Video Premiere: Hiatus Kaiyote – “Nakamarra” (Acoustic) + Exclusive Interview


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Ever since Hiatus Kaitoye released their debut EP Tawk Tomahawk, we’ve been playing it nonstop. The soulful love song “Nakamarra” was an instant favorite, so it’s fitting that the Melbourne-based band decided to make it a single. They shot this video for the acoustic version while road tripping through the desert in Australia. We are excited to premiere the video here, and give you a few more reasons to keep Hiatus Kaitoye on your radar.

The below exclusive interview was conducted by Giant Step contributor Maiya Norton.

Giant Step: How many members are there in Hiatus Kaiyote and how did you come together to form a group?

Hiatus Kaiyote: Hiatus Kaiyote is comprised of Nai Palm on guitar and vocals, Simon Mavin on the keys, Perrin Moss is our drummer and Paul Bender is the bassist. We also have three backing vocalists named Jay Jay, Laura and Jace. Our formation was quite organic. Bender saw Nai play a small gig and knew immediately he had to work with her. Perrin met Nai independently and also wanted to work with her. Everyone ended up in a room one day and started jamming. Bender knew Simon quite well and asked him to be involved. They then worked transcribing Nai’s original songs and began writing together as a quartet.

GS: What was the inspiration behind your debut, Tawk Tomahawk?

HK: We were working and really vibing off of each other. Each member’s input and individual influences really shines through on the EP. We’d never heard our stuff recorded before, so it was a really inspiring process just finding out what we actually sounded like.

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GS: The song “Nakamarra” (studio and acoustic) is beautiful. They both have very different energies. What was the recording process like for each one?

HK: The studio recording process was old school. We were all in a room with four mics for four musicians. No computers were used, apart from the recorded vocals. There was almost no production involved. The acoustic desert recording was done through a zoom recorder. It was a spontaneous idea and the car was completely packed up so we just played what was around us at the time. We used thinks like rocks, sticks, a deer antler (we just happened to have), a small Brazilian drum and a kettle.

GS: How would you best describe your music?

HK: Multidimensional polyrhythmic gangster shit has been coming out a bit. We tend to joke a bit about our genre, but we mostly call it “future soul” which seems to fit.

GS: You now have a ton of fans in the states. Are you planning any U.S. tours?

HK: Nai Palm will be in NYC for a promotional trip in October and we’re hoping to get the whole band out for SXSW and a U.S. tour.

*The acoustic version of “Nakamarra” will be available as a FREE download on Giant Step’s new monthly compilation Sonic Boom Vol. 1. Dropping very soon!