Swiss based music collective Alma Negra spoke to us ahead of the release of their new Conversation EP, out soon on Heist Recordings.
Tell us a bit about your upbringing, was it critical to your current musical direction? Were you musically trained as children?
Our mother had a big influence on us, as she was a music collector. We listened to a variety of African music, Jazz and Salsa on vinyl or tapes. Diego had drum lessons, but we basically learned to play percussion while listening and dancing along to the music.
What were your first experiences with music? How did those initial experiences bring you to where you are now?
Breaking our mother’s turntables trying to scratch on them!
How did you all meet one another? Tell us the story of the start of Alma Negra.
Alma Negra started as a party, label and collective. Our first release on Sofrito was one of the most important steps, when we curated an EP with music from Cape Verde, where our father is from. Our roots in there have been always important inspiration for the project.
We have tried to be constantly evolving, and we now focus predominantly on DJing, the band and our label. These days we have more defined roles- the twins are the heads of Alma Negra and perform the DJ shows, take care of the A&R of the label, as well as produce and play in the band. The way we do music is constantly changing as well, at the moment we are working on future projects with jazz musicians who also play in the band.
What are your inspirations?
Inspiration for productions can be so many things. In the end it’s everything that we live daily…the weather, the people we meet. It can be the music that we’re listening to a lot in that particular moment.
How intertwined is your identity with the music that you make? What shines through about you and your relationship with ane another, in your productions?
We are twins (haha), so we always have a deep connection when we make music, but also when we DJ.
What do you do when you’re not making music? Any hobbies?
We love wine and gardening!
Talk us through your home studio setup! Is it predominantly hardware or in the box?
Actually both. We work with software and analogue synths, but are also trying to focus more on live recordings in the studio.
What’s on the horizon for you guys for the rest of this year and in 2019?
At the moment we are just super happy with our second Heist release! We also have some promising artists signings on our label, and a remix EP coming up. We plan to also work constantly on the live band production and we’re about to start to work on our first album.