The Movement Fam are a Soul Hop band originally from Melbourne, Australia consisting of Notion, his older brother Cee and Bekah. Although they’re all extremely busy pursuing successful solo ventures and recovering from relocating to Toronto, Canada, they kindly agreed to complete an interview for Essential Pop. Read on to find out about their favourite gig in the Evelyn Hotel, how they create their catchy Soul Hop songs and what they’re hoping to achieve for the rest of 2011.
Q: If you could classify your music in a genre or number of genres what would it be?
Cee: We call our sound Soul Hop, which is a unique blend of Soul and Hip Hop. We are also inspired by various other genres like indie rock, electro, dubstep, house, hardcore and classical.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Cee: Soulful Hip Hop with an edge. Relentless with this effortless passion.
Q: What is your musical background?
Bekah: Soul and old school R&B -- ahhh Motown, loving it.
Cee: I was playing guitar at 9, rapping at 15, releasing music at 21. I grew up on Aussie rock, switched to Hip Hop and R&B in the early 90s, and expanded my horizons over the last decade. Now I feel just as at home in skinny jeans at a metal gig as I do faded at a Hip Hop show.
Notion: I have a little to no musical background lol. I played drums for a year at high school which taught me to keep a rhythm and read music, although those skills have faded a little haha. I also used to sing at high school in the choir until my balls dropped in year 9.
Q: How was 2010 for you?
Bekah: Awesome. 2010 was fantastic. We performed and gigged so much and we had a great following for each gig. Cee & Bekah pushed our third mixtape, the Soul Movement Originals Album and began the making of the EP. A very productive year.
Cee: 2010 was a huge year of change for us. We managed to move countries, all the while releasing our annual Valentine’s Day mixtape, Notion’s 9th Wonder tribute, the Cee & Bekah compilation album, do a bunch of shows, attend A3C in Atlanta and CMJ in New York, perform our first international show in Toronto and enjoy our first winter.
Notion: 2010 has been one of the most life-changing of my years on this planet thus far. The year was filled with the most ups and down, ecstatic excitement and crushing downs and hardships. Moving country, selling everything, getting settled and thriving in a new environment. Music Festivals as much as the ears can take including A3C and CMJ, making some of the most valuable and treasured connections and relationships with amazing new friends and family.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Bekah: There are so many to name but here is a few: India Arie, Alicia Keys, Whitney Houston and Joss Stone. Amazing artists.
Cee: Last time I was asked this I listed like 50 artists, so to keep it short, I really gravitate towards creative people who have a powerful message with a unique and soulful musical element. I also get a lot of inspiration from the things I’ve been through, the emotions I’m feeling, travel, relationships, politics…just life, I guess.
Notion: Lately, emcees such as J. Cole, Talib Kweli, Emilio Rojas, B.O.B., Royce and all the rest of Slaughterhouse, to cats like Cee-Lo, Melanie Fiona and Jazmine Sullivan. It’s the overall sound and feel that it bangs out that just gets the creative juices flowing. I’m talking about the beats, melodies and lyrics of all of the above.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
Bekah: Alicia Keys and Beyonce for sure. They are such powerful women and they make everything seem doable.
Cee: Probably the dudes I know personally who are making moves, growing all the time and creating a movement with their music, all the while handling the business-side. Though my biggest inspiration for the perfect blend of artistry and business is Jay-Z, of course.
Notion: Pretty much everyone listed above lol.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Bekah: If I could collaborate with the ladies who have and continue to inspire me (as above) then I would be the happiest woman on earth.
Cee: Kanye West, hands down.
Q: What songs are on your iPod at the moment?
Bekah: Bruno Mars, Craig David, Cee & Bekah I listen to pretty much everything.
Cee: Man I update my iPod every day, so as of right now, I actually just reloaded the songs that didn’t make the third Cee & Bekah mixtape, this amazing band from South Dakota called Showbaby that we discovered at SXSW, French reggae cats Dub Inc, Collie Buddz, Marsha Ambrosius, Frank Ocean and D-Sisive.
Notion: About 24,000 songs give or take. So a lot of genres! We’d be here all day… lol.
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
Bekah: I close my eyes and clear my mind and sing whatever comes to me -- melodically and lyrically. It’s never failed me…
Cee: I listen to the beat over and over until a thought, theme, lyric or melody pops into my head, and I just ride with it after that.
Notion: It can come from any which way, anything and everything really! Either starting with a lyric or line I’ve already written down prior (I have a list of thousands of lines and ideas I think of daily in my phone), or just thought of, it can stem and build from that. If I start with a beat it can start with hearing a melody, baseline or whatever in my head, or in a sample I may be skimming through purposely. I just follow the vibe when it grabs me! That’s the fun part, chasing that feeling and just goin’ IN!
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Bekah: They’re equally important to me. To have a hit song, you need the catchy melody and you definitely need the catchy lyrics to go with it.
Cee: I agree with Bekah. Both are just as important as each other to me. At the same time, I’ve heard some amazing melodies with garbage lyrics and yet it doesn’t bother me, and I’ve also heard some dope lyrics over a weak melody. Each to their own, really.
Notion: It’s a combination of both. But for the purpose of the question, I’d say the lyrics. It’s just how I fell in love with Hip Hop. The lyrics said more and painted more in my head than the melody did.
