Monday, 2 March 2009

SugaRush Beat Co.

First face-to-face interview, which I coincidentally oversaw and ensured all interviewers were in and out on time. Bit of a mad one, but did a quick interview with the group.

SugaRush Beat Company

Introducing to you the three members of SugaRush Beat Company comprise of Jarrad ‘Jaz’ Rogers (who’s worked with many renowned artists including Lauryn Hill), Rahsaan Patterson (critically acclaimed soul singer who has written hits for R&B’s elite, including Brandy and Donnell Jones) and Ida Corr (who co-wrote and sang the recent Fedde Le Grand mega-hit ‘Let Me Think About It’). They hail from three different continents span four countries, and their life affirming mixture of elasticated grooves, dark beauty and multi-layered psychedelic funk have already attracted favourable comparisons with musical mavericks such as Prince, Gnarls Barkley and Outkast. While most acts would crumble under such comparisons, for SugaRush it is only the beginning.

SugaRush Beat Company’s new single ‘L-O-V-E’ will be released through RCA on June 2nd. Taken from their eagerly awaited self-titled debut album, ‘L-O-V-E’ has already established itself as a firm favourite in SugaRush Beat Company’s critically lauded live sets, and received a lot of plaudits for the band when they performed it on ‘Later With Jools Holland’ in February this year. With its stabbing brass section, climatic middle eight and intriguing interplay between the two vocal parts, ‘L-O-V-E’ is the perfect anthem to kick off the summer months.

I caught up with the trio to try and put SugaRush Beat Company’s diverse sound into words, the pressure that being compared to greats brings and the highly-anticipated debut album ‘SugaRush Beat Company’.

Can you give us a little background on how the group came about?
Well, Jaz is from Australia, Rashaan was on tour and they hooked up to do some songs. I was touring in Denmark and Jaz heard my album from one of his friends in Europe. So yeah, in a period of some years we just came together and started this group.

How would you describe the sound of SugaRush Beat Company?
: Hmm, it’s hard to describe. Its erm... we try and embrace every part of music in some form or another. Its very [pause]
Rashaan: Broad, spectrum of sound.
Jaz: It’s very colourful, but it’s underpinned by… [Laughs] when all the colours go together don’t they make Black? Or they might make White?Ida: I don’t know.
Rashaan: I don’t remember.
[Everybody laughs]

Which genres would you say it’s a mixture of?
: All of ‘em.
Jaz: Pretty much is.

Any predominant ones?
: That depends on who’s listening and how they wanna describe it and box it up.
Ida: You’ve got the Classical stuff, the Rock, Soul, you’ve got the pop, Indie, Synths.
Jaz: It would hard for us to box it up because we don’t like to put up boxes.

How do you feel about comparisons made between you and the likes of Gnarls Barkley, OutKast and Prince?
: Very flattering.
Rashaan: Its flattering because they are quality artists and the fact that they are artists is a great thing as opposed to being compared to some act.

Do you feel being compared brings extra pressure?
: Nope.
Ida: No.

So you don’t feel like you have to deliver?
: We just deliver what we do.
Jaz: Just do our own thing. We’re not competing or comparing or trying to copy, we’re just doing our own thing.

I guess that kinda answers my next question, but what makes SugaRush different to those you're compared with?
: Our individual personalities and abilities.
Jaz: I think our music is vastly different from them. Sometimes it’s hard to compare and someone will say “It sounds like that.” Great for you. I don’t hear it, but that’s cool.
Ida: But also the fact that we are 3 individuals with 3 careers and we don’t need this to be a big money success. We need this to do our music and have our free space so we can do exactly what we want to do for the music and for us.

Yeah, you can definitely hear that.
: Well we hope it makes us a lot of money [everybody laughs]
Rashaan: You know, with the influence of an artist like Prince, he has given us so much musical information over the years and we’ve learnt so much from what he’s done. He’s basically birthed everyone that we’ve been compared to outside of himself. It’s all the same information and it’s just a continuation of the same message

What can we expect on the album as far as sounds and concepts? How would you describe the album?
It’s very mixed sound-wise. It’s a clash of a lot of things you probably wouldn’t expect to clash. Its orchestral sounds mixed with Synth-Pop mixed with Rock guitars on the same track. Phil Spector horn arrangements. Hopefully, genuine throwback soul stuff that’s really genuine but futuristic stuff as well. You gotta expect the unexpected. You need to hear the record, [laughs] we don’t know how to describe the record.
Rashaan: It’s very up-tempo, very manic
Is there a song that you feel really proud with the outcome of or a favourite?
Jaz: All of ‘em, ‘cause otherwise we’d be saying there’s one that’s not quite right and I would never have that, ever!

Your live performances are very strong and you look like you’re having a lot of fun up there. Any song in particular that’s your favourite to perform?
The one that blows me away most every time it’s performed, ’cause with these guys you just never know what is going to happen at the end of it, is ‘The End’. But ‘L.O.V.E’ goes off and is so good and SugaRush is just so much fun. There all fun.Ida: It depends what mood you’re in and it changes every time.
Rashaan: The best thing about it is, it starts off from the beginning and you play your first song then the second one comes and your like “Oh it‘s this one” and the third one comes and you’re say “Oh, it’s this one.” So you know it constantly evolves.

What makes your debut album essential to every music lovers collection?
: Its unique
Ida: Its honest, very honest
Jaz: Deeply musical

SugaRush Beat Company's self-titled debut album is out now

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