November 19, 2013


Hiatus Kaiyote on Getting Support From Prince and Stevie Wonder

Hiatus Kaiyote already told us about getting early support from Q-Tip, Questlove and Erykah Badu, but they're hardly the only legendary musicians championing the Australian soul-funk group and their debut album Tawk Tomahawk. The band told us about their reaction to Stevie Wonder hearing their music, getting an unsolicited tweet of support from Prince and signing to super-producer Salaam Remi's label Flying Buddha.

On Stevie Wonder
"I’m 24 years old and this is my first band," said singer Nai Palm. "To have somebody that I’ve been raised on since birth musically and is a large reason why I even create or have a voice. I didn’t have singing lessons; it was just growing up singing along to Stevie. DJ Spinna has already shown him our music; I know it’s reached his ears and that’s beyond amazing."

On Prince
"I stayed up until four in the morning watching Purple Rain and I was all up in the world of Prince," says Palm. "I got a call the next morning like, 'How crazy is the Prince thing?' I was like, 'How did you know I watched Purple Rain last night?' The tweet was really left[field], but Prince is like that, though. We got an e-mail when we were in L.A. asking us to play at his house. It never went through, though."

On Salaam Remi
"It was the perfect situation," says guitarist Paul Bender. "He’s a super-calming presence and musician and producer first. For this being his first role as a label guy, he’s brought that mindset with him. His whole concept for Flying Buddha is 'I want to connect with artists who are just going to do their thing and they’re going to take care of the art of creating music. And we don’t have to change that.' He trusted us after Tawk Tomahawk had done its thing and said, 'I don’t have to get some other producer to come in and f-ck with the formula.'"

Watch the full interview above and check out the band's breakout song "Nakamarra" below.