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Simbad makes a welcome return to Freerange following last year’s brilliant Take My Hand EP featuring South African vocalist Brian Temba. Now based predominantly in Cape Town, the French Londoner producer and DJ is one of the most prolific artists in the scene having notched up countless EP’s, remixes and production work for labels like Apron, G.A.M.M. Faces, Hyperdub, Atjazz, BBE & Brownswood. His association with Gilles Peterson and Worldwide runs deep, hosting regular shows on WWFM as well as traversing the globe delivering his unique and eclectic sets from Africa to Asia and beyond.
Soulful Jam is out 01/22/20 on Freerange Records
Title: Peaceful Revolution
Label: Freerange Records
Release Date: 2021-01-22
Interview with Simbad
1.) Can we talk about your new EP on Freerange ‘Peaceful Revolution’. As the title suggests things need to change. Can you talk us through your inspiration for this release?
The current state of humanity and the oppression that still occurs in our societies demands change from everyone really. That is if we all admit that the current system is a failure, and that we all decide to take part on fighting against racism, hate, brutality and violent degrading behaviours from all sorts. How crazy is it that we still need to remind some that every soul on this Earth should be considered equal regardless of their ethnicity, background, social class, or culture? So basic and yet, after so many civilisations that preceded us, its still heart breaking that we cannot live in peace and elevate our consciousness globally. The first reason for unhappiness is being afraid of changing, so yes, the idea is to have a peaceful revolution and spread the message. Soon after jamming some instrumentals with Zito, I recorded the vocal with Lwandile in Cape Town right after the George Floyd incident and the demonstrations happening in many countries, hence the lyrics and the title of the EP.
2.) Having been so versatile and receptive to different styles in your career as a producer and remixer, is it difficult for you to concentrate on one sound?
Not really. I just like to do different things and keep moving, thats what keeps me excited. And I make my best music when collaborating really, so it’s kind of logical for me to try different things musically all the time, depending on which part of the planet I find myself and with whom. Also, it’s more fun to do what is not expected right? In my world anyway lol.
3.) Do you have a creative process that you follow when producing?
I mainly freestyle all the time lol. The creative process can be different depending on the tools I find myself with and the people I’m working with (singers or musicians). Sometimes I hear a song and a sound in my head before even touching an instrument or a machine, so that kind of guides me a little, but most of the time it’s pure freestyle. The idea is to keep things quite raw but it’s not always easy when you also want to be a perfectionist. The ultimate dilemma.
4.) What is the most useful talent that you have?
Maybe inspiring and bringing people together? Or more like reminding them of their own talents and potential. I can freestyle anything in the kitchen for a delicious outcome, I think. Or just remain positive daily. I guess that’s the one too.
5.) Do you think the internet has impacted music in a positive way?
Yes and no. Although we can find and access almost everything (almost but not all. Trust a digger) in a glimpse of a second. The way we consume music has devalued a certain aspect of the art. Now people listen to songs without really knowing the names of the creators or artists as they browse by playlist or genres (that is one thing I observed in the world of streaming anyway). But things evolve and you got to live with the times. The positive thing is that anyone can release anything at any time now. More stuff in the vast oceans of data lol. Again, the way we use our technologies and how we’re using screens to do everything is kinda not very healthy in my honest opinion. It makes us lazy. We could have a four hour debate about the pros & the cons obviously, so let’s not start on this never- ending subject right now lol.
6.) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given about your career?
Listen to everyone in the band, play what you hear and express what’s in your heart when it’s your solo. And don’t worry about the rest. Advice from the legendary drum master Tony Allen (Rest in Peace) when i was 18 or 19.
7.) If you weren’t working in music, what do you think you’d be doing?
Either cooking mean dishes all around the world or carrying in my mum’s steps to study archaeology and civilizations.
8.) What’s up next for Simbad?
Release the music that I’ve made in the past few years with so many incredible artists, as well as keep on finding talents to work with and stay grateful on this journey.
Turn it up & enjoy!