INTERVIEW: Nine Beats Collective

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Thank you! Busy busy busy. Love the site by the way. VENTS universe if cool.

Album launched in the UK in the summer and had its first live outing at the Greenbelt Music Fest with a sell-out crowd in the venue. Last few months have been gearing up for a US release – so here we are!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Awakening”?

It’s a call to wake up from the illusions that strangle our lives, the false self we construct to protect ourselves. A call to walk into the freedom of who we were meant to be. Light topics huh? hah.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

One of the strands behind the album is the idea that transformation, spiritual, social or political, follows a process and part of that is awakening. It’s a bit like Neo seeing the matrix for what it is and all that flows from that realization.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

A guy called Steve Bassett is the great creative director behind the project. He came up with the original inspiration and started the crazy journey that took us to this point. He’s also a passionate film maker so wherever he goes the camera is on. Although we only filmed some of the tracks with a music video in mind Steve has so much footage from all over the world that cutting something together to match the mood, vibe and message of a track was easy – if you’re idea of easy is reviewing hours of footage that is.

The single comes off your new album Nine Beats To The Bar – what’s the story behind the title?

In this wild world, a growing number of us have begun to wonder if the Beatitudes might contain the keys to our liberation. These ancient sayings, spoken by Jesus, offer a nine-statement manifesto for a new world order. A counter cultural narrative for our times. A welcome not a weapon; tender not toxic, inviting not divisive. A call for a tribe of people to live life ‘nine beats to the bar’. In them we hear the whispers of another world, the invitation to a path of recovery – whatever your story, whatever your struggle, wherever you find yourself.

What made you want to make a conceptual record?

We didn’t want a “paint by numbers” safe and sanitized religious album that treated creative people like a production line, like, “can you write a song about blessed are the peacemakers please”. We let them loose and said, what do these sayings mean to you? What’s the vibe, feel, emotion, texture? Where do these sayings rub with culture? In the end they came up with these amazing songs.

How was the recording and writing process?

We pulled all the musicians together in LA for a weekend hothouse together with a group of wacky theologians and what we called “thought leaders” just to immerse ourselves in the words and worldview of these ancient sayings. Then people got writing and collaborating. Some came with sketchy ideas, others wrote as they went. The collaboration continued via drop box then the producer flew out to record vocals in studios local to the artist, pulled a live band together back in the UK and built the tracks from there

How do you tend to balance all your influences together?

Enter our Uber producer Mr Tony Bean of 5AM Records. These guys won a MOBO [Music of Black Origin} award in the UK a while back and have worked on some top projects. It was his skill that built something that felt like is was flowing and taking a journey rather than a load of unrelated tracks – the words “compilation album” would have gotten you some serious dirty looks if you’d dared mention them!

What aspect of hope did you get to explore on this record?

That there are other ways of drawing inspiration for life that do less damage to the soul than those on offer at the moment!

Any plans to hit the road?

Yes indeedy. Watch this space

What else is happening next in Nine Beats Collective’s world?

Right now we are planning some remixes of maybe four of the tracks for radio in the US and Europe. We also launch in France in the next few months and hope to push that into Germany and Holland.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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