JAMMING AND GROOVING WITH KINDERCROWDCONTROL
KinderCrowdControl (aka KCC) is the culmination of years of music and art collaboration between the internationally celebrated fine artist Edem Elesh and lifelong friend Brett Smith. Together they have helmed several noteworthy musical projects including Landscape of Sound, Drowning Pool Music, and Mumbles. The music of KinderCrowdControl transcends musical boundaries. Besides pop creations, it has been used as soundscapes in many videos, and featured as an integral part of art presentations and performances. Brett and Edem, the hub of KCC, have welcomed working with other musicians. They have celebrated the vocal talents of Thea Ulrich; featured the amazing saxophone, percussion, and drumming talents of Toby Karlin; and debuted the effortless inspired piano riffs of Griffen Elesh. In 2018, Edem met the celebrated Croatian artist Sandra Ban while on an international art exchange in Bangkok Thailand. After sharing their musical histories and interests, they agreed to partner. Now, featuring Sandra’s voice as “songspiel", and mining her unique acumen to round out their sound with the human touch, KinderCrowdControl again moves forward into new sonic territories; continuing in the spirit of exploration, discovery, and celebration that has fueled their musical journey from the beginning. Now they're are here and ready to get jamming and grooving with us!
You are creating your own stage for the type of music and art you want to give to the world. Was this the intention of Freeka!? Edem: Thanks for asking. The intention of Freeka! was to fulfill a category in a 7 part opus that Sandra had tasked Brett and I with to accompany a fine art performance she has scheduled for this year in Croatia. It was entitled “tribal”. So, Brett and I have always been inspired by world music, and we felt we could add our voice to this genre. We wanted to create a piece that symbolizes togetherness through musical jamming. Brett came up with his Chapman Stick line in a matter of minutes, we added our percussion, and I wrote the guitar motifs around a Spanish guitar riff that I came up with in answer to his Stick line pretty fast. These pieces are usually the great ones as they come quickly and naturally. So, yes, this is another aspect of KinderCrowdControl’s unique approach to this genre of music, and music in general.
Brett: Creating our own sound has been our mantra from day one. I love your spin on this using the words ``creating your own stage” because a stage (which is both sonic and visual) is a better description of our overall focus. Freeka! Is a great example of what we do, and we’d like to encourage your readers to give it a spin. But I’d like to ask a counter question. Have you ever heard anything like it? How are you demonstrating how you want to use your platform? Edem: To inspire others to pursue their own brand, or take, on existing music. Be original. The world is hungry for original and fresh sounds. We challenge ourselves to always add to, and break ground musically. If what we do sounds in any way derivative, we change it up. This includes finding new ways to create parts. For instance, sometimes that requires swapping a guitar for piano, a bass for Chapman Stick, voice for whistling etc etc. You get the idea.
Brett: We feel that we’ve been writing/creating/crafting the way we want to be seen and heard. But that’s not enough, right? Every Artist needs a means of delivering their finished product to an audience. We’ve had a lot of success in utilizing 21st Century technology to aid in our efforts, but it’s important to understand that the “Art” (i.e. writing/creating/crafting etc.) will always fall short without engaging in a delivery system that maximizes exposure. In other words, you need to look beyond the “Art” to the business of music too. There are many platforms of delivery, and my advice would be to engage in as many as you can, but also to deliver something that people want to see & hear. Why the title Freeka!? Edem: It’s the feeling we got from the jam. It was a working title that just stuck. It fits.
Brett: The title fits. It leaves open one’s own interpretation of the meaning which is how we intended this piece of music to be received. This is also why the only lyric heard is the word “Freeka”. Do you think it's necessary to take control of your narrative when putting out your music or do you let it speak for itself? Edem: Well, oftentimes we write music around a concept, but we also feel it’s crucial for the listener to bring their own narrative and humanity to the piece. This is the essence of involvement. So, though we may have a concept in mind, we keep the door open to perception and interpretation by the listener.
Brett: Both points of view are important to consider. Our style is to take control of the basic narrative by creating a framework for emotional response, but then to leave the interpretation open to the listener. It’s important to understand that the more constrictive the narrative, the more control is imposed on free thought. The most compelling art inspires creative thought and does a better job at connecting the Artist with an Audience. A little too much salt, or a little too much pepper can ruin a great meal so finding the right balance will make a huge difference. Are there any limiting beliefs that you had to get past in the making of this music? Edem: Not really. Working with Brett and Sandra is always a journey of discovery. We are always open to the idea that we will have to jump into a new concept/musical form with both feet. We welcome this. I guess the essence of KinderCrowdControl is composition; we let the music guide us, and are willing slaves to it.
Brett: We all have a basic set of beliefs, and the challenge is to set aside those beliefs and allow the music to take its own form. I think that Edem, Sandra, and I do an excellent job of leaving the baggage of our beliefs behind and to open ourselves up to the journey at hand. All three of us come from different backgrounds, and yet it’s the blend of all of us that creates the soundscape of KinderCrowdControl. Staying true to form, you always deliver on music that relays emotion. What kind of effect do you want this to have on your fan base? Edem: Freeka! When Sandra first heard the piece she started dancing to it. Immediately. Celebrate the day, jam, and groove!
Brett: Addiction. How are you connecting with them about this latest single? Edem: Well, we posted to Facebook, IG, and bandcamp. We’re only 1 day into this release, so we have video in mind too. Sandra Ban has created her own video to FREEKA! She insisted as she had to dance to it. Check it out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFfHYHehZKU We’re making the time to create more video creations for this one for sure. Thanks to you, this platform will help too.
Brett: Additionally, thanks to our relationship with BsquaredMGMT, we have also engaged a great team to help us push the narrative. Interviews like this, or podcasts, or playlists: they all add to the marketing efforts behind KinderCrowdControl. Our intention is to grow our fan base, and we feel that we need to apply as many means of connectivity as possible. Can you talk to us about the imagery of the music before you leave us? Edem: We leave no one behind! Imagine, if you will, a group of musicians where one leads with a simple, repetitive, groovy, Spanish guitar riff; they are then joined by a couple of percussionists; a child plays a melody on a toy piano; then one adds bass guitar; a drummer sits down and nails the groove; others, previously shy, take up small percussion instruments and add to the rhythm. Then someone adds an electric guitar through a small portable amp. A woman walks up and whispers to herself, or into the ear of a loved one: “Freeka!”. All explore the groove and create a tapestry of interwoven voices. A true celebration of spontaneity, grooveidity, community, and inclusion. Humanity creatively, and positively, interacting. A worthy goal, yes?
Brett: To add to Edem’s description, I would counter to ask what the “imagery of the music” means to you? We’d love to hear what you’d have to say! Follow us on Facebook or IG and let us know Leave all your socials and links to where fans can directly get to your music!
Thanks for asking! Here you go and, remember, KinderCrowdControl is one word.
Instagram, TikTok, Spotify etc: kindercrowdcontrol