Soundcheck is all about checking out new sounds. In these exclusive chats with young bands, producers, rappers, singers and musicians, those upcoming artists that deserve the spotlight get a chance to shine.
Soulful hip-hop duo Motif honour their favourite artists and inspirations in their music as well as in their conversation with us.
Having named CunninLynguists as one of your greatest influences and your EP ‘Ideas Don’t Live Forever’ being a tribute to the hip-hop group, how did you ensure you did Kno’s beat’s justice?
“So first of all, we were elated once we were given the go-ahead to release this project. It’s wonderful to see an established band who we greatly admire, support the grassroots.
“Throughout the entire process we were constantly asking the question “can we justify our part on this instrumental?” The project would have been completely pointless if we didn’t spin the songs in a different direction to the originals and we were conscious of this throughout.”
Which artists from genres contrasting to hip-hop would you love to work with?
“Our playlist at the moment contains many artists from a wide pallet of genres, however there are a few outside of hip hop that we would love to work with.
“Michael Kiwanuka is one of our favourite artists at the moment. He has such a raw sound and the production on his songs are wonderfully minimal, we would love to see that translate onto one of our records.
“The other is Patrick Watson. This is a band from Canada whose production is just phenomenal. Aside from the texture and movement of their production, the song structures are so intelligently put together. It’s very rare to find a band that ticks all the right boxes whilst staying somewhat undiscovered by a mainstream audience.”
What’s next for Motif?
“Reinvention is at the heart of what we are looking to do, so we’re constantly checking and questioning the direction we are heading in. For the next project, we’ve ventured down a soundtrack/gospel route purely out of curiosity.
“The next few months will consist of gigging whilst grabbing as much recording time as we possibly can. The fact that everything is recorded and mixed in Zac’s bedroom makes it a little easier to fit it into our schedule!”
Already with a unique yet varied sound, song-writer and producer
Four Kingdoms Zane Zephirin talks beat-making finesse and losing bets.
If you were in a lift with record label scouts, what would your quick pitch be?
“Man’s a fish cuz.”
‘Faded’ is your biggest single, what’s the story behind that track creatively?
“I’d only just started producing when this track took shape, it was really just an amalgamation of everything I had learnt up to that point and was the first real track I felt was presentable. I’d just started playing around with synth’s properly and when I got the bass sound I knew that was what needed to lead the track. The rest followed really, I didn’t want to take away from the sound of the bass by adding too much so I kept the track simple and layered the vocals to add a level of dynamic complexity to the song.”
Hear it here: Zane Zephirin – Faded
What other producer or artist would you love to work with?
“Personally I’d love to work with someone like KAYTRANADA, his beat making process is so varied and complex yet he manages to retain a sense of simplicity that I haven’t really heard from any other producer.”
What’s next for Zane Zephirin?
“Right now I’m just trying to work on my style and sound; no plans at the moment just perfecting my craft. But if I don’t make some EPs soon I’ll owe a guy some cro.”
Written and interviewed by: James Wijesinghe