Tell me what has been happening with Notis on the solo project you have been completing in Jamaica…
Earlier this year Notis from Jamaica and I released our debut EP, New Era Frequency. It’s actually nine tracks in total including three dub mixes. I moved to Jamaica a couple of years ago after meeting Notis in Melbourne while they were on tour with Jimmy Cliff. We wrote and recorded our first single that night we met, so we decided to pursue that connection and embark on this collaboration project together… and after many days and nights writing and recording till the early hours in Kingston, we have created something we all feel is unique and fresh in terms of the cross-cultural collaboration and in terms of actual sounds that have come from out collective inspiration and creativity.
We have also realised a huge part of this dream, which was to tour this project. We’ve toured through the US and Canada this year as well as a couple of Jamaican shows, and we are all really excited to be bringing it back to Australia where it all began!
Why the move to Jamaica? Is this part of a push to a more international market?
Jamaica is the home of so much music that has inspired my art and continues to inspire me daily. There is a buzz energy here that makes creating/creativity constant… there is literally so much happening and so many amazing artists and musicians that it’s positive just to be here surrounded by that energy, let alone writing and recording in it alongside the musical community. As for pushing to international markets, it’s definitely a lot closer to the US, which is home to a big reggae-loving community. I certainly feel a certain pull towards that part of the world in terms of the people being fully ready and waiting to hear music like ours, from the support we had on tour earlier this year with Michael Franti & Spearhead and Katchafire.
Why did you choose Jamaica to create your solo project?
After meeting Unga Barunga, drummer and producer from Notis, we decided that there was potential to create something different. Unga is a really amazing drummer for starters, but he’s also a great producer and someone who has his ear out on all different types of genres and sounds. I feel really grateful that our relationship has been able to grow and create new music and that’s because I packed up my things and took the giant leap to move to another part of the world. Jamaica. All of the greats are here but also such a thriving younger generation of musicians and singers who genuinely have love and support for one another. There’s an absence of ego that I think the rest of the music world (and the world in general) could really learn from.
Keep your eye out for Notis on stage. As many of the Byron Shire community know, I come from a drumming background and have been surrounded by some of the best in the country, so when I say Unga is a great drummer, I really mean it. You guys are going to love seeing this band live.
You can read the come interview here!