Interview: Ben Watt Shares His Latest + NYC & LA Shows

 

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Veteran music maker, DJ, author, and label-owner Ben Watt catches us up with his latest happenings as he prepares for a string of US shows to promote his upcoming album, Hendra. He’ll be playing Joe’s Pub in NYC on April 1 (sold out), Rough Trade in NYC on April 2, and The Echo in LA on April 4. You aren’t going to want to miss these!

Giant Step: It’s been over two decades since your debut album, North Marine Drive, came out in 1983 and over a decade since your last work with Everything But the Girl. What inspired you to get back into the studio for your own project?

Ben Watt: Instinct, mainly. After Everything But The Girl stopped in 2002, I focused on DJing and running my two labels Buzzin’ Fly and Strange Feeling Records for ten years, but I felt myself wanting to get back to words and writing again, not just beats and other people’s music. The first thing I did was write a new book – a memoir all about my parents’ lives and marriage that will be published by Bloomsbury in the US in June. (It has just come out here to great reviews, which is very heart-warming.) And then right after that I fell into songwriting again. It was perhaps triggered by the unexpected death of my half-sister, Jennie. She died just as I was finishing the book and it was a heavy blow. A lot of stuff just tumbled out.

Read the rest & get show details after the jump

Interview: Black Violin Returns to SXSW

 

Black Violin – “Virtuoso”: SXSW Music 2013 from SXSW on Vimeo.

When Wil B and Kev Marcus of Black Violin hit the stage, it’s an unusual sight in the contemporary music scene that demands attention. The classically trained violinists appear more Biggie than Beethoven as they blend their skills with hip-hop, R&B, and pop music. Last year’s appearance at SXSW, including opening for Dave Grohl’s keynote speech as seen above, caught the industry’s attention, and now they return once again with violins and bows in hand (full schedule below).

Giant Step caught up with Wil B before their trip to Austin.

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Flashback Friday: Giant Step Club Featured in 1995 TV Spot

 

Gotta love stumbling upon an old gem! Watch a 1995 Maurice speak about the popular and groundbreaking Giant Step club, heralded in this UPN 9 TV spot as a “must go” nightlife destination. The clip also features glowing reviews of the club from Paper Magazine nightlife reporters. An awesome feel good flashback indeed!