Friday, 8 April 2011
Tune Yards interview
I flew out to meet Merrill back in February. It was the first time I visited NYC/the US, (the first time I'd ever gone abroad to interview an artist too) and I got to meet her ma and pa, who had come down with a gaggle of cousins, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles to watch Merrill perform for Roomful Of Teeth at the Kaufman Center. They were crazy lovely, just full of pride for Merrill, and rightly so. She's a vibrant creative force, an incomparable artist/composer, and an unbelievably grounded and friendly soul. We bonded over feminism and (working) class politics and I felt only the smallest flicker of shyfangrrrlness at the end of the interview when I asked to have a picture taken with her.
I wish I'd been able to include everything we talked about (word counts suck). I left out a lot of body image/male gaze dialogue and choose instead to delve into a discussion/analysis of w h o k i l l , her second album. My life has been saturated with w h o k i l l 's songs since late January (I was one of the first to get the LP and having to hold myself back from screaming all over Twitter about how A W E S O M E it was was mad frustrating); I poured over the lyrics, memorized the breaks, had the melodies looping in my head each night before sleep, hummed the hooks on the plane to NYC, and beatboxed Gangsta incessantly with my girlfriend, who has become equally enamored/obsessed with the album. We sung the softer parts of Powa over our first plate of buttermilk pancakes in one of those 50's style, perspex and pastel-coloured diners I've always wanted to visit, and shouted the chorus to Bizness over and over like some wild, joyful mantra as we explored the streets and sights of the Big Apple.
I'm glad Merrill's no longer starving for her art. I want plenty more good things for her. She's one of the good ones.