Choca Blues released their highly anticipated debut album ‘The Wind’ showcasing their unique blend of blues recently. Whilst intertwining diverse musical influences from the members’ multinational backgrounds, ‘The Wind’ is a beautiful journey through their genre-blurring sound. We chat Choca Blues about their incredible debut release…

Your debut album ‘The Wind’ has been eagerly anticipated! How does it feel to finally share this project with the world?

It’s an incredible feeling to finally share “The Wind” with the world. This album is the result of hours of dedication, work, passion, and collaboration. Seeing it resonate with listeners and such positive feedback is very rewarding. We’re thrilled that people are enjoying the music as much as we enjoyed creating it.

Could you describe the creative process behind ‘The Wind’? How did you fuse each of your eclectic influences and musical backgrounds into the sound?

Delta recollects that Carlos started playing this beautiful riff that was inspired by the work of African guitarist Daniel Kachamba. It wasn’t anything close to the blues but we felt very inspired to write a song on these chords.

Delta pulled the words out from somewhere, inspired by the Bible, and later on Whitney arranged it into its present form. The wind is older than just about anything here. Carlos believes it makes some wonderful suggestions for those who listen.

Delta Dina, your vocals are a standout feature on this album.Delta, how did you approach bringing your international experience into your performance?

Delta Dina: Thanks so much for that compliment, I appreciate it a lot. My approach to singing is to feel everything that I am singing. With singing, I process emotions, and I know other people do too when singing or hearing music. I’ve been influenced greatly by the people I’ve sung with over the last six years. Making music with people from all over the world has broadened my perspective, enriching my performance in ways that are hard to pinpoint but deeply felt. I call it living, being alive.

Carlos Funk, your guitar work on ‘The Wind’ adds a distinctive flavour to the band’s sound. Can you tell us about your approach to blending tradition with innovation in your playing?

Carlos: I started my music career as a solo player playing fingerstyle and slide guitar covers of the great pre-war blues masters like Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, and others. So I’ve got their techniques and styles well installed in my head. So I guess innovation comes with blending those influences with the desire to express our life experiences and some accumulated wisdom in our original tunes. New tunes need some different rhythms and harmonies, so we throw it all into the pot and stir it up.

Zach Bluestown, your harmonica adds a classic bluesy touch to the album. How do you see your instrument fitting into Choca Blues’ genre-blurring approach?

Thanks for the “classic” bit. I’ve been playing with Carlos every winter for almost a decade now and I never stop learning from his deep reverence for the Blues. There are for sure some Chicago-style cuts on this album in addition to a Sonny Terry nod on Tamp ‘em. What I really love though is how my funky Philly roots steeped in the rhythmic and melodic traditions of Latin America get to support Choca’s sonic tapestry on tracks like The Wind.

If you could create a playlist with three of your songs and three songs from your biggest influences, what would you pick?

Carlos Picks…

Our Tracks: Kabuki Dance, Dive In Deep, Two Trains Running

Other Artists: Ramble On – Led Zeppelin, Sugarbabe – The Youngbloods, Louie Louie – The Kingsmen

When you’re not making music, what do you love to do to unwind and stay inspired as a band? Any favourite hobbies or guilty pleasures?

Hiking in the mountains. Studying different styles of music. Shuckin’ and jivin’. Eating good meals. Reading books. Listening to each other’s favourite music.

Looking back at the making of this album, what’s been the most unexpected lesson or moment of inspiration that has stuck with you in the process? 

Carlos: Recording music makes me nervous. It’s like everything is under a magnifying glass. You don’t want to record your mistakes, but you don’t want to be stiff and unnatural. I really appreciated the support of the other band members, and realised that I’m only a part of this thing. That takes the pressure off and allows for the only progress that’s real, which is slow progress.

Delta: I loved the whole recording process, especially being in the studio with the whole band, recording the things we have been playing for a while. At the end playing around, adding the harmonies where needed, and putting in the extras, so much fun! I can’t wait to go and record the second album!

It sounds so fun. We can’t wait for the second album either! Thanks so much for talking to us, Choca Blues. 

Listen To Choca Blue on Spotify | Apple Music


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Lauren Webber

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