Taraka Larson's exotic sound and dizzying cross-cultural mysticism
Published: December 1, 2011
While Prince Rama have loaded their aesthetic with rich, enthusiastic details, they’ve received some pointed criticisms based on who exactly is making this music. Larson is candid about and well aware of the complaints.
“A big misconception is that we’re these dumb, white hipster girls from Brooklyn who are totally imperializing Indian culture or just stealing from other cultures without really knowing what we’re doing – [just] trying to mesh the sounds together to create something cool,” Larson says. “I’m not interested in that at all. Personally, it’s coming from a much deeper place than just cultural borrowing.”
Evidence of this commitment comes from how sincerely Larson discusses Trust Now’s opener. After her grandmother died, Larson implored her to communicate with her from another plane. The resulting track, “Rest in Peace,” with lyrics filled with incomprehensible gibberish that the singer says are a vocal manifestation of spiritual energy, was inspired by that communication. The premise of the whole scenario is outlandish, but Larson speaks about her experiences with an earnestness that makes that bond seem real. If these guys are somehow faking this persona for record sales, it’s one hell of a hoax.
That sense of earnestness comes up again when Larson elaborates on Utopia. Prince Rama haven’t created the right sound for Utopia-creating purpose, she says, but they’re getting there. “That’s the whole drive of art: to do it until it’s perfect so you don’t have to do any more work.”
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