A Q&A with Vula Viel
Messy Minimalism, with post-punk, jazz and Dagaare influences…
How did you get the title of your latest release, and what does it mean to you?
It’s still teaching me, this title. Currently I’ve been reflecting on humility. I intend to learn more about humility. Why do I feel self-important, or let my ego blow me up to be bigger than I am? I’m alive, I’m loved, so simply – ‘What’s Not Enough About That?’
What was the hardest part about putting this release together, and why?
There were challenges with this release, and like every release those have made us stronger as a band. Of course, releasing just before the pandemic gave the most obvious disruption to our plans for touring, but even that has also made this band and music stronger and set us on a new chapter! Playing and creating together now after 18 months apart is cementing all the time and investment over seven years of this band. We’ve built something incredible and now have a shared language we can play with and celebrate on stage.
Who produced the release – what did they bring to it?
Jim, Ruth and I produced and Dilip Harris mixed. Dilip was incredible in the studio and brought his calm understanding to tricky moments. Jim Hart in particular is so clear in communication, he really helped me understand what I was looking for and put that into words.
What do you want the listener to take away from listening to your music?
What I love about music is that we make it for ourselves. That album was what I needed to make at the time. And once released it is out of my hands and can mean so many things to so many people.
How does a track normally come together? Can you tell us something about the process?
Currently we are writing in a new way, which is very exciting. We are playing together, exploring the wealth that three friends have together. Improvising and composing in the moment. It’s a new was of writing so I’ll have to tell you how it comes together. It’s a new chapter.
What band/artists have influenced you the most since you started this project, and why?
My biggest early influence is Dagaare traditional music, incredible and powerful music that I got to hear in three years living in Guo, Ghana. More current influences include Peter Zummo, Arthur Russell, Orphy Robinson, Corey Mwamba, Leafcutter John. When the world is back to normal where would we like to tour, and why? We are touring, and it’s glorious. I would love to tour Germany and the continent and share this incredible live show with whoever needs it.
“Don’t forget to sing along”
If you could pick one track for our readers to listen to in order to get a taste of your music, what would you pick, and why?
‘What’s Not Enough About That?’ – the space and simplicity, let your ears fill in the gaps however you like. And don’t forget to sing along.
What ambitions do you have for the band/your career?
To continue asking what music do I like today. To keep working at the holes in my playing in order to make that music. And to work hard sharing that music with as wide an audience as possible, both live and online, so that the people around the world who need this have a chance of finding it.
Finally, as you leave the stage, what are your parting words?
It’s a real honour to get this chance to talk to you. Thank you. Hope you enjoy the music. And I hope you can learn this better than me – You’re enough!
For more info visit: bexburch.com/vulaviel