by Brooklyn R. White
Soul is all you’ve got. It’s ever knowing, ever growing, and the key to the greatest magic the heavens have to offer. It’s the delicate finger touch between the divine and humanity. The hot tear racing down your cheek, the tightest hug during the winter months, and the groove in your heart. That’s why soul music is as rich as it is, because it comes from the most central, sincere core of one’s self. And no one captures these emotional, electrifying soul experiences quite like Brainfeeder signee Georgia Anne Muldrow.
In June 2019, Muldrow dropped VWETO II, her 18th album in 13 years. It’s a collection of funky instrumentals, perfect for late night excursions with the windows down and a windswept hair-do poking out. In this phase of her career, Muldrow is embracing herself fully, as well as welcoming the idea of taking up space, and she encourages others to do the same.
“[T]hat’s the thing, with us being [in] production, is the taking up of space. We gotta be cool with that. Whether it be in the studio..., or you’re presenting your beats, or presenting your work, you’re taking up space…” she said over the phone.
When we talked Muldrow was in high spirits, as she spoke to me about motherhood, the most important lesson she’s learned over the years, and more. Read our conversation below.
Brooklyn White (BW): How has motherhood influenced your work?
Georgia Anne Muldrow (GAM): Oh, it’s everything. I love kids...It’s everything that I am, so sometimes it’s like describing water. It’s my first instinct. [Motherhood] and being in a relationship for 15 years gives me so much. One thing that [it’s for sure given me] is the sense of play in my music. Motherhood made me more funky. Cause [in] funk, you gotta have fun, it’s all about comedic singing.. To really be funky, you gotta have a sense of humor man. [Funk] is the [combining] of pain and pleasure - it’s the pain of the blues and the playfulness of children. I think that’s the secret recipe for the funk....I think kids are so hip.
BW: You moved to New York City as a teenager - what was that experience like for you?
GAM: I was like what? 17/18 [years old] going out there...I feel as though I was still a child. What happened was, all those sounds of the street, and on the subway, you know it merged into an orchestra for me in the streets of New York. It was before I really heard nature in [that] way. [B]efore I heard the literal song of nature, you know what I’m sayin? I remember the day it happened. There was a “wooooo”, like some type of air horn or a train or something. I heard cars beeping, people talking… I heard the subway going, it was like a symphony.
It opened my heart to what was possible. Everything was in harmony, but not a conventional harmony. But it [brought] my mind into a new way of thinking of harmony, and that was one of the elements that helped me survive New York.
I was already in love with production and [being in New York] really made me turn to it as a spiritual place. It made me turn to music as a place of comfort.
BW: Are there any pertinent messages that you’ve carried with you over the past 20 years of your production career?
GAM: I think the most important one [message] is [to] start where you are. Use it. Start with where you are, whether that’s an emotional state, or a question in your mind...Whether it’s a “I don’t know how to begin” or “this is stupid” or “I hate how I sound” - start with that. How you actually feel, not how someone else thinks you should feel or what is marketable. It’s like a sculpture - you have to make a decision to hit the fucking rock. You gotta hit it. The first strike that you make on that piece of stone is not going to complete the sculpture.
I mean, seriously, my whole production style is based on error. It’s based on what happens if I just free myself from what I think I should say.
BW: Lastly, how important is feeling when you’re producing?
GAM: I say it like this - technology is only echoing what you have to give. So, whether that be a 2-inch reel, I don’t care if we analog it, because it’s still technology right?
BW: Yes ma’am.
GAM: If you ain’t feeling it, how I’m gone feel it? How I’m gone believe you? I think that what you put in, you get out of it. I love feeling, it’s very important to me. To the point where I’ve been blessed to have a signature feel. From going off the rails..,going off the grid and trying to figure out where I’m coming from rhythmically.
Feel comes from taking a chance on yourself over and over again.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Stream VWETO II here.