Georgia Anne Muldrow's Family Ties
Rather than creating in an isolated and rarefied bubble, Muldrow's art is intimately related to her closest communities. Muldrow's latest album Umsindo, is executive produced by her husband Dudley Perkins (formerly MC Declaime) whose own Holy Smokes full-length, which Muldrow produced, was released on the same day. Umsindo includes "Diaspora," a reworking of music written by her late father, jazz musician Ronald Muldrow; Muldrow also recorded albums with her vocalist mother Rickie Byars-Beckwith. "I remember being a teenager and people sending her letters like, 'Hey, I used to have cancer and I played your music in a boombox and I don't have cancer anymore. You helped to heal me,'" says Muldrow. "I've seen what the power of sound can do in a spiritual way, in a medical way. So, y'know, I strive to be a medic myself."
The familial connection extends into the business aspect of Muldrow's career. Along with her mother and Perkins, she is the co-CEO of SomeOthaShip Connect label, under which Muldrow produces several artists. "Any body is more than an industry so we don't have to minimize ourselves to fit into an industry. You can actually be yourself," says Muldrow. "There are spiritual laws that will sustain your refrigerator if your message is true."
The messages on Umsindo, which means sound in Zulu, find Muldrow tackling some political issues with her inimitably leftfield bent. Paeans to African liberation, American foreign policy critiques are fleshed out with the uptight funky live instrumentation of Muldrow's self-dubbed Ancestral Orchestra. However, Umsindo is also tied to Muldrow's personal growth. "When you have children - at least for me when I committed my life to children - everything, like getting to the point of my art, became very easy," says Muldrow. "It wasn't worrying about how things were gonna sound or getting caught up in vain details. It was all so clear, like 'Hey, get to the point.'"
Muldrow synthesizes her own immediate realities with wordly concerns on inspirational tracks like "E.S.P.," dedicated to Perkins' daughter with a knowing nod to African ancestors. "I've become more focused and aware of the needs of my people, of my raised family and of this planet instead of just my own needs," says Muldrow. "You can't sleep well just taking care of yourself. It's not a true way that you can have peace y'know. You have to think about your planet, you gotta think about your big home, your home and the environment of your family, your bigger family. And I guess that's what it is." Meanwhile in the background, Muldrow's baby son Nokware Declaime coos, as if he agrees with his mother's words. "Yeah!" says Muldrow laughing in response.
FeaturesApr 30, 2015
Colin Stetson and Sarah NeufeldThe Nature of Time
Colin Stetson and Sarah Neufeld haven't had a whole lot of free time together over the years. The circular-breathing sax man and sublime vio...
FeaturesApr 28, 2015
Andreya TrianaBig Time
"I wanted a really strong metaphor of what it is to move forward and do your own thing and I thought a giant does that," says Andreya Triana...
NewsApr 15, 2015
Laila Biali Enters Her 'House of Many Rooms'
It's quite probable that we would have got Laila Biali's House of Many Rooms years earlier, but Sting got in the way. Well, so did Chris Bot...
FeaturesMar 19, 2015
While most young people spend their teenage years repudiating their parents, French-Cuban fraternal twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Diaz, known ...
FeaturesFeb 05, 2015
John CarpenterThe Exclaim! Questionnaire
For 40 years, filmmaker John Carpenter has been called the "master of horror" for directing such spine-chilling classics as Halloween, The F...
FeaturesFeb 04, 2015
Jazmine SullivanShow Time
"Just living for a while. Just getting my life back together." That's how Philly-raised R&B songstress Jazmine Sullivan describes her return...
NewsMay 22, 2015
Brendan Philip Talks 'Shadow Ceremony' and His "Alt-R&B" Aesthetic
To hear Brendan Philip explain it, experiencing his new project Shadow Ceremony is akin to learning to swim — there's a bit of fearles...
FeaturesMay 11, 2015
The Soul MotivatorsBuilding Future Legacies
The Soul Motivators are a nine-piece band funk and soul band that focus on creating late '60s sounds on Free to Believe, their first full-le...