With the multitude of music artists residing in Brooklyn alone, you’d think success comes extra hard to a neighborhood band. But NYC turns out better outfits because of the slew of competition and peer inspiration. Williamsburg’s Son Boom are young practitioners of reggae and rock, and members of art collective A mini Tribe. Son Boom releases its first full-length record, “Fuente,” this week.
Metro’s Hit Sauce spoke with Aya Tello, vocalist and guitarist for Son Boom and founder of A mini Tribe.
How would you describe Son Boom's sound?
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I think we’re products of our generation in that we listen to many different styles of music. It’s pretty rad that we can have big music festivals where artists like Bjork and Tame Impala are playing alongside the Wu-Tang Clan. We let all those influences work their way into our music without worrying too much about going for a specific sound. There might be soul, synth pop, psychedelic rock and a reggae breakdown all within the span of one song. As long as the music moves us and we enjoy playing it, we will keep on exploring new sounds.
Who is A mini Tribe?
A mini Tribe is an art collective we belong to. It is made up of other great bands, as well as artists working in other mediums — woodworking, painting, filmmaking. It’s an organized movement of creatives who joined forces to create and promote great art we believe in. A mini Tribe Records handles the release and marketing of our musicians' records; our events branch puts on multimedia shows; Rose Studios handles the recording of our musical and film projects. The collaborative atmosphere in A mini Tribe has developed a great sense of community between our artists, something that I’ve seen lacking in the super competitive atmosphere of New York.
A mini Tribe held its own festival outside NYC for the Fourth of July, how did that come together?
The drummer of Son Boom, Evan, has a nice-sized piece of land about 40 minutes out of the city. Ever since we met him last year, he’s been saying we should put together a festival for the Fourth, so we did. We partnered with other people in the DIY community (Dingus, Mama Coco’s Funky Kitchen, Underland NY) and had ourselves a great festival. We really live by the do-it-yourself philosophy. Can’t play Coachella? Who cares, create your own festival. It is very possible. So many amazing bands, like The Harmonica Lewinskies and Cherokee Red, came and played. The people and bands really loved it, and we got a lot of great feedback. We plan on making this an annual thing.
How did Son Boom form?
I moved to New York a couple of years ago, right during the peak of the Occupy movement. There was so much stimulation from moving to a new (huge) city and experiencing radical change that I began writing a lot of music. After a few months of me and my acoustic guitar, I knew a band had to be formed. Creating music with other people is way more rewarding than doing it alone. It’s like sex. We’re 11 members large now, so it gets pretty sexy. I knew I wanted to put together a band of explorers, people excited about new sounds and blending different musical cultures together.
Who are some of your influences, musically?
I’m really a sucker for the greats. The Beatles, Bob Marley, Marvin Gaye. On a daily basis, though, I’m very influenced by the music I’m in physical contact with. I feel very blessed to be in a community of such much talent, and to be inspired by close friends is an amazing thing. Steady Sun specifically I really admire. They are hands down some of the most tasteful musicians I know of. Mark U and Bellavesta are other bands I’m inspired by.
Where do you see the band a year from now?
I guess we’re old fashioned dreamers with this. Touring the world, having music fully sustain our livelihoods. Rock and Roll.
Son Boom play Knitting Factory July 26, 9 p.m.