' Brunch with' - Skip&Die 'Don't get manipulated by anyone else's agenda - emancipate yourself !'
Translation by:Lisa Braamt
Roughly described as an afrofuturistic-tropibass band 'Skip&Die' name the influence of blazing sun, dusty roads,township shacks, cockroaches, riots, skulls,bones and lovebirds to their album 'Riots in the Jungle '.
Catarina Aimée Dahms aka Cata.Pirata, who was born and raised in South Africa ,
started a collaboration with the Dutch producer Jori Collignon,
whom she met in Amsterdam in 2007 .
I met the two in a hotel-lobby close to 'La machine du Moulin Rouge' in Paris ,
where - some hours later -
i enjoyed their after-midnight concert for the festival 'Les femmes s'en mêlent' ...
Arriving at the hotel, i've been lucky to not having been late while waiting a little for Cata.Pirata to come downstairs together with her brandnew haircut -
a colourful explosion of green, yellow and shaped sides beneath long streaks .
The artist herself was way more quiet and laid-back when talking than you could expect when seeing her crashing the stage .
She was joined by Jori Collignon whom she met about 5 years ago -
in these days she was rehearsing in his studio with another band ,
they were having coffees together feeling a certain connection from the start
so it happened somehow spontaneously that they decided to collaborate
and establish the band 'Skip&Die' .
Said and done they went to South Africa together where they travelled for 20 days,
along with other artists - in these days around 24 different song ideas evolved and back in Amsterdam the result of this creative process was the production of their first album .
A BASKET FILLED WITH FRUITS AND FREEDOM
Throughout their South Africa travelling they discovered different ways of living and of how people experience music .
Among others they were coworking with a hip-hop band named 'Driemanskap' from a Gugulethu Township whom Cata describes as pretty militant though not political .
A statement which could suit 'Skip&Die' as well - not necessarily militant but definitely extreme and experimental .
One of their songs called 'Anticapitalista' is sung in Spanish -
the song idea was already born in 2006 when Cata used to live in Buenos Aires -
in these days there have been a lot of riots in the Argentinean capital,
and one could feel an anticapitalist sentiment .
Nevertheless the artist underlines that she sees the song more as hippy-shifted than politically radical -
' It's more like - i wanna cycle down the street with fruits and freedom in my basket ' , 'What we do is our passion we do what we love and this gives a certain strength to it' .
Though when performing 'Anticapitalista' in Spain these days a connection to song and lyrics was pretty sensible among the audience
and even when the song has been developed some years ago yet it seems to contain a timeless message .
As i met the artists within the framework of the female musicfestival
'Les femmes s'en mêlent ' i couldn't drop to question about this issue,
asking Cata if she considers herself as a feminist,
which she signs in the sense of being a person who believes in the equality of men and women but also generally in the equality of all humans .
To her point of view this question should be treated in a broader sense,
referring to the band's song 'Love Jihad' as an example -
eventhough one would first see the song as written from a woman's perspective - it is meant to be a song about general emancipation -
not being manipulated by anyone else's agenda, emancipating oneself .
Performing within the festival she says that they are happy having been chosen for it because it contains a lot of female power, giving great opportunities to share experiences between female musicians and enjoying a family feeling .
I DON'T WANNA BE PUT INTO A BOX
Naming another female artist at this point there is one sometimes coming up in connection with 'Skip&Die' - the Sri-Lankian musician M.I.A. .
From Cata's side this is totally understandable and she would primarily say that both have in common to come from activist families and from countries that have to deal with political difficulties,
but in the end she considers such comparisons as being too simple -
'It puts you in a box and i don't wanna be in a box neither am i' -
assumes she while adding that people should go further in looking at her music and the background's diversity .
Furthermore she and Jori could name tons of musicians being influential or inspiring in the way how they approach their music -
Mano Negra, Immortal Technique, Salt'n'Pepper, David Byrne, David Bowie,Dr.John ... and not at least Björk who Cata names as a very inspring musician, artist and activist .
Summing up about brunching with 'Skip&Die' ,
i go back to the start connecting to the last question which was put onto our table :
Could you explain about your particular experience with coackroaches which you mention as being portrayed within your album ?
'Absolutely! I have a love-hate relationship with coackroaches and somehow they are representatives of my childhood.I'm from the neighbourhood where cockroaches were born - they come from there .
I'm from Parkview in Johannesburg , the home of coackroaches aka Parktown Prawns .
I grew up with them and somehow i have to pay certain respect to their constant way of living - they just don't die - in a country where you could easily die everyday coackroaches know-they will survive .'
Translated from Skip&Die: Emanzipiert euch!