Next up I speak to talented Canadian jazz trio BadbadNotGood (BBNG).
Also known as the Odd Trio, these young instrumentalists have a real knack for musical interpretations adding their Jazz twist to tracks by artists such as Feist, J Dilla and Gucci Mane to name but a few.
Having performed with the likes of Frank Ocean and Tyler The Creator and producing beats for Earl Sweatshirt on his much acclaimed Doris album, we spoke to them recently ahead of the release of their third album, out on May 6th.
RADD: How does a jazz trio from Canada crack the hip hop scene?
BBNG: I dunno, I guess we all just really like hip hop and keep on with what’s happening. There have been so many crossovers with Jazz and hip hop; we just come from a different era and with a different perspective. That’s where we try to split ourselves.
RADD: What kind of music did you grow up on?
BBNG: A lot of mainstream shit, but a lot of classic stuff too like Mos Def, Black on Both Sides. That was a really big album for us, oh and Nas, Illmatic!
RADD: So you guys are hip hop/ jazz geeks? What other genres do you like?
BBNG: [LAUGH] Yeah for sure, but between the three of us we like lots of different genres. We all like soul, reggae, ska and techno. Chester is way more routed in soul and Mash is all on his underground 60’s German electronica and punk.
RADD: You have covered / co-created with some big names so early in your career- do you ever get starstruck?
BBNG: Yeah, we have played live with Frank Ocean and Tyler. I guess the Tyler one we were a little starstruck, because he just showed up in my mate’s flat. He’s a really cool cat, super down with chatting about music and making fun of us. I guess the only real person we have co-created with is Earl Sweatshirt.
RADD:How do you pick a tune that you’re going to cover or re-make?
BBNG: It’s basically like equal parts, I guess it’s communal but sometimes one person will have an idea about a song that they heard, that they think will be cool if we interpret it and show it to the other two guys. We also come at it from so many different levels. We either hear something that we think will work straight away or something that we try fifty times. Stuff that has elements not just keyboard, bass and drums is kinda cool because we look into how we can create it. There are a million songs that we try to do that never really worked out. We always try shit.
RADD: Is that an insight into your creative process? Do you float around ideas or is it more structured?
BBNG: It totally depends on what we’re working on. If we’re working on something for someone else we will have a vibe or if we are writing something for ourselves we try to start from a complete blank and figure out what the fuck is going . After like two hours we see whether it turns into something good or not. …just going with something that feels good then collectively deciding if we think it feels good.
RADD: Do you enjoy intimate venues or do you enjoy rocking stadiums?
BBNG: In terms of big stadiums we played Glastonbury, that’s the biggest crowd yet, oh and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Festival. We 100% prefer smaller stages – we really like when the stage is almost foot level. When the stage is like the height of a person, it’s super weird.
RADD: Gilles has got your back and has had it for a little while, do you give props to him?
BBNG: 100%. He’s the coolest dude ever. He’s so knowledgeable and put our music onto so many other people. He’s kinda the reason we’re in London for the third time. He made it possible for us to have fans over here [EUROPE] and was the first one that literally that started playing our music after we created this project. He still calls us the Odd Trio [LAUGH], it’s hilarious. We owe him a lot for bringing us out and opening our doors and how hearing good shit on the radio can do good shit for people.
RADD: What do see in the future for BBNG.
BBNG: Hopefully doing a whole bunch of crazy shit, not just Jazz and hip hop: kinda doing everything like making albums and then backing people like Frank, Tyler, Earl and producing rap music. I think one of the biggest things collectively that we all vibe with is people who do cool things and vibing off inspiration. Always feeding off that and having fun, we feel that people forget that sometimes.