Andrea Mangia aka Populous returns after six years away with his latest album ‘Night Safari’. We talk to the singer about side projects, samples, life, death and sex.
The last time we heard anything from Populous, it was 2008 and ‘Drawn In Basic’ had just been released, his last full length album published by Morr Music. After dedicating some time to working with Michael McGuire and Teebs, Populous presents ‘Night Safar’, a global mix of sounds, an imaginary night-tim safari, apparently. Clap Clap!, Cuushe, Digi G’Alessio, Iokoi, DJ Khalab and Giorgio Tuma all take part in the adventure too.
The cross-bred, universal language the album creates is supposed to remove political borders and barriers with its sound, bringing together influences from far-flung corners of the world. “Honey (feat. Iokoi)” is the latest release from the album, the video is a sweet but melancholic look at the life of a boy called Lukas, who spends his days at the swimming pool and his nights writing love letters to a girl who he takes pictures of but she sometimes disappears from when they’re developed. No that’s not tears in our eyes, don’t be so silly.
What was your first encounter with music?
As weird as it may sound, my first contact with music was “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” soundtrack.
What was the first record you ever bought?
“Violator”, by Depeche Mode.
What were you doing before Populous was born?
I was playing guitar in a noise-rock college band.
Why did you decide to come back to working on Populous?
I have been totally stuck for a couple of years, because of some health issues. Then I focused mainly on side projects (LIFE & LIMB, Girl With The Gun) for quite a long time. When I finally felt more confident again, I started working on “Night Safari”.
Did you find it hard to come back to songwriting alone after six years away?
At all! Unlike most musicians, I usually make music when I am feeling good.
What do you look for in a sample? Having read that you source samples from hidden records, how do you find them?
A sample should be weird and unusual to me. I prefer strange sounds and I search pretty anywhere: from vinyl-markets to Youtube.
Your facebook page states your band interests are life/sex/death, where can listeners find this on the album?
Life is generated by sex and we all live to escape from death. It’s a circle or, musically, a loop.
Can you explain to us how you’d imagine your nighttime safari to look?
A safari could be a dangerous matter, but the one I imagined for me it’s safe and comfortable, a little wild and adventurous maybe, but not risky at all. Real life is already troublesome enough.
What’s your favourite song on the album?
“Vu”, the track I wrote with my brother Clap! Clap!
If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be? Musician? Producer?
Frank Ocean, James Holden, Grizzly Bear, M.I.A.
What can we expect from you in 2015?
More songs, more collabs, more remixes, more Instagram pics.
‘Night Safari’ is available to buy now http://badpandarecords.
Words: Lily Walker
Photo: Charlie Davoli