[Interview] Thenublack speaks to Georgia Muldrow and Dudley Perkins aka DeClaime
Georgia Anne Muldrow is an American singer and musician. Having been brought up in a very musical household, her mother Rickie Byars- Beckwith and father jazz guitarist Ronald Muldrow, Georgia carved a career in music very early in her life. An accomplished singer, writer and performer, Georgia’s work includes a 2009 collaboration with Yasiin Bey (f.k.a Mos Def), and a continuing strong musical partnership with Dudley Perkins a.k.a DeClaime. Together their most recent project is SomeOthaShip.
It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon in London, and with only a couple of hours before Georgia Anne Muldrow is due to perform on stage at the Jazz Cafe, The Nu Black caught up with Georgia and Dudley to find out a little more about this hard working duo, and what it is that inspires their music.
Is this your first time in the UK?
Georgia: Oh no!! I haven’t been out here for a good five years, but the last time we were out here, we were out here for nearly 3 months. We played at Cargo, we did a little thing at Manchester, spent a few days doing some recordings in Bristol. We did a lot of recording. We did our time [laughing].
What’s Georgia’s world like on a day to day basis?
Georgia: Well its like there’s two different worlds. There is the world in your house – like your kids they are a world in themselves. They give me hope, give me faith and inspiration. The world where we are making these records is highly productive. Its wonderful and its all happening at the same time. The kids growing up, helping them through their challenges, celebrating with them their successes. And just grinding. Unfortunately its a process bringing the world that is within to the world that is around you. Its definitely a process. Sometimes its easy to get impatient with how that progress is coming along, but I stay hopefully. Pray for the Police!
Dudley: Vegas Police is off the meter! Its kinda dangerous. You have to be careful. We live in a police state, there is no way round it. On the side of their trucks it says ‘Protect and Serve’ . You can’t protect and serve people if you don’t love them. Its impossible. A lot of young cats that are in the police force have egos that are just blown out of proportion. I have seen them yell at seven year old girls [Shouting] ‘Sit on the kerb, sit down and shut up’. There is love at all.
Growing up, who were some of your musical heroes and heroines?
Georgia: Man there was so many! Its real diverse. I remember getting laughed at, you know in your teenage years you get laughed at for my music choices. My mother is my first musical heroine because her voice is so unique. She is like an amazing person. I have had a lot of heroes. When I think of music is like its crazy. So many people. When I was young my next door neighbour had MeShell Ndegeocello ‘Plantation Lullabies’, and I was young though! I heard that, man that was some amazing stuff. I heard that and I thought I don’t know what she doing but that was tight! Basically Coltrane is a hero. Gil Scott Heron he definitely is a hero. I remember J Dilla’s when I heard ”Playa on the radio I remember I was frozen in the car. Damn that was really dope, fantastic instrumental. There came a time in my life when I knew I was going to be into beats.
Growing up in my mother’s church, Al McKay from Earth Wind and Fire played almost every choir Sunday. Doug Chancellor played with the choir sometimes too! The heroes that I hold the dearest are the ones I saw in church all the time, my father and all those cats around him. They have been gifts in my life. They cared to teach me about rhythm. When I got older, especially during my pregnancy, I got really tuned in the ancestral realm, and I realised that at that time it was the ancestors that had placed all these people in my life. So you want to talk about heroes, Babatunde Olatunji and the first people, the first drummers. Real esoteric.
The song ‘Roses’ which then became a collaboration on Mos Def’s 2009 album The Ecstatic – is all about creativity. What does it really mean to you to be a creative person?
Georgia: When you realise the true purpose of art. And you realise your true potential, you know when it gets revealed to you. You realise that you are a healing artist. I don’t know if everyone is but I know that me and Dudley are. We are like artistic mediums. My art is way smarter that I am as a normal person. I used to, when at was at home, when I was feeling down, I would draw flowers. I admire nature it is, and it requires nothing.It just is. The bigger picture is when I really caught a glimpse from the inside was the potential energy for healing that I was meant to share, and that we all could share in what we do best.
So how would you describe your music – and the way you two work?
Dudley: If you give a child something that is real they grab onto it. Our music puts you back into that child state. It wants you to know, and grow. We are messing with the heart, and the heart don’t lie. When you say truthful things from your heart it is going to connect. If you have a spirit and soul, you are going to hear it.
A lot of the artists that do music right now they don’t interact with their spirit. They say they do but their lyrics don’t say that. Their lyrics talk about their mamas in a very bad way. They disrespect the queen, the black woman is the first god on earth. There is no way around that. Their own sons disrespect them. Egos so big they can’t even see the queen no more. Any man that call a woman a ‘bitch’ on his record needs to have his mind evaluated. Any man who talks about ‘ capping’ another human need to have their mind evaluated. People who listen to this music need to have their mind evaluated!
Georgia: They know what they are doing. What is the intent? Their belly full and they hungry.
On your debut album, you did the vocals, the backing vocals, and the beats as well. Is there anything musically that you would still like to try?
Georgia: I don’t play sax. You know horns. I haven’t done no country music yet. But you know we already do new things and the people we work with work really hard.
Dudley: This year is going to be fun. We want to be role models to other artists. To say you can make money being real. You don’t have to go to the dark side to do that.
If I say politics is personal, you say..?
Georgia: You know I feel like a lot of separation that happens amongst same people is all semantics. Intention is king, and knowledge itself is queen. Beyond and above any politics, it is about plugging into nature, and getting into the rhythm of the natural world. If that is politics, then I am a politician. You feel me. I don’t trust no politics other than that.
Dudley: You mean Politricks!![Laughing]
Georgia: There is a lot more in nature that just the sustenance we get to survive. Some people get into studying into Hieroglyphics, Greek classic literature or Bible studies etc. I study the metaphor of each element and contemplate the nature of those things. When I think of politics, it is a form of retention, and that relates me back to water. As much as you can hold is as much as you can give. Getting rid of the inner junk, that is what I am about, is what we and our sound is about.
Music has a numbing effect, but it is meant to numb us for us to rise above our fears, not to put us to sleep. My politics is about purification.
Dudley: When what you do is natural it is powerful. One light, One love, One god.
photo by Gem Hall Photography