Single: ‘I’m a Tribe’ (featuring A-Wa)
Label Ape Records
Bit of a vibrant video recorded in the jungle for ‘I’m A Tribe’ by Loco-Hot featuring acclaimed sister trio A-Wa
Loco Hot is a duo comprised of producer / drummer Tamir Muskat and singer Gilad Kahana. Born in Mexico, vocalist, composer, and author Kahana is the founder and lead singer of Girafot, a critically acclaimed Israeli rock band who went gold in 2006.
Loco Hot’s 2014 debut album burst onto the scene through the back door. The duo avoided radio and mainstream media, instead developing their own ground-breaking tools to mount a viral campaign which generated millions of hits. “Magazines and blogs kept talking about our bizarre methods,” Muskat says. “It totally changed the game, especially coming from two established artists like us.”
A-Wa (the Arabic word for ‘yes’) is a band of three sisters who fuse Yemenite traditional music with hip-hop and electronica – a style they call Yemenite Folk’n’Beat. Born in a desert commune, the Haim sisters were raised on the music of their Yemenite grandparents.
When the lead singer of Balkan Beat Box, Tomer Yosef, heard the Haim’s demo, he joined as producer, and immediately put the band into the studio. The video for A-Wa’s debut single ‘Habib Galbi’ (‘Love of My Heart’) went viral world-wide, while becoming the first ever song in Arabic to hit number one on the Israeli pop charts. Following concert tours of Europe and America, A-Wa began work with Loco Hot on ‘I’m a Tribe’.
‘I’m a Tribe’
The song was jump-started by Kahana’s English lyrics, which A-Wa translated into Yemenite – riding on a custom Muskat beat. Kahana says his words originated from the idea that humanity is one tribe – despite the fact that societies can seem fragmented. A-Wa agrees: “We wanted to remind people of the true essence of why we are here: Love and unity.”
The ‘drop’ (instrumental melody) was created by Muskat editing A-Wa’s voices into a synth sound, then re-playing it like an instrument. From there on, A-Wa recalls, “We all worked together in the studio, brainstorming and developing the melodic structure.” Kahana plays with lyrics as adeptly as Muskat manipulates beats and samples. “He’s a master of his craft,” Muskat says. “So working with him on ideas is amazing. Great stories just flow out of him!”
“APE Records is like a musical family for us,” A-Wa agrees. “So the collaboration was natural and inspiring. The way we worked in the studio opened up new channels and ideas, which we will definitely use making our next album.”
Of the newly founded label that plans to only release singles APE’s unconventional business model is mirrored in founder Tamir Muskat’s unorthodox creative method. Songs are created spontaneously in the studio by artist and producer, with nothing prepared in advance. “Since the singles are stand-alone – not locked-in to an album concept – it gives us the freedom to go into uncharted territory,” Muskat explains. “We want to surprise ourselves, and the listener. That’s the goal. That’s the APE sound!” The Balkan Beat Box star further explains, “A song is words and a beat – it’s that simple,” says Muskat. “It’s been that way since people were living in caves. Call it hip-hop, call it what you want. Returning to the primal source and bringing back something new – that’s what APE is about.”