Come Enjoy Sinkane’s Deep, Soulful Sound for Tonight’s Summer Sessions
Ahead of his performance this evening, we sat down with rising star Ahmed Gallab for a short conversation about his new projects and affinity for NYC summers. Read on to learn about his fluid creative process, and definitely come check him out tonight.
6:30PM. Waterfront Plaza. See you there!
You’re currently working on your next record. What can we expect? How will this new album differ from your previous work?
With pretty much every record up to this one I’ve been exploring a lot, and I’ve felt like I’ve had the opportunity to just do whatever I wanted. I was really inspired and enlightened by a lot of different kinds of music, and I feel like after we finished making the last album, ‘Mean Love’, and we started playing live, I realized I have everything in the sonic palette, that I wanted to make music. I wasn’t really interested in pushing the envelope anymore. I created my own world, and I really liked being in that world. So this next album was about taking what I thought worked best and what I felt like I did the best — on the last two albums in particular — and just like honing in on those. Thats pretty much what its gonna be like.
You have a super talented, tight-knit band. Can you tell us about each member? What do they contribute to Sinkane?
Well Jaytram — the drummer — he and I have been friends for about eight years now, yeah almost eight years now, and I met him playing with Yeasayer, and the two of us bonded on our taste in music, and our outlook in life, and our interest in style; that kinda thing. He was the first person I really met in New York that I felt like I had a spiritual connection with. He has this ability of just playing the drums, and making it seem so easy, making it seem so effortless, and making you believe, you know. I’m a drummer, so it’s really important for me to play in a band with a drummer who has an innate ability to understand and create a groove, and I haven’t found a person like that at all since I’ve met him; he’s the epitome of that. He’s a very soulful person, he’s a very warm person, and it shows in the way that he plays. He just brings songs to life. Its funny, because when you talk to him, he’s a very humble person, he’ll be the first person to say to you that he doesn’t see how good he is. And that makes him even better at what he does.
Jonny Lam — guitar player, pedal steel player — has a rock’n’roll spirit; he’s a student of music. He’ll become obsessed with something, and he wants to know all about it, and learn about it. And I feel like bringing that to Sincane has allowed the music to feel correct, and hold this weight, hold this authenticity to it, that I’ve always strived for. He is such a positive person, and it shows in the energy of his playing, and it makes us have a lot of fun onstage.
Ish Montgomery plays bass and is really laid back. We described him a long time ago as a crystal, which is true; he’s a very experienced man, he’s lived many lives it seems, and it’s allowed him to form into this like beaming and magnetic person. He doesn’t say much, and he doesn’t really have to say much. When he plays, you just feel comfortable, and that’s what the epitome of the bass guitar is for me. It needs to make you feel comfortable, and when you lock that into Jason whose groove makes you believe, it just kinda creates this really magical rhythm section that I find is super unique and exciting.
What can we expect from your Atomic Bomb! project?
We’re playing a show at Stern Grove in San Francisco on the fourteenth of August, and beyond that we don’t really know what we’re doing. But we’ve never shut that project down. If we get the right offer, we’ll do it. We’re excited about it, and we want to continue and see where it goes. We recorded a bunch of songs; there’s nothing I can really say beyond that, but we recorded a bunch of songs.
Name your 3 favorite summer jams.
Anything by the Gin Blossoms, ‘Hot Fun in the Summertime’ by Sly and the Family Stone, and “Is This Love” by Bob Marley
What are your favorite things about NYC summers?
My favorite thing about New York is how diverse and colorful of a place it is. It’s really exciting to walk down the street and hear four different languages before you hit the end of the block. And you hear different types of music and meet different kinds of people. In the summertime, it’s really exciting because you see all of these different people and different cultures kind of experience the summer in their own unique way, and it kinda creates this special and weird smorgasbord of energy, like summer energy.
When I was growing up I always found New York to be a super romantic place, because you would see it on Sesame Street and you would see these supercuts of different people playing with a fire hydrant, or people at the beach, or people roller skating at the union pool or dancing to like different kinds of music. And the fact that there is so much going on all the time: you can go to the beach, or you can go to the really cool free concert, or you could hang out with your friends on a rooftop and watch an amazing sunset. Or eat delicious ice cream that you can’t get anywhere else.
I think it’s a pretty amazing experience in New York. And it’s the reason why I stay time and time again. You know, we have these brutal winters and everyone kinda hates themselves for a few months, and then the summer happens and it’s like nothing happened. They forget about everything, it’s such a magical experience.