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June 25, 2019

8 p.m.

Sinkane w/ Jusmoni

The Tractor Tavern

, was released at a very crazy time: things like the Muslim ban, police shooting unarmed people of color, massive corruption in my native Sudan, fake news, Donald Trump, Brexit and so many other calamities all really forced me to think about my place in the world as a musician.  I began to think about how I could use my music in a constructive way — not only to help myself but to help others who feel frustrated and powerless.

It’s easy to be angry in moments like now. And that’s OK. But it takes courage to turn that anger into productive energy.  The previous Sinkane album, 2017's Life and Livin' It  
I’m not a newbie to hate: I’m black, Muslim and even though I'm an American I'm often made to feel like a foreigner in my own country.  And sometimes I do feel like a foreigner — in fact, I once made a whole album, 2012's Mars, about that feeling.  I’ve made a lot of music out of my life story but I’ve always kept things vague enough that anyone listening to my music could relate to it on their own terms.  And yet I have to admit that I never truly felt satisfied with that.  I eventually realized that, in order to truly connect with other people, I first needed to connect with myself on a deeper level than before.
 
Throughout the making of my new album I kept asking myself the same question: “As an immigrant to America, where do I belong?” So, during the writing process, I worked mainly by myself so that I could ensure the most honest and personal answers to that question. I read books by Joseph Campbell, the late novelist/cultural theorist Daniel Quinn, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Pakistani novelist Mohsin Hamid, and the late African-American memoirist Philippe Wamba, hoping they’d guide me to some kind of answer.  Then, one day when I was wandering around the fertile desert of the internet, I stumbled upon an amazing word: dépaysé.
 
Dépaysé is a French word that basically means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings.”  By extension, it means to be disoriented, homeless.  That's a feeling I relate to very much in these times — and I don’t think I’m the only one who feels this way. That word gave me clarity and made the journey inward that much more exciting.
 
So here we are. Dépaysé is the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era.  The music is loud and raw, and it's bursting with energy unlike anything I’ve ever done before.  It starts with a call to arms: “Everybody,” a rock & roll song in the spirit of Sly Stone and funky early-'70s Afro-rock bands like the Funkees and the Hygrades. Every day we wake up to another horror story about racism, and it’s left many of us angry, confused and frustrated.  But we can change the news for the better.  We can show people that a multicolored world is a beautiful one. Celebrating our differences yields beauty in life.  And that takes... everybody.

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