Audio: Skype Williams, “All Over U”
New York City’s own Skype Williams’ husky vocals cut through a mysterious, muted and slinky almost-reggaeton beat on “All Over You”. The song starts-and-stops as Skype’s obvious New York flow rap-sings “If we up in this party, then you know how I do, if we up in this party, then I’m all over you, it’s only me and you“, on the hook. If the song is any indication where Skype is headed sonically, we’re tuned in.
You can listen to “All Over You” below and his mixtape Baby Boy on Soundcloud now.
Thundercat and The Internet Announce Tour
For the Soul fans of the UK, Thundercat and The Internet present a wonderful gift for the month of November, a joint tour. Hear the sounds of both recent releases The Beyond/ Where Giants Roam and Ego Death, respectively. Across the pond, Thundercat has his own separate North American tour which may be near you soon. The Internet also announced a 44 stop U.S./Canada tour, for all of us who may have missed the ultra exclusive Ego Death only shows, it kicks off in L.A. September 8th.
Video: BC Kingdom, “Lock Up”
Los Angeles duo BC Kingdom, composed of Logan Eze and Zou Deon, release the visual to their Saint Heron single, “Lock Up.” The Lane Stewart-directed clip stays true to the song’s lyrics, setting a dark aura in solitary confinement while the boys attempt to cure a dangerous love obsession. Watch the video below, and if you’re in the LA area tonight, attend the video release party, featuring a performance from the duo.
Interview: A Day With Starchild
Starchild, in the nascent stages of his career, posesses the capacity to express a broad range of musical ability. With successful simplicity, he shows his vocal and composing range in Night Music, an EP enveloped in intimate tracks featuring a piano and his vocals ranging from sensitive falsetto to longing low notes. Refuting premature notions that sonically, he is limited; hip hop weighted tracks like “Gemini” and “Computer Games” make a discernible departure from the lofty love ballads Night Music encompasses or even the chillwave track “Relax” — check out the new video here — featured on the Saint Heron compilation album. All, however, executed with a pure sincerity and discernible sonic perspective.
So who is this guy? Born Bryndon Cook, DC native Starchild took time off from an intensive acting program upstate and touring with Solange as her guitarist/keyboardist/back-up singer to connect for a perfect New York day date: food, thrifting, and trolling stacks of albums on the unremitting search for a gem. Enamored with his charisma, humility, candor, and unassabilable musical prodigy, it became clear Starchild is the glaring gem music has been looking for.
How did you ended up working with Solange and then connecting with Dev Hynes?
S: So, let’s see, umm, let’s start like this. I have known of them since I was like sixteen. I use to watch “Johnson Family Vacation”. I’ve known of Solange for a long time. Them musically together, I didn’t know them until “Flying Overseas” happened. Before I went to college is when I started to make beats and stuff like that. I make my own songs, basically on garage band. I use to send stuff to Dev. I’m a big Lightspeed Champion fan. I know all the songs. It was like high school music to me. I use to send him stuff like, “I really like this song; I really connect with it.” He use to be like, “Yeah, this is cool, sick!” Like three years ago on Tumblr, he posted this random song I made with chopped up video footage. It looks kind of like the “Relax” video. Me, Chester (Raja) flipped out! We were like freshmen in college like, “Whooooaaaaa!” That was around the time I met Patrick of Chairlift. One of the first songs I rapped over when I was really getting into rap was a Chairlift song, “Planet Health”, on their first album. I was following Patrick on twitter and he tweeted, “I just want to hear some music. If you want to send me some music send it here”. I didn’t have anything better to do, I didn’t have a mixtape out or anything. I sent him my track of me rapping over his song.
Wait, were you rapping before you were singing?
S: Technically, yea. Recording rap yea. I’ve been singing in choirs since I was a kid.
Did you start in church?
S: No! I mean I grew up going to church. I’ve always been very cognisant of the levels of musicianship. Artistry and musicainship are two separate things, but they coincide. But um, I always knew I couldn’t cut it up with them church cats. I mean you gotta know how to play everything in every key. You know what I’m saying? So I started singing first, but it wasn’t until I went to college that Chester was like, “You should rap. You should make a mixtape.” So I sent it to Patrick and he really really liked it. From there we developed this kinship, this mentorship. From there we did the first mixtape.
How has this mentorship guided your music?
S: I met Solo through Patrick. This was last May and I was working on the album that I am finishing now, he’s mixing some of the album. I was coming to the city to work on it. Patrick is really busy. Like really really busy, but he was like, “I gotta go help Solange with this thing, but do you want to come chill?” And I’m like, “Uh yea!” So I went, and I met her and she was really really nice. She was asking me questions…it was actually really surreal. Even now, as well as we know each other, she has this ambiance that is really powerful. I was really just blown away by how surreal it was, how nice she was, and how interested she was in what I was doing. Like the fact that I’m in school. One of the first things she asked me was how many years I have left in school. It was about that first which I thought was awesome. It was around the time Dev was leaving the band, and she asked me to come audition two or three days later. I went home and learned the album.
What was your first solo you learned?
S: Oooh damn. The first solo I could play was Purple Rain. It was the first solo I really tried to learn. Why You Want To Treat Me So Bad solo, Rick James’ Mary Jane solo. The thing was, I knew how to play Bad Girls already. I could play the solo, because I loved the song.
How did you develop your style? Who was your rap influence?
S: The thing about me, I think, because I like to do so many things, I’m really lead to do stuff by being directly inspired by something. I wasn’t really aware of that until recently. I was listening to a lot of Wale in high school. He was like “the guy”. I was listening to his mixtapes, and I think rhythmically it got really exciting to rap. I really like Bone Thugs and I really like Kanye as a rapper. Let’s talk about it.
S: It’s my dream role to play Kanye in a movie. Like really bad. Everyone at the acting program knows I’m going to play Kanye, make this money, and leave the country. That’s like my motto. (laughs)
Do you remember the first rhyme you ever rapped?
S: Well me and my little brother use to have a rap group called The Dirty Quadrants. When I was like 17 I was making the beats and then I’d rap a verse and he’d rap a verse. He was really good, except he’d always start laughing. I just can’t really can’t remember what my first rhyme was.
Being from Washington, DC does Go-Go music have any impact on your sound?
S: I grew up with it a lot. There’s three sections of go-go music in my opinion. There’s the Chuck Brown era, then there’s this middle section like Backyard Band, Rare Essence, and all those people. Then there’s TCB, UCB, and all those CBCBCBCBCB’s. I knew all of that stuff from high school, but the music that really resonates with me is the Go-Go from the Rare Essence and Backyard Band; the stuff you use to hear in like ’97 ’98 and the Chuck Brown era, orthe Chuck Brown stuff he use to make with the Soul Searchers before is was considered Go-Go, like Bustin’ Loose. It still hasn’t completely resonated in my music as of yet. I don’t know…I’ve been on some other shit.
Talk to me about your music reaching polar ends of the spectrum. You touch on piano ballads and love songs in Night Music, but then throw a curve with hip hop tracks like Computer Games. When the Saint Heron compliation album released, I was expecting to hear more Night Music vibes. How did the track Relax came about?
S: Technically, we made Relax even before we made Night Music. There was even going to be a time when Relax was going to be on Night Music. Despite all of it, Relax does sound kind of strange. It’s really different. I just wanted to be like Toro (Y Moi) really. It’s funny that they had that on the post. We were like Toro fan boys, I’m tellin’ you. It’s particularly the people that I am influenced by that I look up to are these one man bands. It’s not that I want to do it all myself, but sometimes it’s just easier that way. Or having people like Chester who is like my Rick Rubin or the Flying Lotus to my Thundercat. Then there’s people like this lady *points to Sade pin perfectly placed on the collar of his crewneck* I can’t even begin! In my room I have a shrine for Sade.
Were you in love when you made Night Music?
S: Yeah, I was in a place that I am constantly kind of in. Which is heartbroken and in love, in fancy with the idea of being with someone else, but probably as a means to take me out of the heartbreak and brokeness that I was sitting in, and taking me back to a place of hopefullness. You dig what I’m sayin’? Then there’s tracks like Lay Down, I’m a nice guy, but this is what I would say if I had no filter. This is what good guys would say to women if they really had a chance and weren’t biting their tongue.
Tell me how your sounds fits into the realm of R&B or if it’s changing the landscape of what people think R&B music is?
S: Well, I have to speak from what’s on the album. A lot of it is like me trying to take a lot of older R&B sounds that have kind of faded away…you know what it is? I’m obsessed with this idea that in the ’80s in particular, people weren’t making music to sounds like ” ’80s music” they were making stuff they thought people would hear in the future. So, all I’m really trying to do is take that same mentality. I want the songs to sound like the future that they were talking about. You know what I’m saying? Hopefully it’s familiar enough and quality wise good enough that people will like it. At this point I’m trying to figure out the best way to put it out. I don’t want it to be like a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it.
Do you want to get signed?
S: Oh yea! I’d love to, yes! Anything that I think is a platform that is higher than what I’ve been doing. Night Music was nice because it was for friends and family, and then people heard about it. With this next album, there’s been so much time so much effort that to put it out and have no one know about it is disrespectful.
So now you’re working on your new album Crucial, what was your direct influence behind this upcoming album?
S: It was the stuff I was listening to when I was going through the shit I was going through. I was really dealing with the insular feeling after you’ve been without someone. The Kindness album really had a lot to do with it. As I was doing the actual writing, the first Twin Shadow album had a lot to do with how I thought about song writing. It’s so damn good. The album was also influenced by older stuff like Ready For The World and specific Prince things like the 1999 album which I want to say is my favorite Prince album. That album is all over the place. It’s to me is one of his last albums where he let his “teenageness” be expressed. I pulled from a lot of people who were writing from a teenage perspective or who were actual teenagers when they were writing and the sounds they used to connote that. I really wanted to make an album inspired by older songs. There’s one track on there that’s a nine minute song. It’s a cover of “I Didn’t Mean To Turn You On“. Since I was a young boy I always wanted to make a nine minute song!
Who are some ideal collaborations?
S: Guillermo Brown, he’s in a group called Pegasus Warning. He’s really great. I’d really like to work with Tyler The Creator. On the piano I think he’s really good. I’ve always had a crazy amount of respect for his musicianship. A lot of people don’t talk about that enough. He’s doing crazy stuff! I really want to work with the Harlem Boys Choir or the Vienna Boys Choir. That would be so ill. Oh! And I want to work with Sampha again.
Let’s form a Starchild supergroup.
S: Me, Sampha, there’s this guy, Paul Stanley McKenzie, he drums for Kindness and he also drums for Bobby Womack — who is my favorite by the way. Bobby Womack is my favorite singer. So Sampha on keys, Paul on drums, and me on the vocals.
Video: Starchild, “Relax”
Saint Heron artist Starchild and his band The New Romantic follow-up with the visual for his album-featured track, “Relax.” The video is premiered via Noisey and showcases the musicians every day lifestyle with various clips through a VHS-styled filter. A lot of folks don’t actually know that Starchild, born Bryndon Cook, came on board as Solange‘s guitarist/keyboardist/backup singer after Dev Hynes stopped touring with the band.
Also note that “Relax” is vital contribution to Saint Heron that represents late indie trend, chillwave. The niche movement started mid ’00s birthed by Hipster Runoff, where ’80s synth-pop and looped samples meshed to be blessed with vocals championed by Toro y Moi, Washed Out and Neon Indian.
Watch the video above and then watch similar vibes from the mentioned artists below.
Bonus: Toro y Moi, “Talamak”
Bonus: Washed Out, “Feel It All Around”
Bonus: Neon Indian, “Deadbeat Summer”
Purchase ‘Saint Heron’ At These Store Locations
If you’ve been searching for a record store to purchase your physical copy of Saint Heron — look no further. Below you will find a list of different shops that carry physical copies of the record worldwide. If you still can’t find a nearby location, find independent records stores in your area that might carry the CD and the LP through Record Store Day. You can also order the CD and LP through Insound and digitally through iTunes.
Here’s a list of shops carrying Saint Heron:
Amoeba // All Locations // CA
Angelos // Various Locations // CO
Bull Moose // Various Locations // ME & NH
Cactus Music // Houston TX
Collette // Paris, France
Dearborn Music Co // Dearborn MI
Dimple Records // Various Locations // CA
Everyday Music // Various locations // WA & OR
Easy Street // Seattle, WA
Electric Fetus // Various Locations // MN
The Exchange // Various Locations // OH
The Exclusive Corp // Various Locations // WI
Fingerprints // Long Beach, CA
Graywhale // Various Locations // UT
Grimeys // Nashville, TN
Homer’s // Omaha, NE
Independent Records // Various Locations // CO
J&R Electronics // New York, NY
Looney Tunes // West Babylon, NY
Music Millenium // Portland, OR
Newbury Comics // Various Location // Northeast U.S
Opening Ceremony // Various Locations (Worldwide)
Other Music // New York, NY
Port of Sound // Costa Mesa, CA
Record Exchange // Boise, ID
Rasputin // Various Locations // CA
Rolling Stone // Norridge, IL
Rough Trade // Brooklyn, NY
Salzer’s // Ventura, CA
Silver Platters // Seattle, WA
Sonic Boom // Seattle, WA
Sound Garden // Baltimore, MD
Twist & Shout // Denver, CO
Underground Sounds // Ann Arbor, MI
Urban Outfitters // Various Locations
Waterloo // Austin, TX
Zia // Various Locations // AZ
Stream ‘Solange’s Selects Pt. 1’ Spotify Playlist
Solange will be updating listeners every two months with a new Spotify playlist, released via FADER. The complied playlist will feature a random swirl of jams enjoyed by our Saint Records boss lady, ranging between all genres underground and notable. The first installment features Saint Heron artists BC Kingdom and Sampha, but also includes our favorite Miley Cyrus tune, FKA Twigs, Ty Dolla $ign and more. Stream the playlist below:
Bonus: Solange’s FADER Cover Story
Diggin in the Crates: Mohammed Wardi
Known as “The Voice of Joy” to the Sudan, singer/songwriter, poet and political activist Mohammed Wardi bestowed renowned music that eternally vibrates throughout his native land. His legacy, however, extends far beyond these borders.
Wardi’s friendship with legendary New Orleans Jazz singer and trumpeter, Louis Armstrong, inspired the fusion of jazz and traditional Sudanese music throughout the 60s and early 70s. He also jammed with Turkish and British brass bands, while simultaneously teaching them how to swing “Sudani” style.
Throughout the course of Wardi’s extraordinary music career—which spanned over 56 years from 1957 to his death in 2012—the singer composed well over 300 songs. As Banning Eyre, the revered guitarist, once said: “In the modern history of Sudan, no musical figure stands as tall, or cuts as deep as Mohamed Wardi.”
Video: Hot 97’s Angie Martinez Interviews Solange
In the midst of promoting Saint Heron, bosslady Solange stopped by Hot 97 to for an interview with Angie Martinez and DJ Enuff on The Angie Martinez Show. The ladies had an easy going conversation about pulling the “Beyonce Card,” part-time life in New Orleans, motherhood and more. Watch the interview clip above and stream “Cash In” below. Also, make sure to cop Saint Heron out now on Saint Records via iTunes.
Video: Sampha, “Happens”
Following the release of his solo version of “Too Much,” Saint Heron-featured artist Sampha releases next AA side single, “Happens.” The song is written and performed by Sampha, and produced by Emile Haynie. Visuals directed, produced and edited by Cherise Payne, shot by Jake Cizic. Buy “Too Much/Happens” now via iTunes now.
Make sure to check out Sampha’s track “Beneath the Tree,” featured on the Saint Heron, out now.