“I’m not a big fan of the word fusion, because it feel binary to me, and I’m trying to achieve a sound that is multifaceted and fluid. And I think this sound reflects our world today, one which is increasingly more complex and interdependent”.
“How I’ve evolved as an artist is parallel to how my life has evolved: new experiences, new friends, moving countries; I think that all changes the way I play in some way”
“We’re always watching the dancers and responding to them – sometimes closely following the actions with musical cues, at other times creating a dynamic and textural sense of the emotion in the dance through the music. On the other hand, the dancers are listening to us and responding, taking their timing cues from us sometimes.”
“I want singers to dig deep into their potential, to strive to be the greatest musicians they can be, to sing with integrity, unapologetically into the world”
Those who saw the Shaolin Afronauts last year shouldn’t expect the sequel to be just a repeat of the original. “We didn’t want to repeat anything that we had used; we wanted this to be a completely new experience for the listener”, says Ross McHenry. “This time, we’ve actually written a lot more new material; we’re working towards a new album so it was a bit of an opportunity to ‘try some new material”.
“There is undeniably an underrepresentation of women across all aspects of the music industry. You can’t be what you can’t see.”
“I wanted to surround myself with musicians that made me want to play. I would have been happy just to sit back listen to them play together in that setting. Apart from how easy I find it to make music with them, they all have strong personal voices and I wanted them to put their own mark on my tunes, which they did”.
“Everything I write has an element of jazz in it. It’s a flavour, it’s spice, it’s warmth, it’s colour that no other music can give. Jazz is probably what I’ll still be able to do if I ever lose some of my other faculties.”
“This is a very gentle album were releasing and its a gentle sounding ensemble. I dont believe I would have been writing this kind of music, or certainly an albums worth and more of this kind of music, if it hadnt have been for having kids. Partly it came about from sheer tiredness.”
We all composed three tunes each for the album, having the other members in mind. There are a lot of different moods because we have different compositional styles. Maddie writes a lot of quirky, frantic compositions, still heavily rhythmically driven, with lots of space for free improvisation and Isaac would write more traditional jazz tunes with beautiful melodies. I care so much about rhythm and keeping time and groove, that in my compositions theres usually a lot of business in rhythmic patterns and ideas with very simple melodies.