Shaky Knees 2023: Interview with Puma Blue
Puma Blue is the alias of singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Allen. Jacob grew up in a small town outside of London with musically inclined parents. At the age of seven, he fell in love with playing drums, deciding then that he would pursue drumming as a musical career. In his late teen years, Jacob attended a prestigious music school where he met Ellis Dupuy, who would later become the drummer for Puma Blue. At that time, Jacob decided to move away from drumming in favor of the guitar in order to better facilitate his song composition, though, despite this transition, Jacob admits with a smile, he still tends to start his compositions on the drums.
And so Jacob Allen became the lead guitar and vocalist for Puma Blue, honestly, a little reluctantly. It had never been a part of his vision to be so front and center. But with the individuals he gathered around him as drummer, bassist, saxophone, and keys player, and with him being the primary songwriter…becoming the lead just made practical sense. Nerves and anxiety were a huge part of Puma Blue’s beginning, but now Jacob looks at performing as a truly freeing, cathartic expression of feeling and sound.
His music is soft and sexy like a fur coat on bare skin, lulling the listener into a dimly lit room of hauntingly deep blues and greens. His falsetto voice pierces the hazy layers of fuzzy lo-fi guitar, jazz drums, groovy bass lines, and sexy saxophone that drift around his soundscape like smoke. Each member of the band seems to be just as invested in the music as Jacob is, making their live performance feel scandalously intimate, almost like you, as an audience member, are peering into their practice room window while they perform only for themselves. Drawing heavily from jazz, Jacob says the band tends to experiment and improvise a lot on stage – guaranteeing that each Puma Blue performance is different from the last.
In 2021, Jacob moved to Atlanta, Georgia where he currently resides. After his performance on Sunday, May 7th at Shaky Knees 2023, he sat down for an interview with Haley Solomon where they discussed this journey into music and becoming a confident frontman.
This was another favorite of Haley’s interviews from Shaky Knees 2023. Jacob was fully engaged in the conversation and quite thoughtful – he contemplated thoroughly many of the interview questions and gave very honest and interesting answers. We hope you find his “what even is guitar” moment just as funny and heartwarming as we do.