Yesterday LargeUp premiered the newest release from De Tropix–one of my personal favorite groups, ever. The Skyward EP is something of a comeback project for the group, who first made a splash about 5 years ago, partly off the hype Tropix vocalist and musical dynamo Cherry B had generated as M.I.A.‘s dancer/choreographer/backup singer/muse–a major influence, in fact, on what became Maya Arulpragasam’s unique sound. But after a series of brilliant one-offs created with MC and producer Damon “Instinct” Bowen, De Tropix went quiet. In an exclusive interview published today, LargeUp editor Jesse Serwer gets the story of the duo’s breakup–and the make-up which resulted in the more sophisticated sound of The Skyward EP. Get a taste below, then hit the links to stream the new EP and read the full interview.
LargeUp: You took a several years’ hiatus from this project-how come? What were some of the things you were doing in the meantime?
Damon Bowen: We never intended to have such a long break, but there was a lot going on. I became a dad, Cherry was building her house in the Caribbean and touring with M.I.A. Me and Cherry didn’t speak for over a year and, at one point, I was ready to find a replacement or scrap the project altogether, but after a long talk and an airing of views, we managed to stay friends and get back to the music. In fact, I think we’re stronger now than we ever have been. n that two years, Cherry was doing some shows with M.I.A and even managed to record the hook for her single “XXXO” and “Teqkilla,” which was a great look for her. I started a record label, A2B Records, with a business partner, putting out music we liked and thought people needed to be aware of. I also had a single out called “Lingerie” [and recorded] with Alabama3 frontman Larry Love on a project which will hopefully be coming out soon, started working on some development projects, the first being a female vocalist and songwriter called Jodie Deanna. I’ve also put out a few underground African house mixtapes. I’m loving the vibe of that stuff right now.