A summary of our tweetchat with The Cavemen following the release of new single ‘who no know go know’.
Hi Cavemen, how are you doing this evening?
Good good, staying cavy. Weekend was hectic from gigs but we thank God still.
That’s nice to hear, we thank God still. How was the performance last night?
Was humbling… we had fun, everyone had fun, and that’s really important to us.
We’d like to say congratulations on the release of your new single ‘WNKGK’, we love it and @EtukUbong on the trumpet was simply amazing. What inspired this record?
For us, we wanted a gyration song for the cavy people and everybody cuz the year has been tough. A song for who believes that life must be enjoyable and peaceful.
How has the reception for ‘WNKGN’ been so far? And what does it feel like releasing solo singles again after your album ROOTS.
When was ‘WNKGK’ written and recorded? What inspired the use of trumpets on the song?
It was recorded in October. Was definitely a swift record but thanks to BigFoot for making the process smoother. Thanks to Etuk Ubong, Karen and Segun for the guitars.
Since the album you’ve also worked on a couple features, most recent ‘Hustle’ on Basketmouth’s Yabasi and a collab with rap group ShowDemCamp on ‘Dance 4 Me’. What was the experience like for you working with these amazing creatives?
It’s been so nice collaborating with them, basket_mouth is such a hustler and we think working with him was very inspiring for us.
Dance for me with @ShowDemCamp and @Iamnsikak_ was definitely bliss but definitely a tip of what The Cavemen has to offer, more tunes on the way.
When did you both start making music? Did you start out as highlife artists?
We’re siblings and our family is quite Christian, we’ve been playing for over a decade. We did other genres but all led to what we do today which is Highlife fusion. We chose highlife cos it’s a mother genre which is important to us as Nigerians and it’s what we connect with.
Which Highlife artistes inspired you and the music you make the most?
Chee! It has to be Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson, Oliver De Coque, Osadebe, Pat Thomas and Ebo Taylor (from Ghana).
Which 60s and 70s artiste/album do you consider to be a direct influence on your music, especially on songs like ‘Fall’ and ‘Ifeoma Odoo’?
For Ifeoma, it’s definitely Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson and for “Fall”, it’s Pat Thomas.
Congratulations on your Headies nominations for best alternative song and best alternative album with ‘Anita’ and ‘ROOTS’! How do you feel receiving your first Headies nomination after your very first album?
Thank You! It gives us the feeling that we are in the right path and we still got a lot to offer to the world.
‘ROOTS’ was very well received for a debut album and the Headies nomination is testimony to the fact. Was its reception what you guys envisioned or was it beyond your expectations for the album?
Definitely beyond our expectations. Thanks to all the cavy people around the world. Much thanks to our ancestors and thanks to God.
On the best alternative song category, your single ‘Anita’ is up against President Lady Donli’s ‘Corner’ featuring The Cavemen how we go do am? Which song do you think is more deserving of the two?
Haha.. both songs are really deserving to be honest. So the important thing is that the award comes home no matter what song wins between ‘Corner’ and ‘Anita’.
When did you guys start recording the album ROOTS and how long did it take to create?
We started recording in 2018, it took us about 2 years to put roots together.
The pandemic took a huge toll on everyone this year, including creatives. How did it affect your creativity on ROOTS or plans for the year in general?
I mean it just worked out u know. There were plans to release it earlier but universe just played it all right. Shouts to the creative team @atideproject for putting so much on the roll out.
Which song did you first record on ROOTS? Which songs on the album are your favourites, surely you both don’t have the same favourite song?
Oge. Mehn every song is a favorite tbh.
Fan: There was a dearth of horns on your album ROOTS, why?
Mehn just what the music needed. The brass/horns are very important to highlife music and I mean very inevitable.
What are your favourite instruments respectively? Unless you both have a similar choice.
Mehn.. bass and drums easily.
What did you want your fans to feel when listening to ‘ROOTS’? Do you think the message you were trying to communicate has been well received?
Yeah! We wanted to really bring the highlife culture back with our contemporary blend. We wanted people to realize that
The album cover for ‘ROOTS’ what was your idea or inspiration behind it?
Mehn just community, a return to the #ROOTS you know. Thanks to the creative team because they really expressed that.
Why the name ‘The Cavemen’? What inspired your stage name?
Ah! Cavemen is a perfect expression for what we stand for which is self-expression, truth and highlife. Still a rough question to answer but we are progressing.
Have you got any crazy tour experiences or stories to share?
Not really but we definitely anticipate that for sure lol.
Fan: I know that highlife music is made up of a lot of live instruments recordings, how’re you able to incorporate fun DAW samples/plugins to your music? Is it recorded in a treated or untreated room?
What we do is we play most of the percussions into the mic and that goes into a DAW. We play live but we combine with some synthesizers so it sounds contemporary. That’s why we’ve been able to get that balance.
What is the main thing to keep in mind when mixing highlife records? What were some mistakes you made that you won’t be making again?
Mixing highlife, hmm you just gotta keep it simple.
What are your dream features locally and internationally?
Do you see yourselves exploring other genres or is it strictly Cavy highlife?
It’s a long list but Flavor, Pat Thomas, Femi Kuti, Asa, Angelique Kidjo.. a long list mehn.
JDESS features heavily on ROOTS, what is like working with such an amazing talent? Also, congratulations to @officialjdess on the Headies nomination for Best Vocal Performance on ‘Chi Efo’.
Bliss. Thank you
You guys also featured mama (your mother, we assume) on the song ‘Obiageri’. What was it like working with her on this project and what did it mean to you?
Definitely so bliss. Meant a lot and for that the song is special to us.
One word to describe these guitarists: Femi Leye, Oluwagbamigbe Segun & Nsikak David?
The track ‘Beautiful Rain’ is a crowd favourite, what inspired this particular record and did you guys expect it to be one of the biggest songs on the album?
For “Beautiful Rain”, it was just cleansing. It sounds so truthful, the song came from the dream and it’s a song that’s very special to us. Just the need for cleaning from your source so we chose the rain for that particular one.
The record ‘Osondu’ please translate what this songs means to you. What was the inspiration behind it?
Osondu is a special song because it’s from a place of brokenness, you’re telling your source to keep guiding you in your journey because we all have our different journeys, you know… just in need of that assurance.
On ‘Welcome To The Cave’ the narrator says: “They will change Nigeria, Africa, the world.” What do you guys think is the future of the highlife genre locally and internationally? What do you hope to achieve with it?
That highlife will be more recognized and global than it has ever been and we plan to do that as well.
Are you guys currently working on new music, say maybe an album?
For sure. We’re always working on new music. The sophomore isn’t far away though .
Finally, Have you guys got any upcoming shows for those who will live to watch you perform live this December?
We have a major event on the 24th. Watch this space for more info.
We’re really honored you guys spent some time with us this evening. It was a lovely chat. Thank you! Go stream ‘WNKGK’ now everyone and stay cavy!
Stay cavy people! It was a really interesting chat.