Okayafrica speaks with Alec Lomami, Well$ and Lucho about their postal service production project, THE BL∆CK HE∆RTS CLUB.
Kinshasa producer/rapper Alec Lomami is the self-dubbed "cultural bastard" behind one of our Top Music Videos and Releases of 2013. His cousin is nineteen-year-old Charlotte, North Carolina rapper Well$, who put out his latest mixtape, the fifteen-track MTSYD: The Revenge of the African Booty Scratcher back in May. Together, the cousins, along with Kansas City-based songwriter Lucho (from New Orleans indie band Youth Sounds), make up THE BL∆CK HE∆RTS CLUB, a postal service production project which Lomami and Lucho originally linked up on in 2003. With the addition of Well$, the group is gearing up to release their debut EP, Insomnia, in early 2015. Today they unveiled (via Consequence of Sound) the project's first single, "Girl Tell Me Something," a feel good, twinkly horn-driven introduction to Well$' speedy delivery, Lucho's wild falsetto harmonies and Lomami's Francophone wordgame. In the lead-up to the premiere, we took the opportunity to get to know the whole club...
Who are THE BL∆CK HE∆RTS CLUB?
Well$: Just a bunch of hopeless romantics trying to make timeless music.
Where did the project come together? Where would you say you're based?
Alec Lomami: I think it's fair to say that we are based on the internet.
Lucho: Honestly, Black Hearts Club is a product of circumstance and the Internet. With Alec in Cape Town, Well$ in Charlotte, and myself in Kansas City (by way of New Orleans), emails were and still are the primary means of communication for us. So I would have to agree with Alec on this one, we’re based on the Internet. Well that’s until we’re living in the same continent and state.
How would you describe your sound?
Lomami: hmmm... I can't think of anything pretentious enough haha what yall got?
Lucho: We’re still trying to figure that out ourselves. There are so many genres that influence us, so we’re pretty greedy in regards to incorporating those influences into different facets of each song.
Well$: Ha man it's defiantly funky, fun and infectious but definitely not cheesy..it's kinda hard to describe it we're still ironing out the kinks.
What is each member's role in the group?
Lucho: We really don’t have any defined roles in the group. I think we just do what we do and it comes naturally. Obviously there are certain standards we adhere to artistically, but there’s no hierarchy. I will say that Alec and I are perfectionist to the point of detriment at times, and I will be the first to admit to you that I am my own worst critic. But there’s a familiar rapport to our method, we know what to expect from one another and we drive each other to achieving our goals.
Lomami: I don't know man, I think I'm the red headed step child of the group, who wants to hear these French raps haha.
Well$: Haha..lol umm I bring the swag to the equation lol the youthfulness and the zeal of a 20yr old thug.
Have you collaborated with anyone else on the project?
Lomami: Nah, this is pretty much a collaborative project between the 3 of us.
Well$: This is a collab in itself - in my professional opinion lol
Lucho: It’s not because we’re unwilling to work outside of the group, it would just be an added hassle. I wouldn’t want to imagine working with another artist through one of our email threads. We already have a hard time keeping track of all the emails we send each other, so we’re keeping it simple.
What are your plans as a group? Individually?
Well$: As a group I think we all agree that we just wanna be the biggest sex symbols for this generation lol..individually I just wanna be remembered as one of the greats.
Lucho: As Black Hearts Club we want to continually challenge ourselves creatively while experimenting with our sound. We’re constantly fine-tuning our work, so we’re ready to put our music out into the world and see what sticks. We definitely want to hit the ground running and see where the journey takes us. Individually I can say with certainty that we all have a couple of solo projects up our sleeves. I’m working on wrapping up production on an EP with my full time band Youth Sounds, and I have some other producer/songwriting gigs lined up as well. So we’re all keeping ourselves pretty busy between projects.
Lomami: Sell 7 millions singles!!!! Make sure yall up on Lucho, one of the dopest producer you haven't heard, and get hip to Well$, I think he dropped one of the best project to come out this year, and look out for our debut EP, Insomnia.