True Vibenation's new single, More Than You’ll Ever Know, is out now! We chat to the group about the release and more.
Image: Richmond Kobla.
African-Australian group True Vibenation have teamed up with the new girl on the soul block A.GIRL for their effortless new track, More Than You’ll Ever Know.
Released via Soul Modern Records, the group bring their irresistible blend of soul and afrobeat fused together with A.GIRL's R&B stylings. The track serves as a message to give love to the most important people to your life.
Speaking of working with the trio, A.GIRL shares: "the boys from True Vibe and I jumped in the studio early in the pandemic when nobody knew what the eff was going on!? We met and vibed so it was super chill and easy. After a few hours More Than You'll Ever Know popped out and we were all diggin it. We all share a love of reggae and had no idea this impromptu writing session would turn into a release but here we are!"
Hailing from Western Sydney, True Vibenation is made up of twins Vuli and Bheki, along with their childhood friend Gabriel, who also releases music under his solo project, Klue. The trio draw influence from their African heritage and their love of soul and hip-hop. With over 2 million streams across their discography, the hip-hop group have toured around the world performing at Hifa Festival in Zimbabwe, Bushfire Festival in Swaziland, Azgo Festival in Mozambique, while they have delivered their electric and infectious live show globally with multiple European tours under their belt, with further performances at Sydney Festival, WOMAdelaide, and the world-renowned Glastonbury Festival.
More Than You’ll Ever Know is out now. Rear our interview with True Vibenation below!
Tell us a bit how you started your musical journey…
We all started out playing our instruments when we were just kids really but through our families were also listening to soul music and african music too. Then when we were teenagers we discovered Outkast and hip-hop and once we added our saxophones and trumpets into the mix- the rest is history!
Congratulations on the release of your new single More Than You’ll Ever Know. You’re starting the year off with a brand new single, what was the inspiration behind this track?
We wanted to make a soul classic for right now. It’s about love! But also about putting aside all the bulls*** and focusing on what’s important.
What was it like working with A.GIRL?
It was a really good vibe. She brought along a bunch of her family to the studio and looking back it definitely helped to inspire some of the writing.
How did this collaboration come about, and what did A.GIRL bring to the track to elevate it to another level?
It was actually the first time we’d met so we didn’t know how it was going to turn out at all! But straight away we were vibing and realised we were all fans of the same artists. But she definitely brought her butter vocals and harmonies to this one! If you listen with headphones the layers on the song are crazy.
How did the stunning visuals for the track come to life?
For the visuals around the song we worked with an amazing team. We’re always so excited by the amount of talent here and we kind of ended up with an African dream team on this one! We had Richmond Kobla for photography and direction and also Bruno Marion for the video elements. Sarafina Manyang on styling and then A.Girls go to guys The Glow Up on hair and make-up.
If More Than You’ll Ever Know was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
A 90s RnB movie haha.
Take us through your creative process when it comes to writing and recording new music…
We create so often that it can change quite a bit. Sometimes it’s a conversation, sometimes it’s a rhythm, sometimes it’s some lush chords and sometimes it’s a dream. We feel that inspiration can come from anywhere and the most important thing you can do is to remember that initial inspiration and aim to translate that feeling into audio. From there we just keep listening to it and building and meticulously editing and sculpting it until it sounds full, then start again with a new idea!
Who or what are your influences when creating music?
We draw from a lot when making music, from growing up in Australia and also from our African heritage. We love music so much that we find it hard to bolt down to any one particular thing. From visiting our family and touring in Africa we drew a lot of inspiration from there, and growing up with rap and neo-soul had a huge impact. Also we take influence from touring Europe, particularly the UK scenes Afrobeat, and the Portuguese Kuduro scene. As you can tell from our past releases our sound is as broad and diverse as our tastes, which for us is a truer reflection of our experience, stories and lives than sticking to one thing.
How did the past year affect your creative process, when working together, working on the music and working on visuals during the pandemic?
We are used to having to kind of create something from nothing, and when the pandemic hit we just locked down in the studio a little more than usual. The stress and the unknown made it hard at times, but we knew that at the end of this, everyone still needs entertainment, healing, and beautiful music and community, and so we really just kept that in our minds as a motivator to keep creating more. Visually we started a cooking show called tin can roulette (where you select a tin can from the cupboard at random with the label off and have to make something from whatever is inside it!). We also made a new youtube series about to come out soon as well, so keep an eye out on our youtube channel for that one!
Are you working on any new music? Will there be any new releases in the coming future?
Yes. We have been collaborating and recording like crazy, and working with our record label Soul Modern to craft some tunes we’re really happy with! Definitely keep an eye out, it may be coming sooner than expected!
The current pandemic has thrown touring and performing live in flux, what are your touring plans post pandemic? What can audiences expect from one of your live shows?
We can’t wait to get back on the (covid safe) road haha. As soon as we can we are heading back over to tour Europe again, and while in Australia, you can expect to see shows where people quite literally refuse to stay seated. Our live show is as always: High energy, big brass, dance moves and big smiles! Our aim is to leave people feeling fuller than when they arrived, and feel more strongly connected as a community.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
That’s a big question cause there is so much to choose from! We reckon Briggs is dope, and have played as his horn section before and love the huge energy and strong message. Sampa the Great of course. On the up is definitely A.GIRL, and we got the gun JamarzOnMarz for support for our show who we are super excited to see where he’s going.
Outkast, Fela Kuti.
Femi Kuti, Burna Boy.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
The Men in Black soundtrack or Stankonia by Outkast.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Soul, Afro, Brass.
A musical release you’re most looking forward to in 2021?
Outkast new album (we’re still dreaming! haha).
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Some crazy anime film like Akira.
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Fat Freddys Drop
Best concert you have been to?
Earth, Wind and Fire while on tour at Glastonbury!
Last concert you went to?
Ezra collective at WOMADelaide
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Lionel Richie haha.
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Stevie Wonder would be epic!
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Drake. I feel like he basically got all the rappers singing then hip-hop just took over music in general! OG artists though, Would have to say Quincy Jones.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Keep spreading the good vibes far and wide!
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
The moment it clicked that the same joy and feels that music gives us, we could also create so other people can feel it too, and we have ever since.