This weekend the amazing Loop Festival hits Brighton. To celebrate this wondrous occasion we decided to interview one of the bands that will be sharing their music with fellow Loopers (people that are going). How did you start out making music? Growing up with older siblings, the house was always full of great music. My brother and sisters would make me killer mixtapes which totally captured my imagination. One day my brother came home with a guitar and showed me some chords to some songs I really loved. That was pretty much it- I was in love. Which part of the composing process motivates you the most? I guess I'm motivated by a massive need to express myself. I think it's a fundamental need we all share as human beings. There is such a huge sense of fulfilment that comes from creating something that stands in some small way as a reflection of who you are that it motivates you to keep doing it. It also provides you with a context to grow and improve, which I really enjoy. The aspect I probably enjoy the most when making stuff is the feeling of something unknown coming into focus. That's always exciting. You use plenty of modern techniques in your songs, but there are some underlying soulful vibes. Do you take influence from early R&B? Influence comes from everywhere. I try and remain open to the possibility of being inspired by anything that feels authentic and honest. Old R&B featured heavily in the soundtrack to my childhood, so I'm sure it's had an impact, along with many other things. Are there any obscure elements of music that interest you? Depends on your definition of obscure. I love sacred music, medieval church music, psalm tones and stuff. And as someone who has always been interested in improvisation, I've always been drawn to experimentation in music as well as conventional forms. But none of those interests feel particularly obscure to me. Are you content with the sound you have at the moment, or can you see it developing in any way towards the future? The goal is to continue developing at all times. I love our sound because it feels personal, and that is a realisation of a goal in itself, but I see it very much as being in process. If it stopped developing, I would stop making it. You’re playing a vast number of festivals this season including Loop Festival. If you see any difference between festivals and indoor gigs, what do you anticipate the most about them? Every performance situation is different. There are so many variables, so many elements beyond your control. I guess the great thing about festivals is that people have generally committed to enjoying themselves and may subsequently be more prepared to engage with you in a warm way. People's inhibitions seem to be laid to one side and there can be less of that fearful stand-offish vibe that you sometimes find at gigs. Who are you looking forward to seeing at Loop? Matthew Herbert Big Band. There's something incredibly bold and moving about that music. And Eska Mtungwazi, who sings in the band, is my favourite musician on the planet. Having seen you perform at Hinterland, you seemed to have a small but very responsive and dedicated crowd in front of you. Is this the general kind of following you receive? We're a band in our infancy playing in so many different contexts. In the last 8months, we've played Brixton Academy 3 times, but we've also played Sneaky Pete's, a venue the size of a shoebox, in Edinburgh. Each gig provides us with an opportunity to connect with people. I've learned not to have expectations of audiences as you never know what you're going to get at this stage, which is kind of thrilling in a way. When we arrived in Glasgow for Hinterland, we watched bands playing to an empty room and feared the worst. It's really hard at these saturated events when you're a new band competing with established acts. But when we hit the stage, an audience materialized out of thin air and we had a cute little gig. It's a real privilege to travel round the place and find pockets of enthusiasm for these sounds you're making. Hopefully those pockets grow into full length trousers at some point. There were also some cheers when you mentioned your hometown. What does coming from London mean to you? London is a flawed, unique and wonderful place. It's been my home for over half my life and I feel a very strong attachment to it, but it doesn't define me. I was born in Vienna, have lived in Edinburgh and Paris and my parents are from Kenya. I think the privilege of a diverse experience compels you to see the links rather than focusing on difference, and that is what is important to me. Superficially at least, with its multicultural complexion, London seems to reflect this value. What’s the best live experience you’ve had, performing or watching? Wow, there have been so many, I wouldn't know where to begin... Our album launch was an incredible celebration. There was so much love in the room, I thought it was going to burst at the seams! And it was amazing to be in the company of Foals, Micachu, Hot Chip and Golden Silvers who all participated in various ways. Then there was the time we played an instore at Rough Trade and this woman came up to me and told me how much she identified with the music and burst into tears. It was so unbelievably humbling to be involved in someone's life in that way... I'll never forget playing The Hollywood Bowl with Matthew Herbert, or the first time we played Brixton supporting Hot Chip.. Being on tour with Micachu and getting to see her play every night was life-changing... Touring remote parts of Scotland with Eska last year was overwhelming..D'Angelo at Brixton a few years back was so damn sexy he turned me into a woman... I cried when Prince did that solo medley bit in the middle of his gig at 02...I'm getting all choked just thinking about it! The list goes on... London Girl
You have more presence than your name suggests. Why the Invisible? It's a comment on our culture's obsession with the exterior at the expense of the interior. It's also a reflection on the process of being creative. When we express ourselves, we are giving life to something invisible. Apart from all of that philosophical bollocks, I think it's a really beautiful word. MP3: The Invisible - London Girl (Nightmoves remix) Links: