Who are you and what are you doing here?
James Low, I’m in Equals and I produce the music and some lyrics for the band
How did the band start?
We had a mutual friend in sax player Pete Frasier – though through quite different scenes: Ade knew him through the north London jazz scene, whereas I knew him from touring together in tech noise bands. When I moved to London wanting to start a new project I asked Pete if he knew any vocalists – Ade was the first person he recommended. The first session we did together just clicked
How would you describe your band?
Kinda cerebral – none of the decisions we make about the music or the lyrics are taken lightly (this can have serious downsides). We care about more than just the sounds we’re making. It’s soul music with a message
If you had to choose one song you’ve written that best defines your band which one would it be?
Triumph. It’s going to be on the new record out early next year. It’s taken 3 years to write. It’s a coming together of our musical and personal heritage – Ade grew up singing in his dad’s church choir in Nigeria, listening to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson – that’s all in there, whereas James grew up trying to learn to play his mum’s piano listening to Talk Talk and Radiohead – that’s all in there two. We’re so proud of the song and can’t wait to share it with the world.
In this day and age where anyone is pretty much able to pick up an instrument, what would you say sets your band apart from the rest?
We’ve been doing it a long time, which means there’s a kind of quality and depth to the music which isn’t always there the first time you pick up a guitar or write a song. Once you’ve got the basic skills of playing an instrument (which loads of people have) it’s more taste that sets you apart, the notes you choose not to play rather than those you do.
Where are people able to hear your songs?
Get over to Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/7HGyw7kzatTmJvZCATGWf9
Are you playing any shows anytime soon?
We’ll be playing an album launch party in London in March. We’re going all in, full band, brass, a choir, the works!
What is your proudest moment/greatest achievement as a band?
It’s got to be writing our debut album – it’s taken nearly three years and having scrapped everything and started again once but we’re just finishing stuff off now and it’s really satisfying to see all that work come together. There’s a unifying concept and message to the record with different tracks referencing and contextualizing each other lyrically and musically.
Tell us 3 bands that we should be listening to/be keeping an eye out for?
Shout out to friend and collaborater Joshua Idehen and his bands Hugh and Benin City. UK hip-hop never gets enough attention – fellow Londoner Avelino has just dropped his debut.
We sometimes use a studio in stoke Newington next to Tom Tripp – if you haven’t heard his stuff yet then you’re not as cool as he is 😉