Im December, Australian future soul outfit Hiatus Kaiyote picked up a nomination in the 2014 Grammy Awards.
The Melbourne-bred band’s re-worked version of neo-jazz cut ‘Nakamarra’ (featuring Q-Tip) is up for one of the coveted US gongs in the Best RnB Performance category, the band telling Tone Deaf last month that the surprise recognition, “floored us all.”
At the time, Hiatus Kaiyote’s virtuoso keys-player Simon Mavin also said the band were “super-keen to head over” to be in attendance at the 56th Annual Grammys ceremony in Los Angeles later this month, on Australia Day (26th January).
The fusion-bending four-piece have today confirmed that not only will they be jetting to LA to be present for their Grammy nomination, but that they’ll also be performing live at the Grammy’s Pre-Telecast, as the band communicated on their social media accounts.
— Hiatus Kaiyote (@HiatusKaiyote) January 21, 2014
Still buzzing from the news, the band’s drummer/producer Perrin Moss tells Tone Deaf today that it’s “only just sunk in… but even then it’s hard to get your head around.”
The percussion-playing, electronic-wrangling contingent of the quartet emphasises the band’s excitement at being able to perform at the Grammy’s pre-telecast, particularly for the added exposure the net-simulcast will bring.
“Hopefully a bunch of people that would normally not be at our shows will get the chance to see us,” says Moss. “It was a surprise and nothing that we planned for, so I guess we got asked to perform there, which is a great honour,” he adds of the Grammy’s performance invite.
The band – Moss, Mavin, along with bassist Paul Bender and über-talented frontwoman Nai Palm – will be performing their Grammy-nominated hit live at the pre-telecast, but despite ‘Nakamarra’s guest star tweeting his personal congratulations to his Australian collaborators (back when the Grammy nod was announced) the legendary MC won’t be on hand to perform live with the group.
“Unfortunately no Q-Tip this time” confirms Moss, adding “hopefully soon we will get the chance to hang.” “It was a surprise and nothing that we planned for, so I guess we got asked to perform there, which is a great honour.”
There may be plenty of other big name icons to rub shoulders with at the American music industry’s night of nights however, with the star-studded list of performers at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony reading like a music fan’s dream festival lineup.
Among performances from Lorde, Gary Clark Jnr, Beyoncé and Jay Z (as Billboard confirms), there’s also Daft Punk – playing with a lineup featuring fellow nominees Nile Rodgers (of Chic), Pharrell Williams and Stevie Wonder. Metallica will play with Grammy Cultural Ambassador to China Lang Lang and Paul McCartney could instigate a reunion with fellow Beatle Ringo Starr.
Then there’s todays announcement that the telecast finale will see Nine Inch Nails, Queens Of The Stone Age, Dave Grohl, and Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham performing together, though what exactly is anyone’s guess. (A super-medley of Hesitation Marks, …Like Clockwork, and Sound City track perhaps?)
In any case, Hiatus Kaiyote may not be completely star-struck, while making major in-roads into America they’ve already made fans out of fellow-minded music celebrities; a roll-call that includes The Roots, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Animal Collective, and Prince.
Chiefly thanks to the Melbourne band’s stunning debut release, Tawk Tomahawk, which was re-released in America by Sony imprint Flying Buddha Records.
In fact it was label head Salaam Remi that was the brains that sorted out the Q-Tip connect that led to Hiatus Kaiyote’s Grammy nomination, as bandmate Mavin explained last month. “We are on lock down to try and finish this next album which should be coming out around August some time.”
Moss today also confirms the keys player’s initial news that Hiatus Kaiyote are already at work on a “killer record” to follow-up Tawk Tomahawk.
“We are on lock down to try and finish this next album which should be coming out around August some time,” says the drummer, but recording will be interrupted by the band’s ongoing touring commitments.
Having just completed an appearance at the Falls Festival, the band’s 2014 itinerary includes festival appearances at Golden Plains, WOMADelaide, and South Africa’s 15th Cape Town Jazz Festival in March, “which is crazy exciting!” notes Moss
They’ve also scored a hometown slot on the PBS Drive Live lineup and will be opening for the Queen of Soul Erykah Badu on her official Bluesfest sideshows this April.
So assuming Hiatus Kaiyote’s ‘Nakamarra’ claims Grammy glory, who would Moss thank once called up onto the winner’s podium?
Along with a shout-out for “Mr Genius Engineer Man” Phil Noy, the drummer adds: “Friends, Family and Fans. The team of people who have helped us so much along the way.”
You can watch Hiatus Kaiyote’s performance at the Grammy’s pre-telecast on 26th January at: http://grm.my/1jrInBP
(Live from 8am to 10am in Australia on the 27th January)
View the full list of 56th Annual Grammy Award nominees here.