The latest young protégés to join the prestigious Wolf + Lamb family, Voices Of Black, are set to release their new EP, ‘Her Flower’, introducing their up & coming vocalist Rap Lisa who's the perfect match for the Brooklyn boys' soulful house. With stripped back vocals and eclectic low-key beats, the three have formed a tag-team of specialists in funk-tinged electronic sounds influenced by their genuine love of music.
The original duo, Baba Ali and Jules Born, first met over making hip hop mixtapes on Radioshack cassette decks back home in New Jersey. Having since crafted two full-length efforts, ‘Tomorrow's Today’ and ‘Plastic Dolls' - with the latter released on the Brooklyn imprint Wolf + Lamb earlier this year, the pair's more recent ‘Have U 2 Myself EP’ on sub-label Double Standard was a lush piece of smooth disco house. Here we speak to the 21 and 22-year-olds about what defines their sound alongside an exclusive mix for Dazed...
...your secret talent?
Baba: Once woodworking
...your worst vice?
Jules: Tall girls without knuckle hair
Baba: Extreme cleanliness
…the story behind your name?
Both: Baba & I at one point were really trying to find inspiration and he was playing a lot of Fela Kuti and afrobeat music. We listened to the song Black Voices by Tony Allen (Fela’s drummer) and it made sense. We then thought of Voices of Black. It felt right.
... your favourite sound?
Jules: Tenor Sax
Baba: The Fender rhodes
...your worst fashion secret?
Jules: Every day I'm tempted to wear a V-Neck. I also occasionally slack and wear a sock or two with a hole in the big toe.
Baba: I wear way too much camouflage. One time I was flying out to a gig all camo'd up and it took me over an hour to get through security 'cause they searched all of my stuff.
...good for breakfast?
Jules: Nothing more delightful humbling and satisfying then a waffle. I pour syrup in each square before saying grace.
Baba: A big ol' bowl of porridge, with some almonds thrown on top.
...the best thing about where you're from?
Jules: The diversity. Teaneck N.J. is not only diverse but everyone lived together and raised their kids with one another. The older I've gotten the more I realized how special and rare that is.
Baba: Being totally immersed in the natural environment; I live in the mountains.
...at the top of your shit list?
Jules: Other than a Neo Nazi or Klan Member I'd have to say Kreyshawn.
Baba: Jay-Z and Beyoncé. I think it's about time Jay-Z retires, and Beyoncé's music is trash; she also posed blackface for a Vogue photo shoot and said it was inspired by Fela Kuti. What an idiot!
How would you describe your work?
Jules: I think it's genuine and fun. Alot of our newer material is definately more sophisticated but I think our songs are a true reflection of our mood and we hope that others can relate and enjoy.
Baba: Communication and connection without boundaries or discrimination.
1. Voices of Black - Get Enough
2. Voices of Black - Shade
3. Voices of Black - Dry ur Eyez
4. Rap Lisa - My Heart Skips
5. Voices of Black - Atom Bomb
6. Voices of Black - Have You To Myself (Worst Friends Remix)
7. Voices of Black Feat. Rap Lisa - Times've Changed
Photo by Will Calcutt
Follow Flora Yin-Wong on Twitter here @petitflo