Any fans of deep Florida underground music are instantly familiar with the names Bleubird and Rickolus. South Floridian rapper Jacques "Bleubird" Bruna has for years been a leading light of a healthy Florida leftfield rap movement that includes the likes of Astronautilus and Paten Locke, and is a live favorite around these parts, while Rick "Rickolus" Colada is a delightfully skewed avant singer-songwriter with a gift for alien stage sets and onstage robots. And the thought of them collaborating is something that is simultaneously obvious and yet completely surprising.
The two came together as Hurricane Party during an impromptu recording session, with the only goal being, according to Bruna, "to make a bunch of noise and rock a bunch of shows." Mission accomplished in short order.
The two knocked out a clutch of infectiously weird numbers that sound nothing like anything either has been involved with and immediately booked a Florida, and then European, tour. Their joy in starting over and "cutting their teeth" with a completely new identity is just as palpable as their pride in repping their Florida roots. At one point during their conversation with Orlando Weekly, Colada summed up their aesthetic succinctly: "Super Florida, baby, we go from the top to the bottom." Bruna added, without missing a beat, "All counties represented."
How did Hurricane Party form?
Jacques Bruna: Rick and I have been friends for over 10 years. We met through Astronautilus. Rick grew up with Astronautilus, both of us have made lots of music with him, but for some reason Rick and I never thought to collaborate. Rick lives in Jacksonville and I live in Fort Lauderdale, and every time we've seen each other over the last couple of years, we'd say, "Hey man we should fuck around and make some music." That led to me finally rolling up to Jacksonville so we could go into his studio and record.
Rick Colada: It was meant to be something we'd do for fun. And very quickly we had sketches for 10 songs.
Was there are a sound or aesthetic you were going for?
RC: It took on a Florida vibe immediately. And then we came up with the name Hurricane Party, which was perfect because it's such a Florida-centric idea ... We talked to people on tour in Europe and they were like, "Is that a real thing?"
JB: And as far as Florida goes, [right now] I'm standing on a dock between two 300-foot yachts watching the sun go down and it smells like fried chicken and there's palm trees everywhere. This is Florida as fuck.
Thoughts on "yacht-rap"?
JB: When we started out, as a joke, we kept throwing the word "vape" around. We called ourselves "vape-pop." People were like what the fuck is that, and we were like "I don't know. It's cool right? It's vape-pop." But after one show someone came up to and said, "Y'all motherfuckers are yacht-rap." I mean I fuck with yacht rock ... It's not necessarily what we're trying to coin ourselves, we both just think it's a funny term.
You played Orlando recently, right?
JB: We played Lil Indies. Will (Walker) is a homie of mine, I used to live in Orlando and work at the old Will's. When I contacted them they were like "Oh yeah, you can play Will's." And I said, "This is a brand-new project. I'd rather play at Indies, and we'll make it free, We'll play a set and then DJ after." And Will was like, "Let's do it." We didn't leave the stage, we played and then DJed until closing. People just kept feeding us alcohols, fueling the fire.
RC: We like smaller shows. We have more fun playing in the crowd. Most of the time neither one of us is on the stage.
Will you be wearing the white jumpsuits on this tour?
JB: Fuck yeah we are. We did one show without them because they were filthy, and it just felt weird. We'll be able to wash them before we get to Orlando.
RC: We won't be that smelly. Or maybe we will?
JB: Maybe we will! That's the surprise.