Kindred The Family Soul: How They Met, Their Music and Their Legacy
We want to talk about the name of the album. Tell us how you came up with that title and what it means.
Aja: All of our albums are autobiographical. We’re a pretty much average–somewhat average–working middle class family. Last couple of years have really hit that part of the country quite a bit. In terms of financially what’s happening in our country, we experienced that as well as a lot of our friends who have the same income level, the same type of lifestyle–maybe not as many kids–but certainly they have a similar life. So when we came about subject matter there really there was no way that we couldn’t write about that because that’s the experiences that we were having as well as many people around us. So we originally named the album “The Great Recession.” But it came to our attention that maybe perhaps people wouldn’t get the full gist of what we were talking about because they thought maybe it was more like a downer. “The Great Recession” just seemed more like not an overcoming, victory over a difficult time but more difficult and hard and dark. Which is not us at all. So we made it to “Love Has No Recession” which many of our fans chimed in on and thought was a better idea anyway.
Fatin: Cause we already had a song that was actually called “Love Has No Recession.” We were trying to throw the title of “The Great Recession” on its side anyway. It just happens to be that that song ended up being more the theme of the record and it made a lot more sense.
I listened to the album this morning when I was getting ready for work. There are pieces from Martin Luther King in there, tell me how you chose the spoken word pieces that you wanted to include.
Fatin: Well the Martin Luther King piece that was DJ Jay Ski. He was the DJ, who after we had done that song with Bilal and myself and BJ. It just kind of called for some extra something. That’s the last speech that he gave before he passed away and they’re relative thoughts that he was having that were relative to the thoughts that we were having. And just kind of trying to marry the two, bridging the gap again. And trying to show how things have changed but yet they’re still so much the same.
Aja: I think also too it does a good job of giving a different kind of light on Dr. King. Dr. King obviously was a peaceful man and everything but I think it’s important sometimes to hear him being slightly aggressive. To give the idea that who you’re talking to is an intelligent, strong black man who is about his business. Even when he said different things like, ‘Look if we don’t’ get ourselves together, we’re going to be doomed.’ I think that’s an important an element of that song. Even giving Dr. King slightly more edge than you’re used to hearing him have.
Going off of that. Obviously the element of family is foremost, it’s in your name; but, you also said in another interview that you weren’t devoid of the edginess of art. How does this album speak to that sentiment?
Aja: Probably the social consciousness of the album probably is more the artistic piece of the album. That’d probably be the more obvious aspect of it that people might not be used to hearing from Kindred. Even though we’ve had that element in all our albums to an extent. More than anything, under the surface what is truly artistic and edgy about what we do is the acceptance and taking a subject matter that people don’t really speak about a lot which is the complexities of a married relationship and what that really is about and what happens in between the hook up and the break up. Everybody talks about when they’re not together and when they get together but there’s a lot of complicated and layered issues that go into that. So I think that we’ve kind of made an art out of that. That’s what truly in my opinion makes us edgy. We’re family music but we’re not family music. We’re not “The Wiggles”. It’s important for people to understand that what we’re talking about is a complex lifestyle that has many layers and still putting it to melody in a song that has structure that you can sing along to and that you might want to even cover yourself. That’s something I feel is very unique and singular to what we do and who we are as artists.