SHUMBA MAASAI

The London-based artist speaks on his latest single 'Flavour', working alongside The Loosies during lockdown and his Plus TRBE recordings family.

What was the inspiration for your latest release ‘Flavour’?

The inspiration for 'Flavour' was a spontaneous trip I took to Lisbon last year - just the energy of the trip was channeled into the riddim - also Mathematics crazy production just allowed me to tap onto different flows and universes.

What was the process of creating that track and who did you work with?

I had the beat for a while then when I came back from Lisbon it all connected - Mathematics produced the track - he didn't really like it but I was like this is hard. Recorded the track at PLUS YARD studios then worked on mix and master finesse with GTANK of HeavyTrackerz.

"the track got wheeled like 3 times then we blew the electrics midway through the track - the ancestors was there that night."

How did your ‘AK Sutt’in REMIX’ come about with Afronaut Zu, Intalekt and TINYMAN?

The remix came about very organically as we are around each other a lot - these guys always told me how much they loved the tune and then when we had the Ancestral Futures show last year, we decided to make it happen so we could perform it on the night.

How was performing the track at Ancestral Futures?

That was crazy one of the highlights of the evening - the track got wheeled like 3 times then we blew the electrics midway through the track - the ancestors was there that night. Was crazy to perform and the energy in the room was incredible that evening.


What was the inspiration for the video and how did you create it?

The concept of the original track music video was all around simulation, so the framing was based around the Fibonacci sequence. The concept was brought to me by the team at White Crayon and we made it happen - we had footage shot in Olso and Barcelona and used all the cool footage we could find. The remix music video, the aim was to capture the vibe when we played the track live at Ancestral Futures.

"That record is me and my views

on African past, present and

future on wax."

How important are visuals to your music?

Yeah it's very important for me - it's another outlet for my creativity and a chance to give people an idea of where I was coming from when I created the sonics.  I'm into the whole thing, I would curate the room, the lighting, the scent of the listeners environment when taking in the music if i could.

How was working on The Loosies Project and how did your Botswana remix come about?


The Loosies Project was so organic, we just came together as a community and decided to put together a project for us and the people - shout to Lex  Amor for being nucleus and everyone apart of that. I had taken a trip to Botswana just after I released AK Sut'tin -  I went to Bangai studios in Gaborone - the guys loved the tune and within two hours the remix was done. So when the opportunity for Loosies came it was the perfect opportunity to drop it as they share share the same artist community spirit.

How did you get involved with Plus TRBE and who are they for anyone that doesn’t know?


Plus TRBE are my soul family - we are all friends that share a passion and common theme of striving to be a plus in this world. Eventually that manifested into a recording studio, a record label, publishing company and more. It's been the most organic and natural thing i've ever been a part of.

What was the inspiration for your 2016 project ‘Margin for Interpretation’?

‘Margin for Interpretation’ was about raw expression about the African experience in the 21st century - it was about getting a message and expression across. I didn't want it to be pretty or perfect. I wanted it to represent the essence of the experience in the rawest form possible. That record is me and my views on African past, present and future on wax. Big up Hey! Zeus on production for that one.

"The sound has just evolved as I have evolved as a man."

 

How was creating that project and are you currently working towards a project?

It was a very freeing process. I decided to make the project not about me but more about the message and expression. So it allowed me to be guided by a higher motivation than my ego. Yes i've got a EP coming in the 4th Quarter called TOTKO II a follow up from TOTKO a collaboration project with Hermes of Plus TRBE. They may be some other collaboration projects coming this year also.


How do you feel your sound has changed from that EP to your latest releases?

The sound has just evolved as I have evolved as a man - the people I am around, the influences around me as well as my experience in creating music.

Which artists inspired you to get into music and who is inspiring you today?

People that inspired me to get into music Bob Marley, 2 Pac, Nas, 50 cent, Jay Z, Kanye West, Micheal Jackson so many people - I just love music in general. Today I am inspired by the people around me Plus TRBE, Damien Marley, my friends Afronaut Zu, Demi Gosh, TINYMAN, Intalekt, Scott Xylo - they are the people that keep me inspired.

If you had to recommend five artists for your listeners, who would they be?

 

Shadeemus

Demi Gosh

Jung Mergs

Scott Xylo

Digga D 

What’s coming up for the rest of 2020?

More music, more growth, more raising levels in every way ++

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