Interview: Napalma

The Berlin-based afro-brazilian duo Napalma have made big steps forward in recent years, and now make a welcomed return to their own Lona Musik imprint for the fourth time.

Releasing their new 2-track offering ‘Gëstou’, which features an excellent top line from Senegal’s Abass Ndiaye, as well as an instrumental edit, the pair make waves in the afro house space.

We spoke to them about the new release, how they came to work with Abass, and whether or not we’ll see remixes of the track in the near future. Get the full discussion with Napalma below.

Hi guys, how are things in the life of Napalma right now?

There are quite a few things going on, the music video ‘URBAN ART Tribute’ got ‘Best Music Video’ at SIFF – Swedish International Film Festival and was selected for festivals in New York, Los Angeles, Canada, and Paris. And our new single ‘Gestou’ is coming out on June 24th, we are also performing at Domoon in Ibiza for the single’s release.

You’re about to return to Lona Musik for the release of your new ‘Gëstou’ EP, what’s the inspiration behind the original version here?

The collaboration between Napalma and Senegalese singer Abass Ndiaye has produced an exciting chemistry of music. ‘Gëstou’ means ‘To Learn’ in Wolof, it has an uplifting energy for the dance floor, powerful and captivating electronic arrangements, synths blending with percussive Afro-Brazilian grooves, and inspiring vocal melodies from West Africa.

And it also includes an instrumental edit, why did you want to include that and how does it differ from the original?

Having the instrumental mix is positive to reach DJs, and specially in Napalma’s case, constantly doing collaborations with different singers, the instrumental carries our character.

You collaborate with Senegal’s Abass Ndiaye for the track, how did you come to work together?

We met in Berlin in 2019, through a mutual friend, and it was really nice to work with Abass Ndiaye, a powerful and charismatic singer. We composed and recorded seven songs, and performed some concerts together, including a trip to the Amazon Forest in Colombia, to perform at Salva Tu Selva Festival.

Your previous releases for the label have seen remixes from names like Luna City Express and Marc Brauner, will ‘Gëstou’ be getting any remixes?

Napalma had fifteen remixes for the latest three releases, by producers from Australia, Brazil, Egypt, France, Germany, Togo, and South Africa. It is amazing to receive different versions of our songs, i love it! Unfortunately no remixes for ‘Gëstou’, but Pedra Branca is remixing the single after ‘Gëstou’.

Will you be releasing music with any other labels in the near future?

I am very open to work with different labels.

Napalma ft. Abass Ndiaye – Gëstou is out June 24th on Lona Musik.