South London-based producer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist Wu-Lu is back with a brand new project.
Known to have worked with the likes of Ego Ella May, Oscar Jerome, Poppy Ajudah, MNDSGN and Andrew Ashong, Wu-Lu finds connections between the worlds of jazz, soul, hip hop and underground club styles, never sitting too comfortably in one corner before chasing the next spark.
His new record S.U.F.O.S. (Save Us From Ourselves), offers six-tracks that together explore themes of racial injustice in Britain, black empowerment and self-exploration.
Sitting down with him briefly ahead of a headline gig in his home town of Brixton, we discuss creative headspaces, production techniques and how it feels to come full circle back to his own doorstep.
Your new single ‘Seven’ explores how difficult close relationships with your loved ones can sometimes be. Do you always need to draw from personal experiences to find inspiration to write?
I draw from personal places – but I apply to how I think other people would handle them. I am constantly looking for other ways to see a story.
Across S.U.F.O.S, you also tap into racial injustice in Britain, black empowerment and self-exploration, could you tell us a bit more about your headspace during recording?
When writing this record I was doing a lot of youth work and listening to some of the things the young people mentioned to me made me and in some ways made me feel nostalgic to being their age – being around a similar headspace so I wanted to try and capture those moments that I could relate to.
The likes of Binisa Bonner, Kwake Bass, Nubya Garcia, and Eun feature across the record. Often working behind the scenes for artists, how does it feel to be the frontman with others working to your voice on S.U.F.O.S.?
Long time coming.
London, South particularly, feels like it has a strong presence for soulful sounds right now… with yourself, labels like 22a and Touching Bass doing good things. How important is your home City to your style?
To be real South has been on the come up from way before all of us was here… personally I feel without the community of heads that I met growing up in my area I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. For me it all started with a band called “Speakers Corner Quartet”, them lot playing instrumental beats – live sick madness!! it was at a night called Speakers Corner run by a dude called DJ Snuff and JAMM on Brixton road. That is where I met Kwake Bass and Biscuit, form there on I was like…. YEP this is what I am doing!!
You’re a multi-instrumentalist, but if you were left with one thing to play what would it be?
Most prob a guitar or my MPC.
On that note, if you were stuck with one record to play, what would it be?
Love Below by Andre 3000.
How do you combine live instrumentation with your beat making? How does your creative process normally work?
Usually I’ll get a solid drum beat going either on the MPC or Live drums then treat it like a sample, chop it up then start layering.
You’ll be headlining a show in Brixton at the end of the month, what does it mean to you at the stage in your career where you’ll be performing on your doorstep?
At this point I feel like playing in my yard….
You’re also working on a new project with Kwake Bass and Joe Armon Jones for 2020?
S.U.F.O.S. is out now. Buy it here.