Dec 03, 2013 2:32PM

Exclusive Interview: The Trp x Michael Tousana

Plus see their 'Leon de Yahuda' video and hear an album teaser.

The Trp (pronounced The Trip) is anonymous. They don't show band members' faces or mention names. The trio, whose sounds could be described as lying somewhere between garage, exotic hip hop and post-electro, are keen on moving away from the 'me' culture pervading music — preferring fans to connect directly to the sounds and the ideas behind them. On the cusp of releasing YAHUDA, an impressively diverse collaborative concept album with artist Michael Tousana, they've just released the video to the first single 'Leon de Yahuda'. We caught up with Michael Tousana and one of The Trp's mystery figures to learn more about the project.

Jerico Mandybur: Can you tell us what you guys mean by YAHUDA being a 'collaborative concept' album?
Michael: YAHUDA is a collaboration between The Trp & artist Michael Tousana — it's a concept album following a journey of emotions.
Did you have a specific sound or 'vision' in mind for the album?
The Trp: Michael's sound is grittier and rougher. The Trp is cleaner and smoother. YAHUDA is at the crossroads of this. With dirty moments, moments of softness and everything in between. Each song in YAHUDA explores a different emotion/feeling, which evolves throughout the journey of the album. For example 'Leon de Yahuda' captures courage & strength. '26' is about letting go of ego. We believe that our generation (and the world) is becoming more enlightened, open and connected. The internet has influenced this a lot. And we wanted to make a 'soundtrack' that reflects this evolution.
What did the songwriting process look like?
The Trp: We started out by choosing the emotions/feelings to explore in the songs, then wrote the songs from that place. We aimed to channel the specific feeling into the story, lyrical vocabulary, production and vocals.
What was the concept behind your latest video?
Michael: 'Leon de Yahuda' is a song about wisdom and courage. The video concept is black and white. The concept was creating with the bare minimum. I just like creating, dancing and fucking shit up.
Why the name YAHUDA?
Michael: YAHUDA represents inner strength.
Do you have a favourite lyric from the album?
The Trp: "I'm a rider. Surfing your orbit. Moments are entangled with joy. When we're closest."
Michael: "I never had a question was it right for me. I was just trying to live my life so righteously."
Who or what influenced the album, if anything?
Both: The Tao Te Ching. N*E*R*D. MIA. Mount Kimbie. Jazz. Space. Wes Anderson. Punk. Quentin Tarantino. Haile Selassie.
When is it coming out?
Both: Late December.
Listen to the YAHUDA album teaser below:
Photos: Anthony Blue Jr