By Erin Finnegan
On Friday August 19 soulful indie group Black Blondie joined The Institute of Production and Recording for the third week of DIY-360. Simara (vocals), Liz (upright bass/electronic upright bass), Tasha (keyboard) and Greg (drums) began their visit to IPR with a potent number that showcased Simara’s powerful voice. Without question, they captured the attention of the room.
When listening to Black Blondie one of the first things of note is this band’s dominant female presence. Their drummer is the only guy in the band.
Host Adam Levy’s open line of questioning focused on how the band feels about the industry being a “man’s world”. The band chuckled, and the ladies began to talk about their experiences. “When I’m backstage a lot of people think I’m someone’s girlfriend” laughed Tasha; “Sometimes people try to give me pointers on my singing and I always respond with ‘oh, I’m sorry and what do you do for a living?’ That really throws them off “, said Simara.
When describing how their writing takes place, all opinions matter. Although lead singer Simara does most of the writing, everyone is able to offer their voice, making the music of Black Blondie a true representation of each individual’s musical preferences. “Maybe I’m walking down the street or in the middle of writing and I think of this awesome bass part for Liz, I give her my ideas and we test it out to see how it would work with our music”, explained Simara.
Black Blondie performs with deep passion; it’s easily identifiable via their facial expressions and body language. As Liz rocks the bow of her electric upright bass, she tilt’s her head back, closes her eyes and smiles; expressing without words her own emotional connection with the music. Tasha sways in cadence with the music while carefully picking apart her keyboard: her body in constant motion, bopping along. Simara is in constant interaction with everything going on around her; her passion both controlled and fierce at the same time. When she grips the microphone and closes her eyes, it’s like her body and mind become one with the music. Simara not only tells her story through words but also through her physicality. Greg approaches his kit with just the right balance of energy, complementing his band mates’ performance.
It’s clear Black Blondie love to perform. Their personal connections to their music, their democratic approach to songwriting, and their true passion for what they do left a lasting impression on all those in attendance.
To watch this installment of Adam Levy’s DIY 360 in three parts, visit the IPRpresents YouTube channel.
Posted by Christian Groves