EXCLUSIVE: Interview With UHURU

UHURU are an exciting rising electro-pop duo consisting of Robert and Connor and they have just released their new single ‘Thirsty’ which fuses elements of dance and electronica.

Here we speak exclusively to UHURU to discuss their latest release, musical inspirations, dream collaborations and much more;

Growing up who inspired your love of music?

Connor: I was raised on Michael Jackson, Earth Wind & Fire, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West. I still listen to all of those artists to this day so they really had a huge impact on me growing up.

Rob: A bit like Connor, my parents music taste influenced me a lot. I listened to a lot of indie rock, Oasis, Stones roses all the usual culprits. But as I grew up I stared getting into a lot of Nile Rodgers stuff and the Gorillaz. 

Who are your all time musical heroes?

Rob: Personally from the indie stuff, Noel Gallagher, he’s one of those ‘can-do-no-wrong’ artists for me, even when he brought out the scissors. Mark Ronson as well actually, his musical range just amazes me, from like all the Amy Winehouse stuff to his new Silk City project with Diplo, he just blows my mind.

Connor: I listen to a lot of Hip-Hop, like A LOT. So Kendrick Lamar is a hero to me purely because of his skill with words. I’m a huge fan of the lyrical craft that goes into Hip-Hop so I think Kendrick is top of the list in that respect. Justin Timberlake is a hero to me if we’re looking more towards Pop culture… I find myself asking ‘what would Justin do’ a lot of the time when I’m writing. Pharrell and Timbaland are my production heroes, I’ve spent hours looking at studio footage of them making beats from over 10 years ago!! 

If you could collaborate with any artists who would you choose?

Connor: There’s a Hip-Hop producer called Sam Gellaitry that I would absolutely love to co-produce with. I had a phase of listening to a lot of underground Soundcloud Hip-Hop instrumental music and his sound really spoke to me. I should mention Kaytranada too, he’s someone I’d love to remix a song of ours one day. Kanye West would be the ultimate dream for me, but I think I’d either cry/faint or both if we ever met, let alone collaborated.

Rob: I can vouch for Connor’s love of Kanye, it’s actually pretty cute. For me I’d love to work with Pharrell, the guy just seems so positive and creative I think a collaboration with him would just be amazing. Or in fact me and Connor are both loving Jorja Smith at the moment, her song writing is just incredible and her voice is amazing. She came out with Kali Uchis at the Electric Brixton the other week and she was flawless. 

So, how did you guys meet?

Connor: We met at college in Southampton, we were both on the same music course.

Rob: Yeah I went to another college for a year before I met Connor but moved colleges because I kept bunking off, turned out to be a pretty good decision in hindsight.

How would you describe your sound to new listeners?

Connor: It should make you want to dance, that’s pretty much the first objective. I have quite an aggressive production style so expect a lot of drops within the tracks. The sound is pretty radio friendly as well due to the melodies and top lines. I’d say the sound is punchy, melodic and would feel at home on a festival stage as well as the radio!

Rob: I’d agree with Connor like our main objective is to make people move, and we want people to hear the tracks as well, which influenced our evolution over the years to more radio friendly production. Connor’s spent a lot more time on writing really solid Pop songs as well.

How did the band name come about?

Connor: I’m half Kenyan and was born and raised out there before I moved to England aged 6. UHURU means ‘freedom’ in Swahili and across the years our sound has evolved and become so cross-genre that it’s turned out to be a pretty fitting name.

Rob: We’d been throwing around ideas for names for a while and we just couldn’t find one that we thought suited us but in the end we settled on UHURU.

What is the inspiration behind your new single ‘Thirsty’?

Connor: In one phrase, ‘Thirsty’ is about lust. For me it’s like that girl that can treat you in any way, as bad as she wants, yet you still want more. I know a lot of guys who’ve been through that, and probably a lot of girls too looking at the flip side. 

Can we expect an album from you soon?

Rob: There’s not an album in the works right this minute, but we’ve got the EP coming and we’ve planned to release a single a month for the next four or five months, I don’t know about Connor but if everything came together it’d be cool to have an album in the next like two years. It’d be fun to see what we can do with something ambitious like that. 

Connor: We’re madly excited about just releasing music right now! It’s been ages so an album in the next couple of years would be a dream.

Do you have any touring plans lined up?

Rob: I can’t even describe how much we want to go on tour. It’s pretty much all I talk about at the moment, stick me in a van and send me off where ever. I’m just so ready for it. Since we started working with UTA it’s starting to feel like its getting closer. I know in their plan for us they’re very ambitious and if it all comes off we’ll be two very happy lads. We’re playing a lot of great support shows with artists we really like at the moment though which is super fun. 

What are your long term career goals?

Connor: Longevity in this industry is so hard to achieve, so if we could have a solid run of success for a long period of time that would be mad. We really really really want a number one at some point in the future too!!

Rob: A number one would be the dream, we’ve got some close friends and Connor and I have already got our hypothetical celebratory big night out planned, we’ll its more of a weekend, we won’t bore you with the details. But like Connor said, longevity is the aim. To build a life long career out of doing what you love with your best mates would be the dream.

Make sure you follow UHURU on Twitter @UhuruMusicUK to keep up to date with all their latest music and tour news!

Did you enjoy our exclusive interview with UHURU? Let us know your thoughts over on Twitter @CelebMix.  

 

Written by Laura Klonowski

Qualified music journalist! Writing single/album/live reviews, feature articles, interviews, and news pieces.
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