Interview: Cool Out Sun at WOMADelaide 2019

Glam Adelaide’s Jonathan Matthews recently had a chat with N’fa Jones about his new project Cool Out Sun, and his upcoming appearance at WOMADelaide 2019.

You’re coming down to WOMADelaide with your new act ‘Cool Out Sun’, can you tell me about your new act?

Cool Out Sun is almost like a full circle for what I was doing before 1200 Techniques, it’s world music meets hip hop. I went in a more funky direction, I didn’t even mean to but it happened. It’s been a journey since then, exploring different sounds and ideas. I had an opportunity to do something a bit different and experimental, so I contacted my friend Sensible J to see if he’d like to be involved, and he was totally down. I’m so glad I’ve had this opportunity to create music that really connects with my Creole culture, so that’s what I’ve done with this new culture. It’s Melbourne meets Detroit meets South African culture, and I had heaps of fun creating this with people I’ve always wanted to work with. It’s such an easy, organic, fun process.

Last year at WOMAD you featured in a cooking segment where you cooked a dish from your cultural background, will you be doing that again this year?

Yeah, this year we’re doing a work shop, and it’ll be the four of us from Call Out Sun running a rhythm and dance work shop, which I think will be a lot of fun. If they want me to cook something at the same time I’ll give it a go. It’ll be really fun to get people up on their feet and interact with everyone.

On the subject of 1200 Techniques, will you be taking any of the old songs and adding a cultural twist on them?

Not at this point, we’re still thinking about stuff like that. That doesn’t mean no, but at this point we’re focusing on what we’re doing, and making extended versions of old songs. We’ve been flipping through some old tunes and tweaking them for live shows, but who knows what will happen in the future.

You guys have a music video up for ‘Fire For’, which features Remi, who played at WOMAD last year, are you guys working together?

We’re on the same label, and he contacted us and said he loved the song and wanted to be involved in the video and hang out. He does play keys on one of our songs, and he’ll probably be involved in a song on the next record. We’re one big family, so we’re always hanging out and jamming. I hung out with Remi and Sampa on stage during their performance last year, it was a lot of fun. We toured with Remi in France last year too, it was amazing.

Will you be checking out any artists at WOMAD that you’ve never seen before?

Yeah, for sure. There’s a few that I wanted to see, one is Angelique Kidjo, I can’t wait to her live, she’s such a boss, I’ve never seen her live but I’ve been into her music since I was young. I think she’s really dope, she’s the main one I’m excited to see, and there’s a few more that I’m keen to check out.

You’ve got an album that you’re working on at the moment that may feature Remi, are you planning on collaborating with any other artists for that?

No, I haven’t planned any collaboration yet for the upcoming album. Our last album was so successful we were blown away, we sold out of our vinyls and CD’s, which is amazing for a record that’s not on any major label or anything. For me, the four of us are the features, the way we work together makes it feel like there are guests on each track, it’s really organic. I’m a big fan of everyone’s work, and the skills and energy they bring to the project. Maybe there will be more room for collaboration as the project evolves and changes, we’ll probably have different artists on each record. I feel like it’s a constantly evolving creative space.

Have you got any final messages for your fans?

I’m amazed that we’re playing at WOMAD, I’ve dreamt of playing there for years. We’re doing two sets and a workshop, so come check it out, it’ll be a lot of fun for everyone. I can’t wait, it’s an amazing feeling. I hope you all enjoy it, come say hello afterward too, I love meeting everyone who supports us, it’s a wicked feeling.

You can see Cool Out Sun at WOMADelaide 2019, March 8-11. Get your tickets here.

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