Interview: Toubab Krewe Talk New Album “Stylo”

Concert Crap: You guys are set to release your first album in seven years Stylo on March 2. How long have you been working on this album?

Luke Quaranta: We have been working on the album for a while actually.. we had our first writing session for it in early 2014, another session later that year, and then we recorded over ten days in October of 2014 in Atlanta, GA.  We tracked the album at Southern Tracks Studio in Atlanta with our good friend Vic Stafford.  The session pretty much lay dormant until we started editing, mixing, and doing overdubs in early 2017.   We worked on it intensively from March 2017 to the end of the year, so it’s exciting to finally see it come to fruition.

CC: Your music includes the use of a multitude of instruments beyond the traditional guitar or violin. What are some instruments highlighted in the album?

LQ: The Kora (21 string harp from West Africa) and Kamelngoni (12 string pentatonic harp from Southern Mali) are both central to the band’s sound.  Justin Perkins plays both of these instruments as well as guitar in the band.  Djembe, Dununs, Karenye, Kryn, and Congas are the traditional percussion instruments in the band played by Luke Quaranta.  Drumset, Bass, and Guitar round out the instrumentation.

CC: What’s something that listeners won’t pick up the first time they listen to the album?

LQ: I think it may take a few listens to hear all the subtleties of the traditional instruments.  Also, there are a lot of tracks on some of the songs, so I think some of the layers will become more and more apparent as people listen to it repeatedly.

CC: Which track should fans listen to first? Which track should they listen to last?

LQ: I would definitely suggest listening to the album in order from top to bottom.  The first single ‘That Damn Squash’ is the first song on the album, and it is out everywhere now so everyone can listen to that today!

CC: You’re gearing up for a tour to support the release of this album as well. What kind of experience can fans look forward to?

LQ: Fans can expect a unique experience with the Krewe … The music is dance music, instrumental music, and has roots in both West Africa and America.  We strive to play free every night so each show will be different, and the alchemy between audience and band is a big part of the experience.  Fans should come ready to dance and lose themselves in the music.

CC:  Is there anything else you’d like to add?

LQ: Just want to thank all of our fans for their support and for continuing to listen to our music all these years.  We are very excited to give them this new album and to be back on tour!

All questions answered by Luke Quaranta (Djembe, Congas, percussion).

Post and interview by Karen Shalev

Have you checked out Toubab Krewe? Comment below.

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