Q: Where are you based?
Cee: We’re from Melbourne, Australia but we’re now based outta Toronto, Canada. Love it out here.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Bekah: Melbourne is AMAZING. There is NO place like it. Australia is a beautiful country. Musically it’s great too -- but it’s more rock ‘n roll based but there definitely is some amazing talent coming from there.
Cee: I’m definitely proud to be from Melbourne. We rep it to the death. It’s big enough to show you how to handle yourself in almost any given city in the world, yet small enough to keep you down to earth (for lack of a better term). However, I really love living in a place where I wasn’t born, it definitely makes life more interesting.
Notion: Melbourne city is an amazing place in the world. I have been lucky enough to grow up there! It’s rather similar to Toronto with the good-natured people and city structure and layout. It’s a big part of why we moved here. Musically it’s a rock-oriented scene with a growing stronger every day Hip-Hop community. So much live music you will never get bored. If y’all haven’t been for a visit, holla at your travel agent!
Q: What are you currently working on?
Cee: A billion projects. We’re doing a FreEP with North Carolina producer S.T.T.R.E.S.S., we have a single with Krohme dropping soon, we’re working on Notion’s debut EP, Cee & Bekah’s double EP, a bunch of The Movement Fam mixtapes, my solo mixtape The Indie Experiment, and solo EPs. It’s hectic. Plus we’re capitalizing on all the networking we did at CMW and SXSW, so making those connects eventuate is a lot of hard work.
Notion: I am working on my first official album featuring production from the U.S.A.’s Remot, and myself. So check for that around summer. Also working on a mixtape for Cee, I’m always making beats for collaborations with various artists around the world and the crew. We are also looking at releasing the first in The Movement Fam Mixtape series really soon too. On top of that I am an engineer so I have a lot of good stuff to keep me busy!
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
Bekah: Being signed to a label in Miami. Also we have a publicist now which is awesome and will help our marketing and promotion across Canada and USA.
Cee: I think moving to Canada indefinitely is a huge thing for us. I don’t know anyone else who has made the sacrifice we have, and I truly believe it will pay off. And releasing The Soul Movement Originals album was a great moment for us; it’s technically a compilation but still is a solid snapshot of our sound thus far.
Notion: Personally handing 9th Wonder my “On The Corner Of Notion & 9th” Tribute Tape in Atlanta at their A3C Music Festival in October, 2010. Meeting Crooked I at the same festival and getting to chat to him for about 15 mins about our journey to North America, living in TDot, and how our music constantly drives us and he fully supported that. It was real. Collaborating on a song with one of my idols for my first album, and connecting with other highly respected and talented emcees and producers for the same album. I’m not naming names because I don’t want to ruin the surprise!!
Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?
Bekah: I want to be doing music full time. I want to quit my day job. I left my family and friends to make this happen so 2011 will be the year.
Cee: I want to perform as MUCH as possible in Canada and the USA, wrap both the Notion and Cee & Bekah EPs, rock at A3C and CMJ later this year, and start a real, solid buzz for the crew.
Notion: To continue to build networks and relationships as strong as we have in the past, travel the world and do shows/tours with other like-minded bands/groups/artists, keep my consistent beat game up, continue to build our social network presence and fans, collab with everyone and spread The Movement Fam love, message, and soul far and wide!
Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?
Notion: One that comes to mind straight away is a gig we did back home in Melbourne at The Evelyn Hotel in 2010. The crowd was insane, the biggest one we had played to so far. We were apart of a wicked line up with other funk/soul/hip hop bands and just rocked out all night. All of our close friends and fans were there to party with us, we played with a live drummer and enjoyed every minute of it. We recorded it and released it as a tribute to the best gig to date “The Movement Fam Presents: The Movement Fam LIVE @ The Evelyn” available for free via www.themovementfam.bandcamp.com. Not that that’s a plug or anything…
Q: What do you do to relax?
Bekah: I watch movies and hang out with my family and friends. They keep me sane and if I didn’t have their love and support I wouldn’t be here striving for what I love to do most.
Cee: Read, drink green tea, play guitar, listen to music, chill on the internet, and watch conspiracy doco’s.
Notion: I unwind by making beats, write songs, harmonies and the like. Eating home cooked meals that we’ve cooked, with the Fam. Listening to my favourite joints, and some new music, watching MMA bouts, socialise with my buddies a lot, blazing up and having a couple cold ones with them. It’s that simple lol.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?
Cee: We wanna thank everyone for the support thus far, and we want y’all to go download all the free mixtapes and album from our Bandcamp pages.
Notion: Notion, and The Movement Fam are a crew that doesn’t quit man. Check for our albums and all our other good stuff via themovementfam.com! We are “Relentless with this effortless passion…
Editor’s Note: The prolific Movement Fam have an incredible array of individual yet commercial Soul Pop. If ever you’re in or around Toronto you should definitely check out one of their gigs! We’re looking forward to the next album or EP with anticipation.
If you’d like to learn more about or contact The Movement Fam, just follow the links below:
twitter link: @TheMovementFam
facebook link: http://facebook.com/TheMovementFam
web page link: www.themovementfam.com
soundcloud link: http://soundcloud.com/themovementfam