Graham Reid | | 2 min read
The Auckland four-piece Yoko-Zuna (for your amusement check the source of the name) describe themselves on their Facebook page as "progressive, electronic, hip-hop" . . .
And all of those descriptors seem fair . . . especially the progressive bit.
That's because, if you check the sample track here, you can feel the breadth of their jazz fusion-cum-hip-hop with a nu-soul vision. This is so old school in places it comes up new -- and vice-versa.
Yoko-Zuna cross time, age and genre.
They are special, and their new album The Place Here just hits where it feels good . . ..
The future is safe, and the past -- which they draw on --most certainly is.
And the guy behind the solo on the sample track is their keyboard player Frank Eliesa.
So, because we don't want spoil the rest of the album for you (and you can hear it here, and you should) we invite the ultra-talented Frank to answer our Famous Elsewhere Questionnaire to find out what inspired him on this path . . .
And now it all makes sense, especially his answer to the final questions.
The first piece of music which really affected you was . . .
Can’t Hide Love – Earth Wind & Fire
Your first (possibly embarrassing) role models in music were . . .
50 Cent, Dragonforce, Skid Row, Limp Bizkit, Kiss, Children of Bodom, Linkin Park
Lennon or Jagger, Ramones or Nirvana, Madonna or Gaga, Jacko or Jay-Z?
Lennon, Ramones, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z
If music was denied you, your other career choice would be . . .
Culinary art. Maybe because I’ve been watching way too many cooking shows as of late.
The three songs (yours, or by others) you would love everyone to hear are . . .
Ahmad Jamal – Along the Nile, Claude Debussy – Suite Bergamasque (I can’t just pick one out of the suite!), Liquid Tension Experiment – When The Water Breaks
Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?
I still have my first sticker that my piano teacher gave to me back when I was 7.
The best book on music or musicians you have read is . . .
Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis was a pretty crazy read.
If you could get on stage with anyone it would be . . . (And you would play?)
Snarky Puppy! Lingus. But shotgun not playing that solo though.
The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are . . .
Hot Rod, Nacho Libre and Back to the Future.
The last CD or vinyl album you bought was . . . (And your most recent downloads include . . .)
Last album bought - Haiatus Kaiyote – Choose Your Weapon. My most recent downloads include La Morte Accarezza A Mezzanotte by Gianni Ferrio and this Champ x Darker Than Wax mix.
One song, royalties for life, never have to work again. The song by anyone, yourself included, which wouldn't embarrass you in that case would be . . .
Spanish Joint by D’Angelo. Ugh the percussion is killer!
The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be . . .
The album art for Erykah Badu’s ‘Return of the Ankh’.
You are allowed just one tattoo, and it is of . . .
Because of my love for anything Nintendo, I’d get a full sleeve of all the characters on Super Smash Bros.
David Bowie sang, “Five years, that's all we've got . . .” You would spend them where, doing . . .?
I’d spend them with my family and friends in Samoa working in the family plantation sippin’ on Vailimas.
And finally, in the nature of press conferences in Japan, “Can you tell me please why this is your best album ever?”
Kono arubamu wa Ohana no yoo ni utsukushi desu. (This album is as beautiful as a flower)