Who ever said white boys don't have soul?
Take it from David Bowie, the Bee Gees, Hall & Oates, George Michael -- all these guys have defied the odds and earned permanent slots in our booty-shaking, baby-making playlists. Even our reigning Prince of Dirty Pop, former boy band heartthrob Justin Timberlake, has broken stereotypes and crossed genres with his sizzling, soul-infused hip-hop and R&B mega hits.
When a group of just-out-of-college white boys comes together to make music, people normally wouldn't expect to hear a sound like that of the Politix, a funky, old school-inspired hip-hop five-piece from Miami who've been booking shows at some of the city's most respected venues.
The Politix will play a show at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale as part of the inaugural Block x Blog Music and Arts Festival. In anticipation of the event, the guys took a moment to introduce themselves to New Times and give us a small taste of the band's soulful, funk-flavored hip-hop.
New Times: Who are the Politix? Where are you from? How and when did you all come together?
The Politix: The Politix are a group of musicians from different areas of the country with an original take on hip-hop music. We were brought together by a unique set of circumstances. Our manager, Kris Martin, booked UM's on-campus concerts, and had an extra opening slot for the Wiz Khalifa concert at the end of 2010. Kris approached Aaron, our drummer, and John, our emcee, about putting together a hip-hop group for the show. Aaron reached out to Pat, Jason, and Nick, and they joined the group given the amazing opportunity to open for such a large act. After the show, we realized that we had a really great group chemistry, and decided to devote ourselves to the project.
Describe your sound. Who are some of your influences, and can you draw any parallels with other music out today? What makes you different?
Our sound is constantly changing. It's rooted in the aesthetic of old school hip-hop, but is blended with our non-hip-hop influences, like rock, soul, R&B, and funk. We all love A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and J Dilla, but as songwriters we are also influenced by current artists like Frank Ocean, Robert Glasper, and Mark Ronson. What makes us different is that the five of us are all songwriters. Our process usually starts with an idea, that is then filtered through five different perspectives. The uniqueness comes from the fact that everyone's own influences, and opinions, contribute to the sound.
What projects are you currently working on? Are you signed to a label? Do you have any releases out now or coming out soon?
Right now we are balancing playing live, recording, and making videos. One big project we are working on, is a music video for our latest single, Berserk. We are in constant state of writing and recording, even when we are gearing up for live shows. One of the things we strive for is to make each show a unique experience. So, it is important that we have new material even when the turnaround time is short. We are not signed to a label, everything we do is DIY.
What do you all do when you're not making or playing music? Have any favorite Miami hangouts?
We are always making or playing music. It never really stops. On our downtime we are checking out other musicians at spots we like. Bardot is one of our favorites rooms in the city; PAX, the Stage and the Blue Martini are also great venues to see bands.
Who are some of your favorite local bands/musicians?
Some of our favorite bands or musicians down here are the Roosevelt Collier Trio, Aaron Lebos Reality, Artofficial, and Raquel Sofia, to name a few. We feature different artists at every show, and they are all musicians or singers that we love to hear. Some of the people we have had with us at a show include Kr!zm, LaVie, Raquel Sofia, Anna Palmerola, Dwayne Bennett, and Dave Chiverton, to name a few.
Will you be doing more extensive touring any time soon? What else is in the future for the Politix?
There is a fall college tour in the works, and other dates during the winter. Besides touring, we will continue to release new music and video content to reach our audience virally, as best as we can.
If you could change one thing about the music scene in South Florida, what would it be?
More new venues. A lot of great venues have opened over the past couple years, and it has supported all of the great musicians and bands in the area. If the venues keep opening, we think that Miami is going to become one of the country's great music scenes.
If you could describe the future of hip-hop music in one word, what would it be?
Block x Blog with Holy Ghost, Jacuzzi Boys, Krisp, Lil Daggers, and others. 8 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at Revolution Live complex, 100 SW Third Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Visit subcultureus.com. Purchase tickets at jointherevolution.net.