Five minutes with Nahko & Medicine for the People

In preparation for their recent UK tour we caught up with Nahko and Medicine for the People frontman Nahko for a chat. Their debut record was released in 2015 and the tour was their first in the UK.

Hey Nahko
Aloha, Nahko here, reporting for duty.

How did the band come together?
Over the years everyone in the band has come together at different times and places. Each person has a unique story. For instance, our guitar player Chase picked me up hitch hiking in Hawaii. Classic. Or our drummer, Chittams, was the bartender at the local tavern in Hilo.

You released your latest album last year, how would you describe it?
It is a very personal look into my life, on one hand. On the other, it was a huge musical venture into something entirely new to me at the time: recording. There’s something in there for everyone. It’s a collection of prayers, mantras, and reminders to myself to push through to the other side.

What had you been listening to that influenced the new record?
Broken Social Scene, Bright Eyes, M.Ward, K’naan, Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade.

And how does your multi-ethnic background influence your sound and writing?
It’s everything. The road to self discovery starts with understanding your roots. The songs are a collection of my journey to learning about my heritage and family.

What about your outlook on life? Is your positivity an American trait?
Somewhere along the way I’ve been able to push through the negativity and find the good in things. That doesn’t go for everything all the time of course. And no, I’m pretty positive positivity is not an American trait. That’s a great question though.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve played live?
Memphis. That’s all I have to say about that.

And can you explain “real talk music”?
Music that speaks!

Are you excited for 2016, how do you see it playing out for you?
So much fun. More connecting. Higher vibes. A lot of singing. And dancing! We’re going to cover a lot of ground. There’s a lot of hands out there to join with.

We always like to check whether there’s a musical style you just don’t get?
Country. Like, American country. Not bluegrass, not Americana. Like, country country. What is that?

What’s the question we should have asked you today but haven’t?
What am I wearing. The answer is...not much.

Finally, how do you take your coffee?

Thanks so much for your time Nahko.

You can find all the info you want on the band at their website.

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