IMMIGRANT SWING

How did you start?

I started music listening, at a very young age playing my grandma’s records on the old belt turn table. she had a collection of la sonora mattancera, julio iglesias, and a bunch of cumbias and traditional colombian music, i learned jazz, and swing mainly from loonie tunes and my Muso friends. but really i got introduced to glam rock and heavy metal by my uncle. he also listen to stuff like bob marley, Stevie wonder and tons of south american stuff like salsa, ballenato y afro caribe beat. you know when i got my own likes i got into grunge and punk later ending up playing punk/grunge drumb and basse with an old mate of mine Keving michael jackson who was a v. experimental drummer in Gloucester UK. we used to play at checkers bridge comunity center, where some jungle MCs and producers were also practicing in the evenings next to us. i had picked up a few rimes in spanish from KRS one and bogota grups like ‘la etnia and many more…  Eventual we were forming a rock band but the gutarrist wanted to go an indie root and to me and Rat (Kev) this was pussy rock (now days i can appreciate a bit of indie but back in the day lol different story ) any ways we ended up mixing the sound of the jungle MCs with our hardcore drumb and base and boom instant explosion of fusion, it was raw, but it sounded banging and the MCs were into it, but at that time that type of mix was seen as gribo or gitter so the MCs woulld not do it live on stage due to street cred and reputation ya dig, it was different times. but in the lab that shit was cooking. that was my beginning. the rest of my guys well their story is varied from classical schools, jazz and even street busking self taught musicians.. to me variation is key. culture and vibration…. resonance.

Where are you based?

Bristol.

Please give an example of your music writing process?

Apart from waking up at 3 or 4 in the morning with a dream of a song that i’m desperately trying to write half asleep, we usually jam and play what we are feeling, and from that we draw sketches. our best material comes from real situations and concepts we deal with in every day life. the rest is just poetry and music we love… from all sorts of artist from around the world too many to mention they all are an inspiration.

What are you working on right now?

Quite a lot. actually. i’m working with an executive producer on two memorial albums from the archives of our late guitarist (his solo work, amazing stuff), also we are currently working on the sketches for our second album, and i am presently in post-production for and album we recorded last year with Mr Switch and Clemont Tipet an amazing french producer and guitarist, we met at one of the immigrant jamms.

What is your gear setup?

Drums, double bass, violin, Mc… We sometimes use a guitarist, or a piano/organ. we like to have features and so the sound evolves every time we play. its fun. so we have played in 5 or 6. but we have been know to end up with a horn section next to a string section and a plethora of MCs and soloist, some sound engineers may have things to say about us lol, but general everyone love the sound fun and evolution we try to channel.

What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?

Everything is part off my training, music is part of my life and so my life is in my music. i like skate boarding, surfing, graffity, stop frame animation, photography, literature, film and the list goes on im an old b-boy from the 90s so i love to dance, and i could stilll pop a windmilll from standing on a good day ha ha ha i sound like an dad ha ha.

How would you describe your music genre?

Riot Swing (that is what we called it at the time, but the sound has change and so we have grown out of this genere, although we are proud to have found it and coined it for bristol… Bristol Riot Swing, they called it we still play it sometimes but we are moving through mo many stiles its hard so put it in a box.

Do you know any music theory?

I know basics but I’m learning the guitar so im learning more everyday and i’m lucky to have great musicians around my who can translate and transcribe for me to be able to learn. but also i’m a good catalyst, and so i arrange hw the mix will go and help the musicians find a way. also i work music out by ear, i find it easy. i’m learning music theory to be able to co communicate with others. my mates are my teachers and they are all very prolific, atm im learning guitar from my friend Patrick McGurran.

What are your plans for the future?

Well like we discussed a little earlier, i’m working on 4 different albums, right now and building a new event as well as playing out… i think the future is happening at present so i’ll deal with that first. still i think there are talks of events in Europe and UK. the universe will provide you know.

How did you get into music?

Listening and dancing. playing came later.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Right now, to erika badu. but in general we have been listening to.

Atahualpa Yupanqui

and i just been to see london pose reuning gig after 20 years so i chucked that in to my play list. ha ha i dig in other peoples hard drives and feeds so what im listening to changes daily. still big up Buggsy, Ocean, Stepasorus (aka Gee Ealing) and all of my peoples.

Who are your top 5 influences and icons?

This is an od question ass i find it has a Babylonian connotation of idolization, my be is the word icon i don’t like it but still it has its place. i would like to say my mum and fam. Colombia. Bristol UK, and great thinkers and activist such as gandy, martin Luther king, Malcolm x, Mandela and so many others who have tried to teach us question ourselves.

When are you playing next?

I jammed last night at the jam jar, ar the old malt house Bristol banging out some raw sounds with al sorts of musos. we canceled everything for two moths, while we work out a new set. i think we will start big in the Autumn, but we are still playing here and there but i cant remember the next one right now. oh i do remember we are going to start an open mic and jam night at the chelsea in easton prety soon with a drummer friend of mine so whatch this space

Please feel free to include any extra info.

Google immigrant swing it’s all there.

 

 

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