On Day 12 of our Round Up we bring you an exclusive interview with each member of the eclectic group, Amapola.
Being in a group, how do you negotiate everyone’s creative tastes?
(Fin) We’re normally pretty good at keeping things democratic! I think it’s best when we’re all in a room jamming together, if somethings not working, we keep going until we find something that gets all of us pumped!
What’s been your most exciting creative challenge so far?
(Alex) The most exciting creative challenge for us has been combining the different sound worlds in our collaborations. We want to create something new and unique with a variety of influences whilst maintaining our roots and style. More recently, this has involved bringing in more electronic elements into our tracks and tying it in with live instrumentation. Making this sound cohesive and natural can be challenging at times, but is something which is incredibly rewarding once got right.
What does your collaborative approach allow you to do that having a permanent leader singer doesn’t?
(Toby) A fixed lineup can have many benefits, but also many challenges. It can sometimes be hard to balance the creative input of a group (especially if there is a defined leader), and things can start to become stale and repetitive. We've found that since taking the collaborative approach, it's allowed us to create music on a perfectly even ground with the collaborating artist, while also constantly bringing in fresh new ideas and creative processes.
In what ways does the South/South East London jazz scene influence your work?
(Fin) I think it brought a whole lot of fun and excitement into the band. Spending hours annoying our neighbours by doing rehearsals in our small south east London flat was a laugh, and it was cool to be able to just walk down the road and see Oscar Jerome doing his shopping in Sainsbury’s, or have a pint and see Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes jamming at GhostNotes (RIP).
You never settle into a particular style. Do you feel that is a creative risk?
(Sander) If it is, it is and if it isn’t, it isn’t, really. We’re just making music that we enjoy playing together, and when we hear people tell us they like it too it always means a great deal. Imagine making an effort to keep all your songs to one style haha that would be bonkers. If you’re not listening to at least 20 different genres at one time with the archive of records that is the internet then you’re doing it wrong. Our music is bound to reflect that, but hopefully there’s a consistent sound to all of it that is recognisably ‘amapolaish’.
When gigs start up again how do you want audiences to feel when they watch you?
(Sander) Dread and terror, mainly.
What’s the next challenge for Amapola?
(Toby) Our next challenge is to launch ourselves back into playing live (as soon as it's safe to do so). We love nothing more than being in the moment with the crowd, and can't wait to share our new tunes with you live! We're also excited to test out some ways of formatting our new shows, together with our amazing collaborators!
A playlist of their favourite songs from 2020