference with not being in school now is I get to get things done considerably faster and I was able to attend some music camps which I would have been unable to attend because of time constraints. These things can be like two-three weeks. So, I was able to attend some music camps and meet some interesting people. And again, just work with people right in the moment. So I think the biggest benefits are just being able to work with the artists that you talk to in person. Because, over the internet if they don’t rate you enough then there wouldn’t be any pressure to work on the stuff that you gave them. Does that make sense?

Yeah. It does. A lot.


Urgh. I just want you to run through each song. We have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven songs on the project. And I know that each song has its…

Ah! It’s six o!

[laughs] Six, my bad. Jellyfish. Angel eyes. Changes. Rewind. Inside and Genuine with Solis

I know that each song has something special about it that you would want to talk about. So, maybe you could just run through that.


Jellyfish. The first song opens with [SOUND]. You can hear water. You can hear like water rumbling. You can hear water moving more or less. And as it’s moving the guitar starts and goes quiet. Except for the guitar. All the sound. Cause you’re inside the water, everything goes quiet. And then music starts deep under water. Cheee! Cause you’ve jumped deep under water. 

‘Deep under water, my heart is buried within. Why do I even bother to dream of anything.’ 

So in essence the idea is, I have jumped into this relationship with this person that it’s so deep and it’s so strong. My heart is buried within. 

‘Why do I even bother to dream of anything?’ because, like what I need to dream about… I am like where I want to be.

Jellyfish thoughts aren’t what they seem because they don’t think of anything. Love is lots and lots of scenes within a string. And scenes within a string for me are personal. But I’d say that all the lines where some current of water hit each other and things and things. I’d call those like scenes of a string. And love is that. Cause when they hit they collide and the form turbulences and sort and sort.

‘Jellyfish in the water, present love on my altar. I recline to you because it’s all that I can do’

Essentially it’s just saying that, I am so smitten by you, I am so in love with you. I’m putting my heart in front of you, I’m putting it on an altar you can do whatever you want with it. 

And like, ‘I recline to you’ cause there’s nothing else I can do. Like, who else do I want to go and meet.

So, yes it’s a bit… It’s a nice but also a bit of a sad story because why should you be absolutely smitten by someone so much so that there is nothing else you can do but be with them?

Anyway, on to the next song, Angel Eyes.

Angel Eyes is like ‘Oh!’ because you know, the drums are a little more punchy and more exciting. There’s like more swagger on this song. And the whole chat is that you have beautiful eyes, you are gorgeous. But at the same I feel it’s a disguise for who you really are. And this person with such gorgeous eyes may not necessarily be the person that I imagined them to be. Not to be… What’s that word? Not to be deceived by beauty. That’s the whole chat about that song.

And then there’s a line, my favourite part. Something about… ‘ten over ten personality but you don’t eat Celery’. 

Also on our own perspective that even though the person is disguising

themselves, you still think they have a great personality. Your excuse for not liking them is that they don’t eat celery and tha’s a very stupid excuse. That’s your excuse? Okay.

So that’s the main chat about Angel Eyes. It’s like disguises. The person you like is like fronting for you and you’re also fronting for the person.

Then the next song, Changes with Super Soma, hmm. Changes is about how it can be when there’s somebody, someone in motherhood. 

‘Mama says don’t come home after dark, there’s demons walking through the park. I know it’s all superstition but follow your mother’s intuition’.

It’s just saying, of course, your mum can say ridiculous things to you and at the same time it’s from a place of love. She’s not just saying these things randomly. But then the lines still proceed to say that 

‘You have to pick up your shoes and run.

You have to live your life.’ 

Like even though there might be all this things… 

‘Come home on time

Get back home early’

Do this, do that. It’s still you. You’re still yourself at the end of the day. And your life is your life. It’s just a song about these feelings on the way you relate with people of authority over your life, it has to change. That’s the whole chat.

And then SGawD comes with a similar perspective where she talks about the changes that she’s felt with her own mother as well. And how her mother would go to the Church and pray about her that

‘Oh, my daughter is a sinner

see all the things that you’re doing..’

And she’s like, 

‘This is me now. 

I am the God who created order. 

I’m the greatest of all times. 

Of course I’m going to change. 

See Also

I’m going to change for someone who is me and not someone who you want me to be.’

You know, it’s a very deep song.

Sorry to interrupt. I didn’t even know that song was tilted towards this and I’ve been listening to it for a while now… art and interpretation…

Yeah. Right. It’s pretty interesting.

So again I tried to also make all the songs bleed into one another. Jellyfish bleeds into Angel Eyes. Like the transition is interesting. And then all of a sudden the records of Changes come in. And at the end of ChangesChanges goes [MAKES REWINDING SOUND] and then the next song hits

[SOUND]. Rewind.

Rewind for me, because the song starts with [SOUND]. You know when you… like sunlight hits bubbles, the way they shine. That’s the way I planned the thing in the beginning. And Rewind is again another kind of relationship love story. Whereby you say that, there are some things… The chorus is the longing for the relationship and the verse is the reason why the relationship didn’t work. 

‘There is something that I wanted you to say but you’re not saying it. There’s something that I wanted you to do but you won’t. 

The sun that I hoped you to be but you’re not. 

So all I want to say is that I should stop and rewind, so that I can have more time because of the sunshine that you bring into my life.’

