An interesting conversation on the Bandcamp with Weedie Braimah, a master of the djembe, a West African drum, the origins of which date back to the 12th Century. He talks about his position: "I am a quote-unquote percussionist. But let’s go deeper... There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. Let me say that again: There was a time when the drum wasn’t segregated. We, in this world in the West, segregated the instruments. We segregated the drums so bad that now cats be like, ‘Yeah, man I’m the drummer, and he’s the percussionist’". Braimah also goes on to explain the history of djembe.

An interesting conversation by David Byrne and Lorde in Rolling Stone about catchy songs. Here's the elderly statesman: "You can say something quite profound, something kind of radical, even, but the melody can sound quite beautiful and seductive on the surface. And then it sucks you into something where it might really change your way of thinking. There was a time when I thought things had to be edgy. I was maybe afraid that if things sounded too beautiful or pretty, then it was shallow. Like a greeting card. You can’t be saying anything serious this way".

"The projection is sometimes intense, but I feel like people in the public eye and artists in particular are social activists by mistake, because we’re these screens upon which people project everything. They project light, they project what’s wrong, they project what they hate" - Alanis Morissette told Olivia Rodrigo in their Rolling Stone chat. Oliva Rodrigo spoke about her disowning her songs: "I always think that creativity is sometimes really magical and celestial, and if you’re a vessel for an amazing song, that’s awesome, but sometimes it doesn’t have anything to do with you. I try to not attach a lot of ego to it".

Pitchfork talked to five promising new artists about structural racism, the many conundrums of relying on streaming services, the effect of COVID on their careers and communities, over recording techniques, album art, and other topics. Amaarae sums up their common identity - "We fought to have our voices heard and to unlearn a lot of our past traumas" - and looks into the future - "I think the generation after us is just so radical and self-aware in a way that we’ve just started to learn. They’re fearless".

An interesting conversation about being a performer with Depeche Mode's Dave Gahan in The New Cue. He says it takes him a while on tour to get in the zone for a show: "A whole day, and then it got to the point where I just sort of stayed in it. And that often happens with performance, especially if you're on a tour. Over the years, I've found that doing these really large tours with my band, I have to be fully in. You do step out every now and then because you do certain legs of the tour and you might have, like, a month in between certain legs and it's always very difficult to make that transition to come back home for a month, see your mates, see your wife and your kids and kind of be like, ‘oh, what's happening?’ At some point, you kind of switch and you end up like, ‘I've just got to stay in this until it's over’. You know, it's a long time, you're doing it for on and off for the best part of a year and a half, two years, so you invest a lot of yourself in it. After this last big tour Depeche did, it took me a good while when I got back home". He also talks about his new solo album 'The Imposter' and where the title came from: "I had imposter syndrome for a long time in Depeche. I mean, honestly, that's where the title for this record actually came from, the sort of final character, if you like, that I was using for myself to do that whole 'Spirit' tour. You know, he was the ultimate imposter, kind of on the edge of being maybe too old to be doing this".

“Honestly, even if their music didn’t completely get inside me, I would have wanted to make a movie about them” - director Todd Haynes says in a Rolling Stone interview about his Velvet Underground documentary. “It’s that whole era, which was so revolutionary, but it’s also what they were trying to do as well in reaction to that era as well. Even in their little world, they were heavy. It’s about being resistant. It’s saying no. That’s so important to rock & roll”.

"Now what do we do to find a way to really resist the stuff that is destroying the planet, that’s causing working people’s lives to be worse than their parents’ were? Poverty and hunger kill more people than anything else on the planet and they are human-made problems. Those are the things that we need to be digging into, rather than being sidetracked by this carnival barker bullshit" - Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello said in a Guardian interview. When asked about the events of 6 January he said "we came within a baby’s breath of a fascist coup in this country", adding "interestingly, one of my dreams has always been to storm the Capitol, but not with a bunch of all-white, rightwing terrorists, you know? The ugliest part about it is how they have co-opted the idea of standing against the Man, at least in the US".

Former Wild Beasts frontman Hayden Thorpe releases his second solo album 'Moondust For My Diamond' which he wrote while spending plenty of time in nature. He spoke to The New Cue about trekking in time of lockdown: "There were days where there wouldn't be anyone for many miles and you're at the top of a mountain and there's no planes in the sky. There was some pretty distilled moments and I felt very lucky at that time. It was a beautiful winter, too, there was a lot of snow and it felt very light, lots of light bouncing around. In many ways, walking is similar meditation to music, it's a physical process, but it's also a mental one, it creates a synergy and an inner-rhythm that I find really inspiring. There's something about being suspended between rock and sky that does something to your senses, a drug-like effect really". He transposed that feeling to his new album - "I didn't want it to be about the top of the mountain, I wanted it to feel like the top of the mountain".

"Art is a mirror of what’s going on socially. You can connect the dots. So this has been the best time to write because reality itself is being questioned!” - Nightmares on Wax' George Evelyn tells in a Mix Magazine interview about the point of music. It has a purpose also: "Music has always been the channel for the common man or woman against the system. Now I find it’s the minimum amount of artists speaking up for the common man or woman".

Journalist Ciaran Thapar's debut book 'Cut Short: Youth Violence, Loss and Hope in the City' follows the story of four individuals to observe how youth violence, policing, gentrification and the media have affected their lives. The book is based on Thapar’s research, interviews and the relationships he’s formed as a youth worker. Each chapter title of 'Cut Short' is named in reference to a song lyric - which is the basis of The Face interview with Thapar.

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