Dark times call for some light relief, and instead of focusing on the ills of the world, Sinkane have made it their mission to make us dance and bring a little joy to life. Full of the slick grooves, sparkling melodies, and bustling Africa-inspired beats that defined his previous five albums, Ahmed Gallab has crafted nine tracks that celebrate the type of warmth and spirit that we could all do with a little more of.
Here's the inspiration and story behind each track, told in his own unique voice.
I wrote this song for my album Mars but I just wasn't happy with how it ended up back then. I revisited it for Mean Love and still didn't feel satisfied with how it turned out among the rest of the songs. It had a lot to do with the subject matter and performance. I'm pretty vulnerable on this song and it took until now for me to be ok sharing so much of myself to the world. I credit Greg Lofaro's persistence and support; he wouldn't let me give up on this song. Also, all of the touring we did for Mean Love really helped me understand how important the live dynamic was to completing this song.
The melody of this song came to me in a dream. In it, I was in an old juke joint playing 'U'Huh' with my band. It was hot and sweaty, and half the crowd was dancing in double time and the other in slow motion. So the vibe felt super wavey and surreal. When I woke up I instantly picked up my phone and recorded the saxophone lead line that comes in at the beginning of the song. I took the idea of the dream to director Nick Bentgen and he made the music video out of it. I'm very proud of this song; although I didn't mean it to be, the melodies and message feel so appropriate with the time. I love how much inspiration it gives to people all over the world.
The idea of this song came from DJ'ing in NYC. So often people will come up and ask the DJ to play their favorite song. It's the most annoying thing about DJing, but on the occasion that you actually play someone's favorite, that person goes crazy and become transfixed for a moment in time. It connects people on the dance floor and they all go into another zone. It's a beautiful experience and I wanted to write a song about it.
This song is about religion. I moved around a lot growing up, which meant that I met many different kinds of people who were different from me in one way or another. Religion always seemed to make me curious. I've had close friendships with many people who all believe many different things, and I've also seen people who share my beliefs do bad things. I finally came to understand that human beings aren't perfect and it's important to ask questions. "How does religion relate me as a human being? What lies beyond religion? What lessons can I learn about myself outside the lessons I've received from my faith? Is faith the only things that defines my identity?"
This song is about a booty call; it's plain and simple. We've all had them. Sometimes they're cool. Other times they're a pain in the ass. I wanted to share this experience so that I could start a conversation with people about shitty booty calls. It might be a welcomed conversation after all this Trump shit.
Another song about religion. I've found that seeking knowledge beyond the confines of religious practice has helped make me a better person. Lots of people will aimlessly follow rules because that's what they know and it's easy to live with that routine. But breaking out of that habit and working on discovering who you are outside of what you know yields some amazing results.
Theme From Life & Livin' It
This is the ethos of the album. Jason Trammell wrote the lyrics and he hit the nail on the head. There isn't one right way to be, there isn't one right path to happiness; you can create your own however you want. Just so long as don't hurt anybody and spread love and positive energy through your message.
I stopped drinking one and a half years ago and it changed my life! I became very healthy, I stopped making bad decisions and I've saved A LOT of money (lol). I wanted to write a song about it! It speaks for itself, really...
This is another song about identity. It's a common subject in many of my songs. My grandfather once told me that I came from a nomadic family and that I'd never find my home - it would find me. And, until that day, I should keep searching. It's a cryptic message that floats in my brain. I've come to peace with not knowing what lies ahead of me and I try to always live in the moment. I know many folks around the world have similar questions and feelings about their identity and place in the world and I hope a song like this can help realize that you are not alone.
Life & Livin' It by Sinkane is out today via city Slang Records. For more information on the artist, including upcoming tour dates, please visit his official website.