Describe your sound in 3 words
COLOURFUL CONTEMPORARY COMPULSIVE
What is your creative process like?
MY SONGS MAINLY COME TO ME IN DREAMS. I usually sing an idea into my phone when I am half asleep or half awake. Sometimes a lyric, sometimes just a melody. I have more than a hundred of these kicking around. Every now and then I go through them and see which ones excite me at that moment. Sometimes I need a section for a song and trawl through for ideas. I usually write at the piano, sometimes on the guitar. With MALA I woke in the middle of the night after hearing Spike Lee on TV. He said “you don’t want to make America great again you need to make it LOVE Again”
Tell us a few things about this new club remix.
I decided to create this on the back of the success of our previous club track Listen to the Beat and the success of the original MALA track video in winning more than twelve film festivals including the Cannes World Film festival. The hardest thing was deciding how much of the original vocal to use for a club track. We cut it right down in the Club Mix.and to almost nothing in the “Deep” mix. The club mix was one of my quickest ever, I knew exactly what I wanted, a balance between a catchy tune – keeping the message and an insistent beat. When I think a mix is finished I always compare it to my previous work and to a few tunes which I admire, to make sure we have not got lost in the creative process and that sonically we are up to scratch.
Do you like the idea of collaborating? Is songwriting a lonely process?
I could collaborate and have in the past – but it’s not lonely – When songwriting I communicate with the different parts of my personality and allow them to express themselves and have a dialogue. For me I have something important to say in each song (see below for MALA lyrics). This may be personal or political. I rarely decide to “sit down” and write from scratch, I get excited by something that has bubbled up and go with the feeling. I am able to edit my work as if I was an outsider – that is probably the toughtest bit. Songwriting is a deeply personal process, you are exposing your deepest self to the world, that can be scary.
Favourite album of the past decade?
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an artist so far?
To keep going and believe in myself when things are not going well. To be sure I have something to say that is worth hearing and listening to. My strong belief that I occupy my own tiny but unique place in the musical universe. I have too many ideas and lyrics, choosing the next one to work on can be hard…It was a challenge to give up playing the saxophone, I decided to focus on less instruments – guitar, piano/keys.
In which state of mind do you imagine people might listen to your music?
A state of deep aliveness, connection with themselves and an urge to be part of something bigger. People who love a great tune with a hypnotic beat and at the same time want to express an important message. Thus people can hook into my tracks on a number of levels, any is ok with me.
When was the last time you danced?
Two weeks ago, I dance a lot and get many ideas when I am on the dance floor…get carried away sometimes.
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