Black Grapefruit, a dynamic duo recently released their single, ‘Omygod’, a great introduction for their album , ‘All My Relations’ which was dropped today! With an equally strong mix of percussion and harmony, you can’t help but melt away when listening to these two express themselves.
With inspiration being born from family history, Brooklyn, and healing, their music is an experience that will represent many different things for many varieties of people. Their unique sound just has a way of pulling you in, even if you’re not typically involved in the new wave and experimental side of music creativity.
We’re very excited to have Black Grapefruit on the site, we hope to learn something from these amazing connections made across music, culture, and expression.
Are you ready to listen?
Could you introduce yourself?
Collectively we are Black Grapefruit. Individually we are Randa Smith and Brian Dekker. We come from different worlds but somehow they complement each other.
How has the season of summer helped to inspire your latest single, "Omygod"? What has the process been like?
“Omygod” actually came together last fall during a period of reflection. Summer is the season of mistakes for us, so we’re using these warmer months to lose control just enough to make our next fall and winter reflections interesting. At the moment our process is an intentionally reckless collection of ideas. Structure is the enemy right now.
While you were creating as a duo in Brooklyn, how has your environment pushed your creative direction?
We actually left Brooklyn almost three years ago now. We completely changed our lives and rented this 1700’s farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere on the western edge of the Catskills. When we say nowhere we mean no cell service, scarce internet connection, bears, cougars, wild turkeys. Living closer to nature reminds us that we’re small in a universal context. What matters most to us is how much we love our creations and how connected we are to the people we share lives with, which doesn’t just mean friends and family. If you support or listen to our music we are sharing lives. We’re sharing vulnerability.
How has the history of family and culture been an influence for the work you two have created together?
Our upcoming album is in part an examination of the balancing act that exists when trying to establish interdependence between personal identity and cultural influence. We both come from wildly different backgrounds, families, and cultures but on this project, we really homed in on Randa’s diverse background. The album features several soundbites from her family gatherings to showcase the dichotomy between Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean cultures. In the music, we attempt to marry Southern gospel elements with Soca and Afropop. We bring the familial aspects into this project because we realized that we are all the sum of our parts, including where and who we come from. And we wanted to honor that concept.
What's the strangest thing someone has said about your music?
It’s strange when people are indifferent. We’ve put our fucking souls into this for years. Many people can recognize that in our music, but some people are just like, “oh, cool, hey have you heard ________? You guys would like it...” We realize that our music isn’t for everyone, but you know what? We’d rather you hate our work and tell us than gloss over it. We did this from scratch. We live in and out of poverty to do this and all that you can say is that we remind you of something else? Give us some energy, even if it’s negative!!!
Could you tell us about your album, "All My Relations"? What do you feel when you listen through the album now that it's finished?
It is the most honest and collaborative piece of music that either of us have created. Art can never be perfect, but we obsessed over every sonic detail of this album for months and months, so it’s as perfect as possible given our place in life when it was created. We wanted to make a sonic narrative that encapsulated some of our most precious and vicious memories of the past decade and that’s what we accomplished. To listen back on it is a rush of emotion from all of those moments. Heartache, joy, death, life, love, it’s all there.
We're on the edge of our seats! Could you give us a tiny hint in regards to your future plans and releases?
Right now we are setting intentions towards immediacy and it’s starting to show up in our work. We want to grab you right away, shake you, and just as you wake up we want the song to end and force you to listen once more. “All My Relations” has cleansed our energy from the past and opened up space to create from the present. We are going to be a fixture in the coming years. Pop music always needs a new attitude and we think we have it.
What makes you happy?
We’ve been watching this old HBO show ‘Six Feet Under’ and the other day something resonated. The show is kind of silly, but the writing explores death from the perspective of relativity, which is our fucking shit, especially when stoned. Anyways, while communing with his deceased father one of the main characters had an epiphany, “I get it now” he said, “death isn’t real.” Push pause!! Yell!! OMG OMG!! That made us both so happy. Time and consciousness are not linear. Infinite realities are occurring at once, so just because one of them stops it doesn’t mean that they all do. “Death” is nothing more than a construct that we’ve created because we’re not evolved enough to participate in the Infinite. Your dearest memories are infinitely occurring at all times. The fraction of love you feel in this realm is expandable beyond imagination. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thought that makes us very happy.
Any closing comments?
Thank you so much for thinking of us and asking us questions. Your site is so cool and it’s truly an honor to be a part of it. The fact that we get to make music and have people ask us our opinions on shit is, and likely always will be, kind of mind boggling. We love you.