Sinkane is an artist with a real stake in our current cultural and political climate. Born in London to Sudanese parents, raised in Ohio, and now calling New York City home, Ahmed Gallab refines his sound and message to peak form on his new studio album, ‘Dépaysé’, set for release on May 31st, 2019 via City Slang.
“Sinkane is an American band comprised of people from all over the world,” says Gallab in his bio letter for ‘Dépaysé’, abbreviated below and available to read in full HERE. “Our collective experience as children of the diaspora helped bring the music to life in the most honest way possible.” He adds, “Dépaysé is the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era. The music is loud and raw, and it’s bursting with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever done before.”
‘Dépaysé’ — French for “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings” — is introduced today with a video for celebratory first single “Everybody,” directed by Bruno Ferreira. Filmed at Brazil’s world-renowned samba school in Rio de Janeiro, Escola de Samba Paraíso do Tuiuti, the new video stars its local performers and is a testimony to the power of passion and dancing to overcome repression.
Gallab says “Everybody” is “dedicated to the brave men, women and children fighting against oppression in places like Brazil, Sudan, and all over the world #تسقط_بس”
“This film is incredibly emotional and personal to me,” says director Ferreira of the “Everybody” video. “The people I met during filming taught me to smile and dance, even in the midst of a daily life oppressed and undignified by politics and those who consider themselves superior. They are tired of fighting, and yet they fight every day. They are the heroes of the film. They are the heroes of life.”
Ahmed Gallab on ‘Dépaysé’:
It’s easy to be angry in moments like now. And that’s OK. But it takes courage to turn that anger into productive energy. The previous Sinkane album, 2017’s Life and Livin’ It, was released at a very crazy time: things like the Muslim ban, police shooting unarmed people of colour, massive corruption in my native Sudan, fake news, Donald Trump, Brexit and so many other calamities all really forced me to think about my place in the world as a musician. I began to think about how I could use my music in a constructive way — not only to help myself but to help others who feel frustrated and powerless.
I’ve made a lot of music out of my life story but I’ve always kept things vague enough that anyone listening to my music could relate to it on their own terms. And yet I have to admit that I never truly felt satisfied with that. I eventually realized that, in order to truly connect with other people, I first needed to connect with myself on a deeper level than before.
Throughout the making of MY NEW ALBUM I kept asking myself the same question: “As an immigrant to America, where do I belong?” So, during the writing process, I worked mainly by myself so that I could ensure the most honest and personal answers to that question.
At some point, I discovered the French word dépaysé, which basically means “to be removed from one’s habitual surroundings.” By extension, it means to be disoriented, homeless. That’s a feeling I relate to very much in these times — and I’m not the only one who feels this way. That word gave me clarity and made the journey inward that much more exciting.
So here we are. Dépaysé is the story of an immigrant’s journey of self-discovery in the Trump era. The music is loud and raw, and it’s bursting with an energy unlike anything I’ve ever done before. The album starts with “Everybody,” an anthem of inclusion. Every day we wake up to another horror story about racism, and it’s left many of us angry, confused and frustrated. But we can change the news for the better. We can show people that a multicoloured world is a beautiful one. Celebrating our differences yields beauty in life. And that takes… everybody. On “Everyone” I continue that line of thought to its logical conclusion: love is the key to helping us understand one another.
I confront my insecurities with identity on songs like “Ya Sudan,” “Dépaysé” and “The Searching.” Truly understanding one’s duality means seeing beyond where you came from: let go of any definition that others put on you and then you can truly see the beauty of your life experience. This, along with the rest of Dépaysé, has given me peace. I’m no longer confused about the duality of my Sudanese and American identities. Now I accept it.
I want Sudanese kids to see a person like them as a positive role model in the arts. And to everyone, I want to make it clear that the world is a better place because of our differences. We’re all strangers in this ever-stranger land of America. We are all the American Dream.
‘Dépaysé’ is Sinkane’s seventh full-length and the follow-up to Sinkane’s acclaimed 2017 album ‘Life & Livin’ It’. The band features Gallab, Elenna Canlas (keys and vocals), Jonny Lam (guitar), Ish Montgomery (bass), and Chris St Hilaire (drums).
‘Dépaysé’ will be released on May 31st on City Slang. Pre-order links can be found here: https://www.sinkane.lnk.to/depayse
Sinkane European live dates:
June 04 Zurich, CH @ Mascotte
June 06 Amsterdam, NL @ Bitterzoet
June 07 Beverungen, DE @ Orange Blossom
June 08 London, UK @ Field Day
Sinkane North American dates:
June 12 Washington, DC @ U Street Music Hall
June 13 Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
June 14 Brooklyn, NY @ Elsewhere
June 15 Boston, MA @ Cafe 939
June 16 Burlington, VT @ ArtsRiot
June 18 Toronto, ON @ The Velvet Underground
June 19 Detroit, MI @ El Club
June 20 Columbus, OH @ The Basement
June 21 Chicago, IL @ Chop Shop
June 22 Minneapolis, MN @ Turf Club
June 25 Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
June 26 Portland, OR @ Doug Fir
June 28 San Francisco, CA @ The Independent
June 29 Los Angeles, CA @ Bootleg Theatre
3. On Being
5. Ya Sudan
7. Be Here Now
8. The Searching