Exclusive Interview: Hiatus Kaiyote Talks US Debut + 3/22 NYC Show @ LPR

 

We caught up with Hiatus Kaiyote just before their NYC debut tomorrow at LPR. Get to know where they came from, where they’re going, and what they’d fit in their pockets from Australia to bring to us if they could. Details on the March 22 show on our event page.

Giant Step: We are too excited for your performance on the 22nd. How does it feel to be amidst your US debut?

Hiatus Kaiyote: The response we have had so far in the US has totally blown us away. To come all the way across the other side of the world and to receive so much love and support for what you do is mindblowing. Especially when we are so early in our journey as a band. So far, Austin, DC and Chicago have been very very good to us.

GS: You’ve got some heavy hitters swooning over you. What was it like when you found out you’d won Erykah and Questlove’s favor?

HK: It was pretty ridiculous. It totally goes without saying that we have absolute mountains of respect for both those artists. It’s an incredible honor to be supported by musicians who have such an impact on the way we play and what we create. It’s also daunting and overwhelming at times to process that kind of thing. I mean, we are very critical of what we do, which is an important part of developing artistically, but I know none of us feel like we are on that level. It’s been a fast two years since we’ve been together, and there is so far for us to go before we reach that height of artistry. But we’ll keep doing what we do and hope that others will join us on our sonic endeavors, even if we are raw as fuck occasionally.

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Video: Selan – ‘Don’t Call Me A Musician’ (I Don’t Camouflage Interview)

 

Multitalented artist Selan speaks with I Don’t Camouflage about the limitations of the “musician” label.

Selan, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, musical director and producer who is known for combining electronic, pop, and soul music. He possesses perfect pitch and musical total recall, also known as eidetic memory. He is also known for his collaboration with Adele, CHIC, Nile Rogers, DJ Spinna among many others.

Exclusive Interview: Ester Rada Opens Up Before Her US Debut

 

Next week on March 11, we will be introducing folks in NYC to a major new talent from Israel named Ester Rada. In the meantime, we got some interesting bits on the unique artist in the interview below. Read up!

Giant Step: Your heritage is that of a very unique Ethiopian-Jewish people. How does this background and being raised in an Orthodox tradition affect who you are today?

Ester Rada: I was born in Israel, and my family raised me in a religious house and tradition, as this was what they were used to from Ethiopia. When my parents moved to Israel they were “put” in Kiryat Arba, a very religious city. We moved from there when I was 10 years old, due to the security issues there.

GS: Coming up in one of the rougher neighborhoods in Tel Aviv, what it was like growing up?

ER: I was actually growing up near Tel Aviv, in Netanya, and it was a big change for me. Coming from a more religious village, you can call it the country side, to a bigger city, was a big move for me. I also became secular and not as religious as we used to be. But this change was blessing, and I started to know what freedom is like. In the neighborhood I had good friends.

GS: Your sound evokes qualities similar to Erykah, Jill Scott, Janelle Monae. Are these intentional influences? Who would you say are your influences?

ER: I am influenced by a lot of artists. Of course the ones you named, and also religious Jewish music from my early days, as well as Ethiopian and Amharic music such as Mahmoud Ahmed, Mulat Astatke, Muluken Melesse, Israeli music, jazz and soul legends such as Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Marlena Shaw, and contemporary music such as Corrine Bailey Rae, Nneka, Keziah Jones, India Arie and more.

Read the rest of the interview & get show details after the jump

New Release: Charlie Winston – ‘Running Still’ + Exclusive Interview

 

If there’s one thing, folks can’t say that British singer Charlie Winston is without personality or spirit. His songs are heartfelt and rooted in a very real place that can be found relatable for many. This week he released his sophomore album, Running Still, and we were lucky enough to catch up with the insightful artist to get a little closer to where he’s coming from.

Folks looking to preview a bit more of the sounds below can find a free stream and download for “Where Can I Buy Happiness?” Also, the full album stream is available for the listening on AOL.

Giant Step: What’s the story behind your first single, “Hello Alone?”

Charlie Winston: This was a song that got started many years ago. The chorus, that is. I wrote it awhile back, inspired by listening to a lot of Tom Waits at the time. So it was written more like old countryman’s blues, but I wanted to give it a little more soul now that I was thinking of it for my record. It talks about the paradoxical feelings behind the ending of a relationship. On one hand, you can feel sad to be alone again, whereas on the other hand, there is something liberating about only having to answer to yourself again. The way I describe it in the song is as if “Alone” is an old friend whom you hoped you’d gotten rid of, but there he is again, on your doorstep… and after a little time, you remember he knows you better than anyone.

Purchase Running Still on iTunes | Amazon

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Read the rest of the interview after the jump