[INTERVIEW] TEAM SALUT
You’re an up and coming group and the first question always is, how did you guys come together?
Gabriel: We actually all met in church and played in the church band. GKP came back from uni and wanted to setup a rehearsal studio. So we found a space and built the studio. After building, we decided to start offering a recording service and then progressed into making beats and writing. I had been making music for a while beforehand and passed on some basic knowledge to the GKP and Manny. They then formed their own personal styles which makes what we are now.
‘Salut’ translates to Hello. I’m sure that there is a deeper meaning to the name, is there one?
Gabriel: Haha yeah. The name came about in the early days. We had made a beat for someone and we had put the Salut in as a vocal adlib, but because it sounded so cool, we started using it a tag. And then we thought that could be a cool name. SALUT. It wasn’t enough so we added the Team to it. It’s basically a salutation to good music. Like ‘cheers here’s to a sick tune’ sort of thing.
I see that you’re taking the Afro wave to the next level. How do your backgrounds mix with your music? Did you all grow up together and, if not, how do your different backgrounds and upbringings merge with your music?
Gabriel: We are West Africans from background. Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria. We all met in Mitcham, South London. I met GKP about 13 years ago and Manny came around 9 years ago. We share similar upbringings being as we are all from African Christian homes. Musically, West Africans share similarities too. The live instruments and sweet melodies from the old West African HighLife records influenced the way we approach our music now. Music and vocals should compliment and create a feeling to the listener.
How does growing up in Britain, in comparison to say the United States have an affect on the music you produce? And, if not, why not?
GKP: In the UK there is quite a distinct ‘subculture’ which has always been deeply rooted in music. I feel like every time a UK genre emerges and is internationally recognised, there’s always a sense of pride. Whether UK garage, UK funky, AfroWave/afroswing/afrobashment, there’s a local lingo and always a unique sound to accompany it.
Its been noted that you’ve been innovating your signature style over four years. Have you come to a definitive sound with the release of ‘Hot Property’?
GKP: Over the years we have experimented with an array of sound which has impacted on our versatility and diversity. ‘Hot property’ could be placed in the AfroWave category (known by several other names). It is a representation of us coming through as artists as well as producers, whilst bringing a team of those who have flown our flag in the scene.
The new music video which features Tion Wayne, Afro B and Eugy; how did you come about working with them and would you do so again in the future?
GKP: These artists are people who we have championed and have equally represented us well over the years. We chose to collaborate with them on our first official release in order to alert people to our artist status. We would definitely work with them in the future as these are the people who have shaped the course of our journey.
Who or what were your influences for making the video for ‘Hot Property’?
GKP: The concept was based on and influenced by the sound and vibe of the song. We therefore felt it was appropriate to make the video colourful and vibrant.
Who do you inspire to make music like?
Manny: We are inspired by producers such as Pharrell, Kanye and Calvin Harris. Not specifically in sound but rather in the way they’ve been able to brand themselves as super producers and artists.
Where do you see yourselves in three years?
Manny: In 3 years time, we aim to be a successful brand, have global charted music with artists around the world and touring globally.
Anything new coming soon?
Manny: So we’ve just released our first official single ‘Hot property’ with Tion Wayne, Afro B, Eugy and GKP’s jumped on the last verse, and the aim is to put out an EP next year featuring different artists as well as us vocalling on the record.
What’s the most memorable gig you have ever played?
Manny: Rampage stage with BrukOut at Carnival 2017 has to be one of our highlights so far. It was such an amazing experience DJing to a large and diverse crowd. Rampage is the biggest static sound system at Notting Hill Carnival and is very legendary, so that was a big moment for us which definitely left a mark on our career timeline.
Words by: Milica Cosic