“Leave your face at the door and turn off your swag”, croon feminism’s new darlings: a playful jab at the thugged out skits that dominate today’s hip-hop scene, perhaps. The sun is shining and there is only so much swagged-out ego-blasting rap we can take – Sub Pop’s THEESatisfaction are a breath of fresh air. Musical connoisseurs (and lovers) Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White boast a healthy appetite for funk, soul, R&B and hip-hop and were more than willing to vent some of their fairly forthright opinions to Wonderland just after the release of their debut album awE NaturalE on Tuesday.
How did you guys get together?
We met while we were in college a couple of years ago. We were basically around the same kind of people; we had the same kind of friends so we would be in each others’ circles a lot. In 2008, we started making music.
And how would you describe it?
It’s more like a vibe. I don’t like to put a label on it. We’re usually pigeonholed into hip hop and soul and r&b but I feel like it’s more than that. When people listen to it they really get inside of the music, which is why I feel it’s a vibe or a groove.
It’s a sound that in some ways feels almost rooted in the past? Would you say you have older influences?
Definitely. We look to all areas and times of music and try and pick out the best sound that we can get from that. It stems all the way back to even tribal and African sounds way before our time. Right now I’m listening to a variety of music; we listen to newer artists but we also listen to artists throughout this whole kind of spectrum of time. We listen to a lot of jazz from the 40s and 50s and soul from the 60s and 70s. It’s a real mixed bag.
You mention getting pigeonholed into a genre. As females in hip-hop do you find you’re thrown in with up and coming artists like Azealia Banks and Kreayshawn, or is the comparison something you do relate to?
We’re different to them because we’re not them. Those artists do their own thing in their own way. We’re not even talking about the same topics and our sounds aren’t the same at all but we’re at the same time of existence. We all exist in 2012 as artists. That’s how we’re linked realistically. They’re not from the North West and we’re not where they’re from so that alone means we already have different sounds, different vibrations. It’s always an opinion; people are always gonna have their own opinions. They’re always gonna highlight that we’re women or that we’re black or that we’re queer or that we rap and we sing and produce our own beats. People always highlight the thing that catches them off guard.
You’re in both a romantic and working relationship… do you ever get sick of each other?
Like any relationship, when you hang out with someone a lot you have your ups and downs. We give each other time and space. I don’t think it’s any different… but then I don’t really have anything to compare it with!
You guys always look incredible, how would you define your fashion style?
So we like a lot of vintage stuff! I think we’ve actually bought all of the good clothes Seattle has to offer as far as vintage goes. We really don’t like to wear anything that’s younger than us. Although there is this Seattle brand called Prarie Underground that we love, but that’s pretty much the only new things we put on our bodies.
Words: Shannon Mahanty