Following on from their debut single “Hot Property” and club banger “Wagon” featuring Naira Marley, Team Salut followed through with their production to artist crossover with the premiere of their massive new ‘Afrowave’ single “Buss It Up” featuring Big Tobz and Deefundo for the summer of 2018.
After creating a buzz and putting their foot in the game as ones to watch, I speak with Team Salut to explore their journey this far.
Speaking about the ‘Buss it Up’ video, Team Salut say, “the video is a glimpse into our world of dance and our love for it. Most of the dancers in the video are friends and supporters, which led to the natural party vibe seen in the video. Since the song is quite dark and exciting, shooting the video in a dark and raw location provokes you to want to party. This video is the kind of vibe we have at our parties, so is a great reflection on who we are and hopefully will get people excited too”.
How did you guys start making music together? Where you all friends growing up or did you meet through music?
Well yes friends beforehand. we met in church in Mitcham in South London years before started making music together. We played in the church band. It was around 4 years ago where we decided to setup a recording studio, for business but soon started making beats.
Mr Wood: I started off producing over 10 years ago and was quite active doing remixes and productions. GKP was making beats before he went to uni and would often show me his progress but he definitely needed to work on it haha. After uni we took it a bit more seriously. SidechainManny learnt from both of us as well as self taught. Generally we all learnt by ourselves by trial and error.
Name me some of your biggest influences that helped you develop the sound you have now?
Hmmm interesting. Times keep changing and so do sounds. We’d say, the sound we do now is an influential mix of African hall parties, Old school Hip Hop, R&B and House music as well as Bashment and Dancehall and even Electro Indie. Nice mixup of sounds. As for names its hard because it was more about things we here about rather than an individual if that makes sense.
Give me a bit about your upbringing, what was music like growing up for each of you. Did you come from very musical houses or was it a love you developed on your own?
GKP: Boy, I think we probably share similar musical upbringings in the sense of parties our parents went to, and African music they listened to at home. Also the influence from being at church and playing made an impact to the way we make music. Maybe where we differ slightly is what we personally listened to. Like myself, I loved bashment and later in life went into deep house. SidechainManny went into EDM and house and Mr Wood loved his old school hip hop and r&b, also Mr Wood was probably most in tune with where Afrobeats was moving and able to adapt our sounds and pioneer.
Did you all do music before team Salut?
Mr Wood: Yes we did. I was making music beforehand I think I mentioned before. We all dabbled a bit but wasn’t consistent. Because we play in the church band now and was playing way before Salut, it helped with bonding musically and understanding each other.
What do you think of the ’afro wave’ genre becoming the lead in the UK Charts? When I think of this sort of music it reminds me of African parties back in the day, what do you think people feel when they listen to it?
Interesting angle, but think we know what you mean. Its culturally exciting. The term is a branch of the same tree to describe the sound. Other terms is afroswing and afrobashment. It’s probably more on the uk rap side of thing but with a touch of Afro-ish melodies that come in and out to make that sound. Its a great time and we are glad to be a big part of it.
Remember when Dbanj bussed through with Oliver twist and then Fuse with Azonto and antenna. People outside of our culture lost their minds. It just took for them to be presented with an alternative. And now with the age of social media. Listeners are now closer than ever to new music when is brilliant in spreading the sound.
Where do you see “Afro WAVE” going next?
We kind of have an idea, but dont want to say. We want to lead the new wave of sounds. On a serious note, the only down side of new trends is saturation. We just hope it doesn’t get way too crowed and people leave the party haha. As long as artists keep evolving the sounds, it will keep living on.
You produced the track Vroom for Yxng Bane, how did the collab come about?
Man. That song was done a couple years ago. We took some instrumentals to XL studios where we first met Bane. At that point we think he had just transitioned into the singing side of him.
We played with some melody ideas in the first session and left it for a while. Then he came back and had some new concepts that was the one. Then it sat on our hardrive for a couple of years until now. Lol cool right. Feels good to know we have long lasting music.
When did you decided to take the step from production to artistry? Did you make a conscious decision to start making your own tracks?
We actually started out trying to be artists initially. But decided that we could cover more ground being producers until the time was right. It got to a point where we loved making music for others but noticed that to really get the maximum benefit from this, is to make our own music. That way we can perform and really get out there. Also make more money lol
Your track ‘Wagon’ w/ Naira Marley is a really cool concept for a song. How did that song come into fruition?
Naira is such a cool and raw guy. And he lives what he says. Like there just isn’t anyone like him here. He originally did those lyrics on a different beat but we later felt that he needed a more smoother something. So we remade the beat and Mr Wood jumped on the hook. We know the song hasn’t been exposed as much as we would like but we know it will do its thing. Its such a cool vibe.
I think you guys will have a crazy summer, “Afro Wave’ is deffo going to thrive summer 2018. What do you have on the way?
Man. We’ve documenting the way our wave is going by introducing #SalutSeason which is basically anything we are involved in. Its such a great year so far. It’s been 2 years since we first fully came in the scene producing Dance For Me by Eugy x Mr Eazi. And now we are back killing it again and bring new fresh sounds. We will be more focused on ourselves this year, putting out more music and hopefully some international gigs and shows. Also we have launched a YouTube dance web series called ‘Dance n Motion’ which should take off and hopefully we can take on the road. So yeah haha hopefully a sick summer 18.
Photographer: Niklas Haze
Stylist: Rosie Borgerhoff Mulder
Hair & makeup: Alena Steinbrink
Production: Lilian Büechner