There is no doubt that Daniel and Andrew Aged (aka alt-RnB musicians Inc.) feel passionate about their music, a passion that even travels through a Skype call to London as they settle in for a chat across the Atlantic in New York. Having played as session musicians for Pharrell, Raphael Saadiq and 50 Cent, Inc. are certainly ready to demonstrate their finely tuned musicianship to the masses.
Releases such as ‘5 Days’ and ‘The Place’ have helped establish them as artists able to pay homage to the Timbaland-esque beats of the 90s, without sounding like retro obsessed junkies. So far, they have received an influx of adoration for their debut album ‘No World’, an impressive combination of contemplative song writing and sensual beats. With a deep set belief in ‘real’ emotion and purposeful music, it looks as though Inc. are equipped to restore the honesty and vulnerability that RnB is in need of today.
THERE ISN’T MUCH OF A BIO ON YOU ON THE INTERNET SO WE’LL START AT THE BEGINNING – WHAT WAS IT THAT INTRODUCED YOU TO THE WORLD OF MUSIC?
Andrew: We grew up in California and probably started making music at around 11 or 12. We had a community around us that were really competitive – like we were all jazz kids and we wanted to be really good, it was almost like sports, in a healthy way. There was this tradition of musicianship, black music and gospel. We started studying on our own privately to try and understand the music. Like, when we heard something like Marvin Gaye or Al Green – we wanted to learn how to do that exactly.
YOUR NEW ALBUM ‘NO WORLD’ HAS A LOT OF DEPTH TO IT, ALMOST A MELANCHOLIC FEEL, HOW DID YOU FIND THE PROCESS OF CREATING IT?
Andrew: We weren’t really considering any outcome – we didn’t have an audience in the beginning so we just made it in a free way with the hope that it would be perceived without anything considered. That was almost like a little mantra or even a disclaimer – to have a mentality without considering the world and refusing to be bound by it.
Daniel: I guess we wanted to find a place of comfort in a kind of chaotic world.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU FEEL ALBUMS ARE IN A SINGLES ORIENTATED INDUSTRY?
Daniel: I think they probably serve different purposes in a way but in ‘singles’ world it’s probably less of an experience and more of a quick idea. To make an album as opposed to a few songs, it took a lot more internal work and internal crystallising of what the feeling was through the entire album whilst maintaining that focus through it.
Andrew: I think it’s also essential to making a statement, people can still make a statement with a single, but for the statement we’re making we need a little more room, it’s really nice now to have people feel like they’re getting a piece of us
AS BROTHERS HOW EASY IS IT TO WORK TOGETHER?
Andrew: Yeah, most of the time. It gets hard, you know we have our moments and need space from each other but we are so close so we get everything good out of that. It can also be very intense. We are learning a lot, this whole experience is just teaching us a lot and hopefully we are becoming closer through it.
DO YOU FEEL VULNERABLE IN YOUR MUSIC, AS IT SOMETIMES COMES ACROSS – IS IT INTENTIONAL?
Andrew: It is intentional. We kind of force ourselves into being vulnerable – that’s where you seem to find some answers. It’s not scary, but we don’t know where we are going. When we write music, we try and stay in that place of vulnerability, we never really go and get too excited – it’s just in the hope that we find something good.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE 90S TREND AT THE MOMENT? IT’S DEFINITELY A SOUND YOU SEEM TO INCORPORATE IN TO THE ALBUM?
Daniel: I think for us it’s mostly individuals who inspire us; it’s usually not so much of an aesthetic or era. I mean people like Lauren Hill or D’Angelo – people like that really went there for their music, for the purpose to heal and help people. For them it was obviously hard but they made such amazing music.
Andrew: I think that’s the last time anyone has said anything. We pretty much left off at 2pac and Nirvana if you ask me. I think since then it was Kanye West talking about who knows what and a bunch of bands doing weird things in Brooklyn. When you hear Kurt Cobain sing and listen 2pac … I mean those guys were going in.
WHY DO YOU THINK THAT CHANGE OCCURRED, WITH AN INFLUX OF RIHANNAS AND KANYES?
Andrew: I think we entered a kind of post modern confusion; a social networking era. I think we lost the context and message.
Daniel: I think the intention of music changed or something. I feel that the intention became a lot more shallow and egocentric or ‘for money’. There is a strain of Kanye that’s got a real thing that connects with people … and Rihanna too, but I think the music became a lot more money driven.
Andrew: …and deep down, people are fearful. If people are clinging to money they are not really going to be vulnerable in their music.
DO YOU THINK THE INTERNET HAS ANYTHING TO DO WITH THAT, IN CHANGING THE ATMOSPHERE OR PEOPLE’S MOTIVATIONS IN MUSIC?
Andrew: Probably yeah, I think the organisms just going through what it needs to go through and the Internet’s coming of age is part of that. I think it’s all going somewhere and we are all going to see where that is soon.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ARTIST AT THE MOMENT?
Andrew: Honestly in music, not much right now. I think intentionality is what we are really looking for. Like when you see Lauren Hill do an acoustic performance or an Unplugged, she starts talking about the music industry and then she does a song that healed her after that – the intentionality is so pure. If someone comes out like that, we would love it – that’s what we are looking for really. I don’t know if you see that right now to be perfectly honest
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY YOUR CORE BELIEFS ARE? WHAT ARE YOU HUNGRY FOR?
Daniel: The purpose behind why we started and why we were intrigued by music, externally and internally, is to hit some kind of truth. Generally our goal throughout the whole process is that we are going places so that we can come back with some kind of core truth that can hopefully help ourselves and help other people
‘No World’ is out now on 4AD