Hiatus Kaiyote: From the Grammys to Splore

By Amy Shanks

Hiatus Kaiyote will be performing at Splore.
Hiatus Kaiyote will be performing at Splore.

Aussie future soul band Hiatus Kaiyote head to Splore straight from the Grammys. We caught up with vocalist Nai Palm before the big day.

You were up for a Best R&B Performance Grammy this year thanks to Breathing Underwater from sophomore album Choose Your Weapon, the second nomination after 2013's Nakamarra how does it feel?

First time it happened with Nakamarra seemed like a fluke, but the second one, it's gratifying because it shows we are really capable of writing music.

The first time we worked with Q-Tip, this time it was just us. The best thing for me is I have some friends who are nominated this year so I will have a bit more of a crew.

The red carpet's cool, but it's all about the after parties that's where all the rock stars are. I wouldn't mind meeting Stevie Wonder, he was there last time.

How do you deal with meeting stars who you look up to professionally?

I just wing it, famous people are just people who are often isolated from human experiences because they can't have a normal reaction from others.

They value regular conversation, I met Pharrell on the red carpet last time and he was the most genuine, regular dude. It was chill, it was just like meeting a random person on the tram.

What's the story behind the band's name?

It was just hanging out in a beer garden and it just popped out, it has a lot of depth and meaning to it the more I experience it.

Hiatus as in a pause, Kaiyote is totally made up, but it's familiar, I don't know what it is. There's psychedelic associations, it's not really specific, like our music.

I think it's harder to try not to be original, it's harder to tailor to that market to try and make something popular - it goes against creative aspiration.

You have so many career highlights from performing on the Jimmy Kimmel Show to travelling the world, what stands out for you personally?

I love crowd participation - sometimes I get the crowd to sing something and that's really cool to see.

Sometimes people bring their kids to the show, when we were in Wellington this local brought an 8-year-old kid to soundcheck and she drew me a picture.

It's amazing how far our music has reached people around the world - when I hear people in Syria, who literally have tanks driving down the street, and our music gives them a sanctuary, it's amazing. To me that's more validation than anything.

• Hiatus Kaiyote play at Splore, on Friday night at 7pm

- TimeOut

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