Sweet, jittery pop with a crush on Frank Ocean
OTW #463: AlunaGeorge

When AlunaGeorge were nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards this year, they gave the proceedings a much needed injection of originality.  Whilst R&B is undergoing a seismic shift in generic boundaries with artists such as Miguel and Jeremih - moving into the realms of pop with their highly stylised takes on the ’90s slow jam - there is still very much a need for this new visualisation of R&B-influenced pop to retain elements of lightheartedness too. London duo AlunaGeorge understand this well.

Combining George’s downtempo productions and Aluna’s knife-edge fragile vocals, the pair are approaching the hip-hop beat-building tradition with an awareness of melody that, with their ‘You Know You Like It’ EP for Tri Angle, has seen them become one of the potentially key R&B acts to watch in 2013.

This comes across best in their mutual love for artists such as The Neptunes. George reflects on the early 2000s as “the last time on a massive scale that a movement in production meant that the US Top 40 was sounding quite bizarre. I had a little epiphany a while ago that those tracks were just sixteen - or even eight - bars of music just going over and over. It was the genius of top-lines that made them songs. It’s that hip-hop mentality of making a beat, but it’s just the occasional production tweak and the vocals that carry the song all the way. That's what I keep in mind.”

After a recent country retreat to finish their forthcoming debut album, Aluna says that it “allowed us to get more in-depth with the content of the songs, which I wasn’t expecting. Maybe the confidence wasn’t there before and we were still finding our way. The album has the full spectrum of our ideas. It definitely has its own identity.”

Words: Lauren Martin
Photography: Neil Bedford
Fashion: Chris Amfo

Where: London
What: Sweet, jittery pop with a crush on Frank Ocean
Get 3 Songs: ‘Just A Touch’, ‘You Know You Like It’, ‘Your Drums Your Love’
Unique Fact: Aluna is a Kenyan name meaning ‘approach’ or ‘come here’ in Mwera.


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