A premiere of the group's new music video, as well as a Q&A with member, Krisztian Buzas
Electronic duo, Peter Kedves and Krisztian Buzas, better known as Belau, have been making music together since they were ten years old.
And that remarkable history and chemistry can be heard in the group's uniquely organic sound. It is rare that you come across an electronic act that can trick the ear into forgetting about the synthesized sounds that go into it. But the song behind Belau's latest video does just that – the duo blends both ethereal and earthen sounds into a hypnotically relaxing soundscape that begs the listener to let go of her daily stresses and be whisked away to a calmer place of introspective bliss. And the video for their latest single, "Essence," which features Sophie Baker (of Zero7 fame) on vocals, captures this sonic transportation perfectly. Belau's Krisztian Buzas kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the "Essence" video, working with Baker, and Belau's origins (as well as their future destinations):
What is the story behind the name, Belau? How do you see it connecting to the group's sound?
Peter and I have been friends since we were 10. We grew up together and have always loved geography. We would browse world maps for hours. However, it took a long time for us to notice that minor country in the middle of the Pacific ocean, Palau. Aboriginal people, however, have a slightly different name for Palau: Belau. The word is indicative of pleasure, being by the sea, and looking within oneself. Just like the music of Belau. We were always driven by the intention of bringing people to another state – where they can redefine themselves and dive inside themselves to find a sense of serenity, which glows just like the sun on the waves of the ocean. However, we have to admit: we have never been to Palau, but want to go so badly.
The video for 'Essence' follows three solitary women who all drink from an apothecary jar of sorts. When they do, they are each doubled and tripled shown, then to be in the company of other versions of themselves, no longer alone in a sense. Can you speak a little bit to the vision behind the video, and how you see the themes connecting to the song (either on a lyrical or sonic level)?
Through the song, we were trying to capture individual milestones of existence – isolation to freedom, solitude to interaction. We were trying to inspire people to discover their lives outside of physical boundaries, by drinking the so-called 'Belau cocktail' when they suddenly start to see more sides of themselves ... things that they did not know before, experiences that they've always wanted to have, and emotions that they want to feel, even if they have never felt them before. The three girls represent the human, who seeks greater truth from within.
Sophie Baker is the guest vocalist on 'Essence'. What was it like to work with her? What was the writing and collaboration process like?
Sophie is a very down-to-earth woman who always welcomes you with a warm heart and a gentle smile. In the middle of the process, she told us that she has some Hungarian ancestors from the city of Esztergom (a wonderful town in northern Hungary). We met in London, where we were playing a symphonic set at St. Covent's Garden. It went very well. We even tried to create the basis of the rough vocal melodies and the lyrical theme for the instrumental [that night]. Afterwards, she sent us some demos, I wrote the lyrics for it, she flew to Budapest to record the song, and we had some great times together. I think it turned out pretty rad.
What can fans expect from Belau moving forward? Any albums in the works? Tours? More videos?
We are working on our second full-length, which will contain "Essence" and "Breath" [a 2018 single] as well, and try to go on with the job what we have already started with "The Odyssey." We are upgrading and improving (both live and in the studio). And yes, we will keep on the touring this summer. Our next big opportunity, for example, will be the Primavera in Barcelona, but we will try to impress the audience this year at Sziget [festival] and at Electric Castle as well. We have some big things coming soon! Get ready!
BELAU / ESSENCE ft. SOPHIE BARKER (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) www.youtube.com
MOBIfest, a wellness festival by and for Black gay men and queer communities of color, will stream on June 4th.
For the past few years, MOBIfest has provided a free celebration of wellness and pride for queer communities of color.
Every year, MOBI (Mobilizing Our Brothers Institute) offers a circuit of community care and artistic expression through a variety of initiatives, culminating in an annual Pride festival. This year's MOBIfest will happen virtually, but its spirit and mission promises to be as strong and important as ever.
Tender, Radiant Vocals and Scrumptious Savors
Black Wings is the latest album from Essence Goldman, aka essence. Today, Popdust premieres essence's music video for "1000 Pieces," from the album.
Shot one foggy afternoon in the Redwood Grove behind the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the song is "about a deep feeling between two people, a life-altering connection that for countless reasons cannot be pursued."
An award winning singer-songwriter, essence won the Grand Prize in the National Lilith Fair Talent Search, as well as the Great American Song Contest. She has toured nationally, opening for Jason Mraz, Tom Petty, Sarah McLachlan, Natalie Merchant, Chrissie Hynde, Steve Miller, Pat Benatar, and Linda Perry. She also released a children's album, A Dog Named Moo, named Album of The Year by Daily Candy.
In addition, essence is the lead singer of Bernie & The Believers, a band formed by Bernie Dalton, who was diagnosed with ALS at the age of 47. Wanting to maximize the time he had left, Bernie decided to record an album, leaving a musical legacy for his future grandchildren. essence started a Go Fund Me campaign that made the album a reality.
After making a video for one of the songs, "Unusual Boy," Bernie & The Believers submitted the video to Bob Boilen at NPR for the Tiny Desk video contest. Shot at Bernie's bedside in his nursing home, the video moved Bob Boilen so much that he featured the song and the story behind it on All Songs Considered, saying, "It is, at once, devastating and beautiful."
"1000 Pieces" opens with an acoustic guitar and surfacing colors from the organ, followed by essence's gorgeous tones. The melody fuses folk, pop, and rock-lite flavors into a tune suffused with nuances of glistening colors and tender harmonics.
essence's voice, affluently bedizened with smooth textures, ranges from soft and hushed to buff hues, high-pitched and crystalline.
The video, directed by Ethan Gold, depicts two lovers in surreal surroundings, hoary trees and oozing fog, as their ill-fated relationship plays out.
"1000 Pieces" coruscates with intimate energy, scrumptious vocals, and a gentle graceful intensity. It's a wonderfully alluring song, made so by essence's exquisitely lustrous voice.
Follow essence Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bernie & The Believers
Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.
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