Interview: Divorce From New York - Alvaro Granda on his new alias, jazz samples, & secret festivals
We spoke to Spanish producer Alvaro Granda, half of duo Reykjavik606, about his new alias Divorce From New York and the recently released project 'This Ain't Jazz No More'...
The latest offering This Ain’t Jazz No More, under your new alias Divorce From New York, features uplifting sonics and syncopated rhythms, what ideas and themes were you exploring to produce this fusion sound?
Last year I bought a sampler because I needed it for the new Reykjavik lives. I started sampling my jazz collection and making tracks for pure fun and that's how these songs came up, it ended up being an album. This album came about almost by accident.
On this release you are melding elements of jungle, house and broken beat with jazz sensibilities, what pulls you to these various styles?
Jungle, house and broken beat are the musical styles that I like the most when I go to the clubs and jazz is the musical style that I listen to the most at home.
Your new-born son was nursing during the time This Ain’t Jazz No More was created, did these paternal responsibilities influence your music and how did you balance your creative time?
Yes a lot. When my son was born I didn't have that much time in the studio, so I had to find a way to create very quickly since I only had 1 or 2 hours a day. Sampling gave me that speed when creating.
Which contemporary artists inspire you and where do you take your influence from generally?
People like Moses Boyd, Joe Armon-Jones, Vels Trio, Kaidi Tatham, Footshooter, Yussef Dayes or Kamaal Williams, as well as artists like Madlib or Kiefer. The music that most influences me is the one I listen to daily, I generally like jazz, UK jazz, broken beat, house or beats the most.
You’ve frequently worked as half of the production duo Reykjavik606, as well as featuring Bliaze and a remix by Hector Plimmer on this release, what appeals to you about collaboration?
The boys from Bliaze are very good friends and when I asked them if they would like to collaborate they did not hesitate. They are a very young jazz, soul and funky band, they are 20 years old and very talented. They will also collaborate on the next Reykjavik album. I love everything they do and it has a great future.
Are there some live shows or festival appearances you have lined up? Or any further upcoming projects to keep an eye out for?
I just premiered my live at Dantz Point, which is a festival that, due to Covid, has organized streaming performances in very special places. I did it in a 15th century farmhouse in the Basque Country and you can see it on the Dantz Festival YouTube channel. They have also confirmed me in a couple of festivals but it is still a secret. With Reykjavik606 we will play the band in Madrid in a concert organized by Estrecho Cultural and also in a very important Jazz festival in the Basque Country that we cannot say yet.
Finally, what does the word ‘groove’ mean to you?
The groove is what the music has that, when you feel it, makes your waist move and you cannot stop and all that, with your eyes closed. I hope it happens to you with my music.
Buy Divorce From New York presents This Ain't Jazz No More here.