Solaa Newsletter Interview
31 Jul 2007 // An interview by Shade
Thanks to Isaac (trumpet) for getting the answers from the band:
What is your greatest achievement?
Maintaining a band of 12 members over the last 10 years and developing an album with some of NZ's most talented vocalists.
What do you think could be done to make NZ music even better?
We need to break down barriers and unleash the power of independent artists in a supportive community rather then allowing the profit driven 'industry oligarchs' to stand in the way of our public being able to appreciate the full strength of our nation's musical talent. By imposing a commercial hierarchy the NZ music industry feeds the public what it deems to be 'commercially viable'. We all know now that 'commercially viable' and mainstream do not necessarily mean music that is more worthy of listening to then 'alternative' and underground. Just look at Fat Freddie's Drop they went from underground/alternative to becoming as much a universally loved part of NZ's musical identity as Crowded House or Split ENZ. They are a true representation of the fact that the public want more then music by numbers.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
We managed to release our debut album 'Steps in Time' in NZ, Europe, North America and Japan during 2006 alongside promotional tours of NZ, Europe and the US, this year we released our album in Australia and toured there as well. Our second album will be recorded in 2008. Our focus is that within 5 years we will have consolidated our profile in Australasia and that we will have expanded our touring into Asia (especially Japan) as well as Europe.
What is the best thing about making music?
For us its the spirit of collaborating, the ability to take people from diverse backgrounds and to enable them to openly share ideas and work in harmony as a collective whole. Its symbolic of the way our leaders learn to work in order to solve some of the global issues that we face today.
What advice would you like to give to other aspiring musicians?
Music is one of the most spiritually rewarding occupations, however like any career it requires commitment, discipline and dedication in order to succeed. Never base your goals on popularity, as this will distract you from the real magic that can be found in making music.
Solaa formed during 1997 in the spirit of jazz improvisation. The sound they developed was a unique New Zealand fusion of electronic and organic music. Rich in instrumentation, the music of Solaa bridges Hip Hop, Breaks, Funk, Soul, R&B, and Latin Flavours.
Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for Solaa
Solaa's diverse sound is made possible through the varied musical background of each member. Their experience in Jazz, Latin, Classical and Electronic music enabled the group to explore many different directions in their music. This plentiful fusion of sound is evident in their debut album 'Steps in Time'.
In March 2006 Solaa made their first tour to Australia including a performance in support of Fat Freddy's Drop at Melbourne's Forum theatre. They have also performed alongside Mark de Clive-Lowe, Salmonella Dub, Che Fu, Shapeshifter and Opensouls. Late 2005 saw Solaa receive international radio play. UK DJ Benji B featured 'Sylphlike' on his show 'Soulful Deviation' (BBC 1Xtra). New York DJ Monkone played 'Aintnothing' on his 'Underground Railroad' show (WBAI, Brooklyn). 'Eyes Shut' and the single 'Chance' are currently played on XM Satellite Radio across North America. The release of Steps in Time is to be followed up with a 12" featuring remixes by Nicolay and Recloose.