SOULMINATION Neo-fusion with a message

Perth neo-fusion band Soulmination are ready to make waves in the local scene with a string of new singles and a corresponding launch show going down at Sonar Room in Fremantle on Friday, November 22. JENNIFER MAXWELL spoke to founding members Roxanne Myles and Valerio Fiorini to find out how they got their unique sound, why they use their music to send important and positive messages to the world, and what we can look forward to at the show.

So for those readers who might not be familiar with you, how did Soulmination come to be and what do you think it was that brought the band together?

Roxanne: Soulmination came as a result of wanting to connect with likeminded people and to be able to express our unique tastes of different music genres together. I was going through some tough times and was on the brink of quitting music, when one day on social media I connected with Valerio. We instantly clicked and decided to start jamming. We both come from very different musical experiences and backgrounds, but it was still very easy and natural for us to find common ground. From that point onwards things started to happen and we are now a diverse team bursting with great promise.

Valerio: I think meeting Roxy on social media was one of the best things that ever happened to me. I told her that if she quit music it would’ve been a crime against humanity.

Your style has been described as “neo-fusion”, can you explain that in more detail? Is it about mixing genres that others usually don’t or is your attitude toward writing quite different as well?

Valerio: It is. And because we love and play so many different genres, it would’ve been hard to narrow our style within only one of them. So we’ve decided to come up with our own definition: neo-fusion. Our original repertoire so far consists of compositions that mix neo soul, jazz, funk, Latin, African, progressive rock and deep house music.

Roxanne: We also love and are inspired by other experimental bands like Hiatus Kaiyote, Moonchild, Snarky Puppy and more, as well as the jazz giants of the past.

You recently released two singles, one of them being Not Alone which is a sweet tune about motherly love. What was the inspiration behind that one?

Roxanne: It was my daughter. She showed interest in music, claiming she wanted to follow my steps and become a singer. So initially I felt the need to warn her that such a path was not an easy road for me. The ability to sing alone is not going to be enough. Pursuing a music career also involves a huge amount of practice, dedication, research, passion and ability to get out of the “comfort zone,” and most importantly being in the right place at the right time.

On the other hand I was obviously super happy to hear that music will play an important role in her life, and that’s where the lyrics for Not Alone came from. It was about letting your child know that you will be there to support them through their life journey, no matter what. The original song is actually longer and we normally save the unedited version for live shows and probably will record it at a later time.

And your other current single, Heads in the Sand, is a thought-provoking track about climate change. What made you decide to focus on this issue and are social and political topics something you’re likely to explore more in the future?

Valerio: Some of our compositions are that way, yes. We send messages of hope, unity, love and sometimes we try to raise awareness on social issues such as climate, cyber bullying, abuse, corruption and more. Heads in the Sand is about climate action, and although there are some people disbelieving that global warming might be human made, I doubt that anyone can deny the fact that everything is wrapped in plastic, choking our planet and its beautiful inhabitants. So now that this subject is finally starting to get some media attention, we wanted to add our contribution as artists and it’d be great if Soulmination could help this cause even just a little.

Roxanne: At this stage it’s about sowing seeds. Yes, this is how we are choosing to use our voices in an attempt to make an impact. It’s not the theme of all our compositions, but we do like meaningful music, both lyrically and instrumentally.

You’re also releasing a new song Content, which you will be playing live at Sonar Room in Fremantle with Grace Sanders on November 22. What kind of night can people look forward to and what kind of feeling, or emotion, do you hope that your music will spur – especially in a live setting?

Valerio: Content is our third single released this year. Is a groovy and quirky sounding tune about self-discovery, (a) sense of accomplishment and gratitude. We are going to play the unedited version live at Sonar that night.

Roxanne: It will be a fun night of uplifting music with a purpose and a chance to support local artists. We’ll engage with the audience as much as we can, making them dance and celebrate in a respectful, joy-filled and multi-ethnic environment. Get lost if you wish to find yourself again, get inspired, or simply have fun.

And what’s next for Soulmination? What’s there to look forward to for the rest of the year and beyond, both for yourselves and for fans?

Roxanne: We’ve started the process of recording new music to release soon, got some live shows already booked ahead and we will be the featuring musical act at the next edition of the RAW showcase in Perth on February 20 next year. We are also aiming to play at festivals and experimenting with electronics in some of our songs.

Valerio: Also, as we are a relatively new band, we are trying to genuinely grow our social media following, so if anyone relates with our music in any way, or feels that this world needs change, please come and find us on Facebook, Instagram or Spotify. If you attend one of our live performances, please come and talk to us, interact, suggest… we will be available. Lastly, since the music we’ve released so far is free and available to anyone, feel free to share it, play it or use it as you like. As long as we can reach out to people, we will be happy!