Opening words by Jake Crossland
Genre-hopping collective Strong Asian Mothers have made a name for themselves for taking the best from R&B, hip-hop, electronica and indie, and spinning them into 3-minute shots of post-internet pop. After releasing a bundle of singles and EPs, it’ll not be long before the native Londoners bring their unique brand to the rest of the UK. They’ve just been announced as headliners of our stage at Live at Leeds, and so in anticipation of what promises to be another in a long run of explosive sets, we caught up with the future chart-toppers to talk recent plans and why people should head over to see them on 29th April at Headrow House.
For those who don’t yet know, where does the name Strong Asian Mothers originate from?
Amer and Khushi first set up the band as a chance to jump around on stage and have some musical fun. We wanted something that summed us up and didn’t make it sound like we took ourselves TOO seriously. Amer’s girlfriend noticed the key similarity that he and Khushi shared; that they were both raised by a couple of powerful Indian matriarchs, and the name was born!
What have you been up to since Too Many Blogs first saw you at Off The Record festival in November last year?
We bought an island, we’re saving up for a yacht so we can get there. Josh has overcome a crippling fear of zoo animals. Amer has been doing a lot of research into the epitaphs of semi-legendary Danish Kings and Khushi has redecorated his shed. We also played some festivals and released another EP, ‘Animal’… (We named it after Josh’s courageous struggle.)
How have you found the reception to your Animal EP?
The reception’s been great, the right people seem to like it and the wrong people are just getting on with their lives so what more could you want?
Your track ‘Sober’ kinda tackles some serious issues, what made you want to write it?
We wouldn’t say the issues are THAT serious. Lyrically it’s essentially about getting drunk, making a few mistakes and then facing that in the morning. But on the great stage of humanity, it’s pretty first world problem-y :).
We’ve ALL been there though and making art that connects to people has its own reward!
Your tracks are all very interesting but also different from each other. How do you set about beginning your songwriting process? I’m assuming there’s a diverse mix of influences between the three of you.
Absolutely, a “musical influences” playlist on Spotify might induce some sort of ADHD panic attack. Amer has a dark history with metal, punk and hard rock as well as tragic love of cheesy funk. Josh has a troubled past with jazz and Khushi is obsessed with Katy Perry and Rebecca Black. Our writing process is as chaotic as our list of influences. Someone might write an entire song and the others will jump on the train or it might take all three of us pouring over a laptop. Either way it’s a result of following a clear manifesto. Using original samples, writing music that makes us and other people want to move and challenging ourselves and each other to create music that has to make the listener work JUST a tad harder than usual to really connect with it. Essentially we don’t want to make music that gets relegated to “the background”!
Will this be your first time headlining a festival stage? If so, how do you feel about it?
Well, technically we headlined the Where The Wild Things Are Stage at Secret Garden Party last year, but I don’t think any of us realised that…! But we’re psyched about this, it’s a great festival and has a great reputation for curation and connecting audiences with new music and that’s desperately what we need from festivals these days! More risks with headline slots… Not that we’re a risk or anything. We’ll bring all the necessary first aid equipment
Why should people be heading to our stage to see you close the festival?
If people want to see a band that will change their lives forever.
If people want to see three men wearing as much colour as possible.
If people want to hear a band that may attempt to do either a hip-hop or 90’s RnB medley.
If people want to see a band that might play a remix of the ET theme tune.
we could go on…
Do you know any of the other acts playing the TMB stage?
Yeah, we’ve played with Haus a few times at festivals and on Communion stages and they’re amazing!
Are you planning on checking out any other acts at the festival while you’re around?
We’re major fans of Superfood, The Big Moon and SLAVES. Also our BBB’s (best band boyfriends) Francobollo are playing. They were supported by a band called Husky Loops at their last single launch and we HIGHLY recommend seeing them both.
What is your opinion of the music scene in the North?
It’s the best thing ever. The North keeps live music alive.
Also, winter is coming.
What can we expect from you in 2017?
Grammys… and a lots of John Williams remixes.