Backstage Pass: Sofar Supergroup Hi-Lo Jack

Backstage Pass: Sofar Supergroup Hi-Lo Jack
Backstage PassAugust 20, 2018

Clyde Lawrence, Cody Fitzgerald and Dolapo Akinkugbe are no strangers to Sofar. They’ve all played Sofars over the years with their own bands – Clyde’s soul-pop group Lawrence, Cody’s indie rock band Stolen Jars and Dolapo’s rap project DAP The Contract. They’ve recently joined together to form Hi-Lo Jack, who just played their first Sofar united in NYC this summer. (Psst… it was also their second show as a group ever!)

We chat with Clyde, Dolapo and Cody about meeting at Brown, balancing the new project with their existing ones and what’s next.

If they could play a Sofar anywhere in the world, it’d be:
Clyde: It would be awesome to play in Nigeria, where Dolapo grew up. Lawrence played a show with him in London where he went to high school, and it was so cool after years of him playing so near to where I grew up in New York City to finally get to see him do his thing in front of something of a “hometown” crowd.

Cody: I would love to play in Japan. I had a layover in Tokyo a couple of years ago, and I got to stay there for a few days. I’ve wanted to go back ever since. Plus, I love the music scene there!

Dolapo: I would love to play a show in Brazil. I hear there are many people of Nigerian origin in the country and in Rio in particular who speak my native language (Yoruba), and I have always wanted to visit.

Favorite Sofar performance:

Clyde: For me, it’s got to be Yebba singing “My Mind.”
Cody: I’d go for Moses Sumney’s. He is unbelievable.
Dolapo: Nick Hakim - "Green Twins"

Artists they’re loving right now:

Clyde: PJ Morton, Bernhoft, Lianne La Havas
Cody: Hop Along, Jeff Rosenstock, CHAI
Dolapo: Tierra Whack, Buddy, Tobi Lou

Hi-Lo Jack performing at Sofar NYCHi-Lo Jack performing at Sofar NYC

How attending Brown University helped them form their music careers:
Brown was a great place for music because there were always tons of people around campus supporting and coming out to shows. Our three acts emerged on campus and gained popularity, but we occupied very different corners of the scene, often playing competing shows on the same night! We were all close friends and we had always admired each other’s work, so we eventually decided that it would be cool to team up.

Why they decided to form a supergroup outside of their regular projects:
When we were at Brown, we would always give advice or help out with each other’s projects, and it made us realize that even though our separate projects are so different, we’re all versatile enough to really understand other kinds of music. The opportunity to push each of us out of our own comfort zones was really exciting.

This project exists almost as a piece of our other ones, as kind of a natural outlet for our interest in making music together. I don’t think that interest will go away any time soon, so in the gaps between our own albums, we will always find some time to collaborate.

DAP The ContractDAP The Contract is one of the three artists forming supergroup Hi-Lo Jack

Why the music industry isn’t as clear as it once was:
I wonder where anyone really fits into music and art in 2018. At this point, there is so much blurring of genres that they barely exist, and at the same time there are so many intense niches, labels putting out exclusively math rock or whatever it might be. It’s hard to find your place. But hopefully this middle ground we have found between hip-hop, indie, and soul is a space of its own that people want to find themselves in.

On the difference between playing Sofar and a headline show:
Sofar is always such a great way to meet some new people and make some new fans. When you play headline shows, you’re often going to be playing to people who already know your music, or at least have some idea of what it is. When you play at a Sofar, everyone is certainly excited, but you have to earn their support by playing a great show, and when you do, it’s really satisfying.

What’s next for Hi-Lo Jack? Each of their bands have albums in the works, along with new Hi-Lo Jack music.

Connect with Hi-Lo Jack: Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

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