Photo credit: Christine Samaroo

Hacha’s next album was mentored by Fernando Velez (co-founder of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings), and mixed by John Agnello (Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr.)

“Pop music is hard to emulate,” Hacha De Zola explains. “It is performed by super-talented folks, with such dynamic, acrobatic vocal abilities, that attempting to emulate it is a tightrope act fraught with peril. I cannot say that I am a fan of popular music for the most part, but I understand why it is popular.
“This is another reason why I find attempting these covers to be so difficult. I like to force myself to do something that is uncomfortable for me. In the past, I have covered Ariana GrandeBillie EilishLorde, and others. I would invite anyone to try to cover one of these songs!
“I actually connected with the lyrics. I found them quite sad and bittersweet, especially these days after suffering the deeply personal loss of my mother. When you suffer such a personal loss, one often feels very alone coping with the pain. So I actually found the overall mood of ‘As It Was,’ particularly the hook, to be quite on point with how I have been feeling lately.”

“With my previous album (2021’s East Of Eden), I was focused on trying to be something I never considered myself to be: A Singer.
“Previously, I wasn’t always quite focused on the ‘economy of songwriting,’ that is to say, concentrating on the ‘effectiveness’ of a song, as I would often go off on these rather self-indulgent musical tangents.
“With East Of Eden, I made it a focus to always keep the listener in mind and to put myself in their own shoes when considering songwriting/arrangements.
“For Without A Tribe, I’m doubling down on this approach — and taking it even further — while still borrowing heavily from R&B, Soul and Doo-Wop elements where the focus is on the vocals and overall vibe.
“To accomplish this, I reached out to Fernando Velez, a founding member of Sharon Jones & The Dap-KingsFernando’s deep knowledge of Soul music was vital in getting the vintage sounds we were going for. We were heavily inspired by the New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey vocal group styles from the 60s. We also incorporate Psychedelic, Spaghetti Western and even Mariachi flavours.

“Hopefully we have blended these familiar sounds in a way that feels new. To nail the vibe, we used an old school approach in producing this record, including asking legendary producer John Agnello (Sonic YouthDinosaur Jr.Kurt Vile) to mix Without A Tribe.
John refined and locked in the sound we were shooting for using vintage analogue gear. There was a lot of intent behind the creation of Without A Tribe and I’m excited to put this new record out into the world very soon.”