Not every artist influenced by singular visionaries such as Björk, Pet Shop Boys and Years & Years will get their own music so fine-tuned, but Brazilian born electro-pop performer PUZZLE starts 2017 with a fair crack of the whip.

His engaging ‘Little Black Book’ track has already been released. The song is also the lead track to his forthcoming debut EP released next month. By his own admission, “the world has become a little bit boring” and questions why people are following what everyone else is doing when they have access to everything. It’s a fair point.

PM: Hi there! It feels odd saying, ‘Hello PUZZLE’. Do Starbucks write PUZZLE on your cup when you go for a coffee?
Haha! They do actually! It’s quite unlikely that you’d have two PUZZLE’s in the same room at any given time so it helps avoid any cheeky bugger taking my hot chocolate.

We love your new single, ‘Little Black Book’. What details of the song can you tell us that you haven’t told anyone else?
Thanks, really glad you enjoyed it. I haven’t told anyone this but the conceptual idea started from a conversation in a hair salon. A friend of mine was complaining about Tinder and how girls were only using him as a booty call, but all he wanted was to find a nice girl to settle down with. A bloke with a heart. Who would have thought, right?

What was your last big disappointment?
Pret A Manger’s victorian sponge…I was heartbroken. I should have stuck to Greggs; theirs is incredible.

Who or what is in your little black book?
I’m not one to fall out with people easily, so I have a long contact list. I’d say it’s a mixture of good restaurants in any city I travel to; professional contacts that might be useful; the odd past flame I managed to stay friends with and some more odds and sods. My close friends and my partner are obviously on speed dial. Also, it’s hard not to mention my mum who doesn’t leave me alone; especially now she’s discovered you can call for free on WhatsApp.

If you could name one person who inspires you the most, who would it be?
Björk. She’s such an original.

What’s in your fridge?
Turkey mince, brown pasta, blueberries, broccoli, soy milk. And two pots of Pralines and Cream Haagen Dazs.

Do you find it awkward being stuck in an elevator with someone? Do you start a conversation?
I did get stuck in an elevator before, but I was on my own so I had no one to share my utter panic with. It would have been nice to have had someone to verbalise my claustrophobia to, so the answer is yes, I would definitely start a hell of a conversation.

RuPaul’s Drag Race. Are you all over it?
I don’t follow it that closely but I occasionally watch it and I really enjoy it. I just can’t believe how talented they are; to perform that well; to be that good at makeup and to give it as good as they take. It’s probably one the most competitive shows I’ve ever seen.

What was the last gig you went to?
Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden. The guy is an institution.

Is your glass half full or half empty?
I’d say half full. I try to be positive most of the time, although you need to work at it.

● PUZZLE’s first EP, ‘Babylon’ is released on March 3. ‘Little Black Book’ is out now.


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Phil Marriott

The author Phil Marriott

As well as holding the Head of Music position, Phil currently presents the Sunday mid-morning show on Gaydio - the world’s biggest LGBT dance radio station. As a DJ, he has supported Tiesto and played for clubbing brands Fierce Angel and SupermartXe. He is one half of a remix duo with DJ Rich B and also produces the PMKEpodcast with singer Katherine Ellis, the LDN Vegans YouTube channel with Polly Harvey, and produces and presents Boys On Film with Raj Rudolph from EQ Music Blog.