[INTERVIEW] Soul Speak #11: Sans Soucis Experience

There are few artists who have excited us quite so much lately as 8 piece soul group Sans Soucis Experience. After hearing their debut EP Daffodils we just had to find out more.

Answers by band member Sans Soucis.

SS: Hey, thanks so much for agreeing to have a chat with us. First things first, congratulations on the new EP! We absolutely love it!

SSE: Thank you so much! We are really proud of it.

SS: Tell us a little bit about the concept behind the EP and your creative process when producing it.

SSE: Daffodils is all about who we are and what we take with us on our journey. We wanted to make sure that people felt empowered and happy listening to the music, creating a dimension where they can really figure out who they are, with more awareness of where they stand.

My main inspiration was a poem by William Wordsworth called “I wonder as lonely as a cloud” where the poet describes an extremely blissful moment, remembering a field of daffodils while sitting on his sofa. The evocative power of beauty, revealing itself through memories is one of the most fascinating phenomenon I have ever observed and it really shows how powerful our mind and soul are when it comes to pursuing our own happiness. I decided to approach this theme using a conventional time scale where the three main tracks of the album represent past, present and future, to show how much we relate our personal growth to a (fictional) conception of time.

Sharing some personal experiences and beliefs really fulfilled my need of connection on a deeper level, a spiritual one I would say, hopefully helping other people to appreciate themselves more, to inspire and to cultivate their existence in the present moment, with focus and open-mindedness.

SS: You all come from different countries across the world, how did you meet and how has that influenced your sound?

SSE: Oh yes, there is Congo, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Slovenia, Ethiopia, Sweden… It’s quite a lot of countries and we’re pretty much mixed-race as well. It is just really wonderful to see how all of our cultural heritages come across in our playing and arranging. We share a great love for soul music (Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, Lianne La Havas, Allen Stone, Leon Bridges) and jazz too (starting from our music education), but also a great interest in folk music, which really takes us back to our countries of origin. We were so lucky being able to get together while studying at the same university and unlock our real musicianship, sharing a creative space where we can really be ourselves.

SS: You mentioned some of your influences there, who are some artists that you’re really enjoying listening to at the moment?

SSE: At the moment I am into some really diverse artists that I really look up to like Oscar Jerome, coming out of the London scene, Jordan Rakei who was my first love when I started songwriting, Lianne La Havas who is now a classic for Soul/R&B music, Fatoumata Diawara, a fantastic songwriter and guitarist from Cote D’Ivoire, Laura Mvula, Moses Sumney, Solange, Anderson Paak, Noname - all of who really inspire me to be the best version of myself.

There are also a couple of instrumentalists that are worth mentioning like Victor Wooten, a fantastic and very sensitive musician, author, composer, human being, Franco(1938-89), from the Congolese and world scene who reminds me through his joyful music of where I come from, Robert Glasper with his signature sound, Christian Scott… and the list goes on.

SS: What are your plans for 2018? Have you got any shows or new music in the pipeline that you can tell us about?

SSE: We are actually working on our first album, inspired by the Mthunzi centre, located in Lusaka, Zambia, which gives shelter to street children. A couple of us traveled to Mthunzi last summer and we are planning a return trip with the full band to volunteer in their music program and get the inspiration for this very exciting project.

We are also focusing on expanding our network not only in London but hopefully all around the globe, engaging with musicians of all social statuses and backgrounds, enhancing the musical experience of as many people as we can through music and humanitarian projects.

SS: And finally, if aliens came to our planet and asked what music is, what track would you play them?

SSE: Rock with you by MJ until they know it by heart! It is such a great song that just makes you feel alive and that’s what music is all about.

SS: Cheers guys! It's been an absolute pleasure!

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