a day in New York with Sandflower

  • Catarina Ramalho
  • Joe Brine

above the honking cars and surreptitiousness runnery of midtown manhattan, we met with singer-songwriter-actress-designer sandflower.

In a recording studio, where the old Atlantic Records recording rooms used to be, we sit to wax lyrical about musical influences. From the myriad of genres and unbeknownst avant-guard artists that constitute her daily playlist, she highlights one of the leading forces of the Afrobeat music genre, Nigerian multi-instrumentalist Fela Kuti,  as a constant source of inspiration, as well as, traditional Indonesian and Balinese Gamelan. The genre-fluid artist has recently paid her homage to Indonesia’s ancestral music. Her single “Oceans” with the percussionist DuoPercussion bridges old worlds with the new.

“Every time an artist has an idea is the same as standing on a ledge of the Empire State Building. There’s always a moment of: is this a good idea, is it a bad idea, what even is an idea? You stand at this edge and jump hoping that you’d create something that has never been done before. That is crazy if you think about it.” – she replies as we discuss the differential creative processes behind her cross-medium expression – “I can tell you, most of the times I only realise it after I got it. That a-ha moment when I realise that something that I have been thinking about is fully formed before my eyes. It’s about allowing your true self to come through. Sometimes your true self is going to be lit; sometimes it’s going to be quiet. It is what it is.”
Other than the future collaboration with Sprayground and visit to South East Asia, this year, the artist has also performed at the Faena Arts Forum in Miami, at Moma PS1, Coachella, Saturday Night Live alongside Dua Lipa, and shot for Random acts of Flyness for HBO. With the decreasing reliance on traditional industry methods, such as securing record deals and airplay, the exploration of undiscovered sonic territories has been promoted, and cross-genre and multi-industry collaboration are slowly becoming normalised. By sharing her artistic vision through music, modelling, acting, and designing her clothing lines, she has slowly built a world of her own, become increasingly more inventive on how to push boundaries to create impactful moments.
“If we keep on going forward with that as entertainers and creators, now we are up to something new. Now we are finally getting into a place where everybody can have a shot at being part of. As a culture, we have to get out of our own way. I’m just not trying to take it slow anymore.”

Full article: https://tmrwmagazine.com/a-day-in-new-york-with-sandflower/