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.
Giorgia’s glittering voice and the band’s diverse neo-soul instrumentation gracefully dance together on each of their tracks, but what advice do they have for new artists?
How have you ensured that you stand out from other bands and artists?
“I think musically we have tried to produce a sound that isn’t too similar to what we can hear around us, and tried to not be so obvious when writing parts. By making simple but effective changes such as changing a chord or adding a samba section we introduce a new element that people wouldn’t normally expect and so it often catches their attention. Personally, as a band we can all agree that it is important to continue writing music that challenges us and so we take a lot of influence from experimental soul/jazz bands and artists such as Hiatus Kaiyote, Thundercat, Snarky Puppy etc. and so it is exciting to think about the type of music we will be writing further down the line.
“In terms of image, I’ve always been interested in a more eccentric style of clothing from a younger age, and so reflecting artists such as Florence Welch and Nai Palm, I grew into having an original look on stage, the boys support whatever I wear and it usually tends to be colourful and exciting to look at. I think the blue hair helps too!”
Your recent EP ‘For My Love’ is beautiful, how did you go about writing for it?
“Thank you so much! It’s funny because we were discussing for a while what tracks to put on the EP, and the third track ‘For My Love’ was written way later and was never even an option initially. I wrote the song a ccapella and sent a recording over to Chris, after a week we were in a studio workshopping the song and it quickly became Rob’s favourite track! He suggested that it went on the EP. The other two tracks were actually older songs of mine that we had worked on together as a band and agreed would be great to release. We tried to choose three tracks that individually differ from one another and that represent our versatility best as a band, and I hope that comes across through the EP.”
Hear it here: Giorgia-May – For My Love EP
What’s next for Giorgia-May?
“Summer has been super busy for all of us so we’ve kept things quiet for a while, but I think in terms of next steps we will be working on a lot of newer material that I’ve been writing the past couple of months. We had a rehearsal the other day and we started writing something together for the first time completely from scratch, which was very exciting. I think everyone is pretty keen to get back into the studio and get working on a second EP, but I’d really like to get some more gigs booked up too. We’ve been discussing trying to plan a tiny UK tour just for fun and to try to reach out to people outside of Brighton! However we will next be playing at Patchfest in Brighton on July 16th.”
Can you offer any tips that you’ve learnt for other musicians?
“Don’t let your music get misshaped into something you’re not happy with. It felt like I was trying to find my sound for a long time and when I was working solely as a soloist – lots of people tried to put me into a ‘folky singer-songwriter’ box, which I knew wasn’t the type of music I wanted to be writing. Once I found the guys it was as if they knew exactly the sound I was going for, and that it is so important to be on the same wave length in terms of what sort of music you want to be creating. Believe in yourself enough to push boundaries and do weird things. Write as much as you can, even if you think it’s shit at the beginning, you never know where it could lead once you’ve got some interesting elements added to it.”
With a bag brimmed with emotions leading every delicate song, Andrew Humphries AKA LANDA steps away from his various other projects and live shows to discuss his all-important solo work.
If LANDA was in a lift with record label scouts, what would your quick pitch be?
“Well, I’d just have to hope that there would be a piano in that lift as well as myself and the label scouts. I’m way better at music than I am at talking.”
“Why cant we all just be friends, friends are important, this song is hard to write because my pencil bends” – That line came from an abandoned song you wrote at 12, what is your song writing process like now?
“To be honest, I have no set writing process. But it usually starts with a little idea that pops into my head when I am trying to get to sleep that I record on my phone and then write a song from it when I wake up. Bit of a pain in the ass really when you want to get some shut eye.”
Which artists from genres contrasting to soul would you love to work with?
“I have been collaborating with some artists and producers from all kind of genres of late. I’m obsessed with blues, but I really would love to start adding some James Blake esque electronic sounds to add some grit to my sound. Some artists I’d LOVE to work with include RHODES, Ray Lamontagne and obviously James Blake.”
Hear it here: LANDA – Lustless
What’s next for LANDA?
“I am currently rehearsing with my band for upcoming live shows and recording my debut EP ‘Breathe Easy’ that will be released in September.”
Written and interviewed by: James Wijesinghe