I must have been around 12 years old the first time I saw JP, he was just a few years older than me but he was already well known around Avignon for being, if not the best, the most promising rider in town. Back then, Circle Skate shop was his only sponsor. I remember seeing come in the store, grab some new fresh kicks, come out, and skate them straight away. I thought that was the coolest thing, especially since I had my old beat up red and white K3s on. Since then, my skateboarding skills has remained pretty much the same, on the contrary JP’s aged like fine wine. He got better and better and is now well known for his technicality, his sense of humour and his overall nice guy attitude. He is representing major brands such as Nike SB, Haze Wheel and, less “major” but coming up quickly in France, Blaze Supply.
Jacker / Yo JP, you just came back from a trip round Brazil, how did that go ?
JP Villa / Amazing, I filmed quite a lot in Sao Paulo for the Blaze video scheduled for 2015 ! We also did a tour around a smaller town within the Sao Paulo county, it won’t take long to go online. Otherwise we stopped at Rio to enjoy and visit the place. The spots in Brazil are very similar to the ones in Portugal, same materials, either shit floors with stones or perfect marble. You can find everything there !
J / Now you are a professional at Blaze supply, talk to us about the brand, you are way more than a member of the team.
JP / It’s a brand that formed in 2012 by a half French half Brazilian dude who lived and skated 6 years on Lyon (France). The brand has two headquarters, one in Lyon and the other in Sao Paulo. Blaze is a small collective. In France it’s about 5 of us investing ourselves into the brand and I’m taking care of the commercial aspect of it. Nonetheless, this is without counting on all the people that help us ! Thanks to them.
J / What encouraged you to Skate ? Tell us more about when you first started skating on Avignon.
JP / My brother was frustrated to not be able to go snowboarding because of money. My first years skating were with him and his mates, later on, I started skating with Nicolas Fernandez (who now skates for Circle) and Terry a friend from my childhood, and also Loic Le Magourou. IT was really cool to start with, there are plenty of low marble steps in Avignon.
J / Who inspired you and motivated you to continue ?
JP/ The Caron brothers ! They made me join Feeble now called Circle. But above everything, they were just really cool peeps, they would always try to show us new tricks when we were just a bunch of bugs. Also Mike from the shop taught us a lot to Nico and I.
J / What has been your path since? Which are the sponsors that you got and how did you get them ?
JP / Circle and Charley from Sugar Skate mag have helped me get under Nike’s arm from the very beginning. Then the pictures and videos helped me to get sponsorship with Haze, Hélas and Blaze Supply ( certainly by the cordiality of the BOSS! )
J / Many people throw the mainstreaming of skateboarding under the bus, specially in the states, what is your opinion on the matter and what are for you the main differences between the culture in Europe and the States ?
JP / I really don’t give a single fuck. The real problem are the entities that make it really commercial usually have nothing to do with skateboarding nor it’s culture, it’s like these super disgusting energy drinks brands that steal our image. Then if all this commercial stuff stays among the skaters that help the community then yeah let’s do it. For me the main difference is that Europe and its public opinion don’t perceive the same image and the same struggles of this culture and technique. So its a bit more quiet.
J / Thanks for your answers. What are your future projects ?
JP / Working and finishing off the Blaze Supply video !