Get To Know: Memba
From New York City, NY, USA
For Fans Of: Luca Lush, Mura Masa, What So Not
THREE TUNES: ‘Vexed,’ ‘Schools Out’, ‘Xilla!’
New York artists Ishaan Chaudhary and Will Curry are on a mission to bring fusion and individuality to their corner of dance music. The unlikely duo met by kismet in the forests of India. “We were at an archaeological dig. It was pouring rain and we were digging,” the pair tell DJ Mag, writing together via email. “Our shovels touched and that was it.”
From that point forward they have endeavored to fuse divergent styles and world rhythms. Curry formerly played in a Zimbabwean-style marimba band, and Chaudhary has always been inspired by the rhythms of Bollywood and Sufi music. Their goal is simple: to combine diverse elements in unexpected ways. From their perspective, globalization has created fragmented ethnically diverse communities begging to be brought together through music. “We want our shows to be a place to remedy the loss of connection in modern society — a place for everyone to share a moment of presence and hear a melting pot of sounds,” they say.
Over the past twelve months the duo has taken off, earning bookings at keystone festivals like Ultra and Coachella. “It wasn’t that long ago when we were in the crowd at these festivals, and it’s a surreal experience to finally play them,” they share. “We are so motivated to make the best stuff we can. Having a way to express ourselves is a blessing and we are grateful for our listeners who make that possible.”
Last year, the duo harnessed their creative energy to launch ‘SAGA-I’, a concept EP centered around an imagined planet, populated by primal beings who give in to their vices in an effort to aggressively chase happiness. “It’s a place where no one ever lost that childhood wonder we are all born with. It’s a utopia of sorts,” they explain.
Getting lost in their imaginative world is easy; concepts are fluid and constantly morphing as their sonic exploration goes beyond melodies and hooks. For MEMBA, music is a fully multi-sensory experience meant to stimulate the senses and reflect their state of mind. Most recently, the duo released ‘Schools Out’, the first single from this year’s ‘SAGA-II’, and a benchmark in their musical evolution. “‘Schools Out’ explores the feeling of childhood, that wide-eyed curiosity and desire for play that slowly gets worn out of us by life,” they tell us. “It’s a really personal one.”
The track’s video was shot in India and, remaining authentic to Chaudhary’s Indian upbringing, features local Delhi children. It is the duo’s first release on Foreign Family, the ODESZA-founded musical collective — an achievement they don’t take lightly. “It’s an absolute honor. It’s rare to find people that genuinely want the best for you,” they say. “They indulge our crazy ideas, and we feel it’s really helped us get our vision across.”
Taking their vision on the road, MEMBA aim to write at least one new track for every show while previewing ‘SAGA-II’ and beyond. Whether they are hitting Electric Forest or Bonnaroo, every set promises to be a unique experience. As for the future, they have big plans, and bigger dreams: “We are dying to write with MIA, Flume or Vince Staples. We can’t say much about our future, but it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”
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