The week’s Soundcloud playlist
As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we’ve extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!
Giant Step: Hiatus Kaiyote’s fanbase has grown incredibly in a very short time. How does the rush of success feel?
Pez: It’s a bit overwhelming sometimes. The more I think about that stuff, I get goosebumps. It’s definitely overwhelming.
GS: What’s been your most humbling/unreal moment to date?
Bender: Being backstage at the Dour Festival in Belgium with Robert Glasper Experiment, Guilty Simpson and Flying Lotus, while I’m simultaneously hanging out with my parents and trying to be cool.
GS: We’re proud to have supported Hiatus from early on, along with countless other acts we’ve had the honor of introducing to larger audiences; How does it feel to be invited to perform at SummerStage ?
Bender: It’s an honor to be on the same bill as Jose James and Shuggie Otis and awesome to be playing in Central Park. To be included amongst all the amazing artists who have played Summerstage over the years is mind boggling.
GS: When people hear your music for the first time, it’s immediately unlike anything they’ve ever heard; what are your plans for future recordings? Are we going to get a divergence in sound or are you going to dig deeper into the sound you’ve already built?
Simon: It’s important for us to keep exploring new sounds and new ideas. Keep it moving and not keep it stuck in one form of expression.
The fact we’ve just built a new recording studio is exciting because we can extend on our sounds and ideas more so than the possibility we had at our last studio. Playing this much live and touring I think will change the way we’ll approach recording; there will definitely be a lot of live material included on the next record.
GS: A Hiatus show is definitely one of energy; what would you say has been the most profound reaction you’ve received from the crowd while performing?
Pez: XOYO in London, but it’s up there with a couple of other ones. They pretty much sang the words to every song (including songs only on YouTube), singing along to even guitar riffs. They were showing they were true fans.
Simon: I was almost on my knees holding my ears because of the screaming.
GS: Along with the new Sony reissue, are there any plans for new music or projects soon? Anything you can share?
Pez: We want something to come out as soon as possible
Simon: When we finish this tour, we’re going straight into the studio; looking at new release in 2014.
Singer songwriter Nai Palm was the gravitational force that crystallized the vision for Hiatus Kaiyote’s brand of future soul, and this influence is evident on the track “Nakamarra,” which references the majestic red earth that Nai Palm roamed as a child. “Lace Skull” explores what it is to be vulnerable. “To have courage to share is a powerful thing,” says Palm, and “that song lyrically was about the celebration of showing flaws and inner most vulnerability.” Q-Tip lends his voice for a collaborative verse on the track that is featured exclusively on the re-released album.