The idea is that maybe in the earlierness meeting of this person, things were really nice, really happy and all. You guys were sharing this. But then overtime you noticed that there were some things that you wanted in the relationship that the other person couldn’t give to you. It’s the other way around. You long for it, you wish you could go back in time and experience it again. You know and it’s there, it’s playing over this [SOUND]. This very nice bumpy beat. You know that Omah Lay vibe. Singing your pain over a bumpy beat. But yeah, it was very short as most of the songs are. And Rewind was a really nice interludy type song for me because I like the way it felt. Because honestly, Jellyfish could low-key have been two- three track singles. With Jellyfish, Angel Eyes and Changes. That was it.  That’s okay. And then Rewind. Also sounds like the beginning, like a first track to me. So it would have been Rewind, Inside and Genuine

‘My eyes in 3D motion
I just want to look at your body in slow
‘My eyes in 3D motion, 
I just want to look at your body in slow motion’

So, Rewind ends and then it goes Wah! At the end like the same theme of all the songs. Enter inside like ‘pium!’ And then the first thing you hear is like a guitar ‘pium!’ And then the guitar would ‘pium!’ And you hear the beat [SOUND] Eh! And then everybody is like, groovy!

Raggae! Let’s go! You know. And we’re entering the raggae vibes and it’s just like ah! The song just hits you immediately!

‘My eyes in 3D motion, 

I just want to look at your body in slow motion’

Ah! Now, that song trips me everytime I hear it. I’m like, ‘what’… 

The whole chat is like a relationship with someone else that is far away from you. And like, one of the line says 

‘I want to love you, 

I want to hold you but you love in another dimension’ You know, and the chorus goes 

‘I don’t know what to do with this feelings inside’

So it’s the same chat that you like this person but they are far away. So what are you supposed to do with the feelings that you have for them. And it’s really sad. It is what it is. It’s one of those feelings. It’s something that everyone has felt before. So, Inside then pushes into Genuine. And it just simply means.. It’s like meeting the crush for the first time. Maybe not for the first time. But meeting your crush and its like, ‘Oh my God! My crush is coming to meet me.’ Because your crush actually likes you back. ‘Like, woah! My God! I didn’t know this.’

[LAUGHS] Your crush liking you, What are the odds?

You know??!! Yeah. So it’s like,

‘look at your eyes, they make me shy. I can’t disguise it. 

Natural hair, you look so fresh,  I can’t deny it. 

Look at your smile it restores the Nile, I can’t describe it. 

Look at your heart, just mine is marked. 

I feel so lucky cause I can’t believe that you

came this close to me.’

You know. So that’s the whole idea. That you can’t believe it. Like, oh my God! ‘You actually like me back, that’s crazy.’

So, yeah. That’s the idea for Genuine. And the production end is actually incredible, from Yinka Bernie. You know, it was really dope. He really came through with that secret sauce, and he really made the whole song come alive.

And then, Solis’ verse is gorgeous. When she talks about loving the protagonist. And again it’s like, I would have never thought that the person I have a crush in has a crush on you back. Same idea.

Because Solis in this context is the crush, I’m the protagonist. That’s it. So yeah, That’s pretty much as far as the writing and everything goes. And of course at the end of the song, you suddenly hear [MAKES SOUND] Because it’s like you’ve gone through every single kind of emotion or feeling, love that you can feel for another person. And you come out at the end of it. You jumped into the water at the beginning and now you’re getting washed at the end. Which tallies with the videos that are on my Instagram.

The first video is with me, I got into the water the first time. That signifies Jellyfish. And the second song is me trying to fight my way out of the water, which is Rewind. Or just struggling generally. Struggling with these feelings. And Genuine. The last song. I am out of it. I have remerged. I have resurfaced onto land. And that is it. That is the end of my tale.

This project sounds very thought out. I wouldn’t have known it was a progressive story. I just felt like each song was standing on its own. Kind of the way previous projects have been.

Yeah. I mean they’re not exactly progressive in the sense. These are different feelings, different types of relationships that you can have with someone. I mean. They’re all individual at the end of the day. And the story doesn’t carry on from the previous one to the next. 

That’s quite interesting. With Jellyfish now out, you’ve been washed off the emotions from the songs themselves. But then, there are the emotions that comes from you putting out a project. The project is out, people are listening to it; How are they responding to it and how are you responding to how they are responding to it?

Well, people are responding pretty nicely, I really appreciate it. Everyone who has been listening because these are the people that were listening to Mango Island and they were happy to listen to this.

I wouldn’t necessarily say I got a lot of new listeners. I wouldn’t say cause Mango Island helped me get a lot of people. So, Jellyfish is like working on creating more music for the people that enjoy my music. And I’m trying to make them as proud as I can. All of the work

I’ve done so far. And that is pretty much it. I love that they love it and been saying really good stuff about it and people listen to it all the time. And it’s nice. It feels great. I’m very happy.

Yeah. I know you don’t think too much about all these things. Like you said about the Jellyfish. Trying to go through life without necessarily having to think about what comes and doesn’t come in. But then, it’s in our nature to always ask, what are the things that you want to or already have achieved after the release of the project? In terms of maybe performances or maybe visuals. Anything that just has to come with the project itself.

So, the last thing I’m doing for Jellyfish is I’m having a tiny little show. I’m having a little show in Ibadan because I’m leaving Nigeria for Europe. 

Wait, you are leaving Nigeria?

To Belgium. I’m going to Europe.



Interview conducted and Article written by “June, Sometimes…”

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