How would you describe the kind of music that you play?
“I try not to confine myself too much to genres, but my principle influences are jazz and hip hop. It involves a lot of improvisation, social commentary and having a good time.”
Who are your influences and how have you been able to transcend them and develop your own voice?
“I’m influenced by all the great saxophone players through history – Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, Joe Harriot. I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to transcend them, but their voices permeate my own sound. I think I’m an amalgam of all the great musicians I’ve followed – James Brown, Public Enemy, Fela Kuti: similarly with strong hip hop and jazz strains.”
You’ve been really busy over the past few years with a number of projects. What are you involved in at the moment?
“I’m currently starting to work on a large piece exploring the political and cultural contributions of black soldiers during the First World War. It’s some way in the offing, but already my head’s full of ragtime early jazz sounds.”
Tell us what we’re likely to hear at your concert at The Ropetackle in Shoreham on Saturday 4th April.
“You will hear material from my latest release, The Legend of Mike Smith. Blending live jazz with hip hop, and exploring the ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ through music. Can’t wait!”
Soweto Kinch appears at Ropetackle Arts Centre on Saturday 4th April.
His latest album The Legend of Mike Smith is available now.