What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Hi guys happy we’re really happy to be here, thank you.
Mensah: my dad got me into music when he bought me a guitar at 12 and taught me how to play. He also was a musician playing in various bands in the 70s. He was a massive influence in us starting a band and we still get together and jam to this day.
Kwame: I can't really remember the point music took over. Its always been a part of my life. Some of my earliest memories have a song attached to them. If I wasn't playing music I'd like to think I'd be playing football or maybe a stuntman.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Cudjoe: I Iike to skateboard. It’s a place I can really clear my head. There’s no rules to skateboarding, if you wanna learn something, you just gotta keep going. You fall off, hurt yourself, just get back on and same rules apply to guitar (without hurting yourself).
Kwame: I like to play football as much as I can. It's like playing music, you're not really thinking, just doing. Being in that state of flow. And you're keeping fit while having fun.
How long has your band been around?
This incarnation about 4yrs. Some of us were in a band called The Thirst.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music
Marcus: Most of us grew up in and around Brixton. Brixton has a global stamp you don't really see unless you zoom out or are looking outwards in. The brothers (Kwame and Mensah) grew up on Baytree road, the inspiration behind the band name, but for me Brixton has a frequency and a certain balance in the air that's quite grounding. Definitely changed over the years but the essence is still there. I know musicians from out town and overseas who are keen to relocate to the area or have already done so, simply for inspirational artistic reasons. Brixton is where we first picked up instruments, being inspired by our surroundings and upbringings. Where I was first told as a kid to run to the market and buy some plantain and yam. Lots of our music is about the things that happened to us growing up in South London.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Kwame: Baytree road is where Mensah and I grew up. So it was pretty easy coming up with the name. The name has so many good memories attached to it, some not so great aswell but you need both in life.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Marcus: Most memorable was probably the Sex Pistols. It was at Brixton academy, but looking out at that crowd it didn't feel like Brixton. You had skinheads giving you the finger, spitting at you and throwing shit. Once we started to play you slowly saw the fingers dissappear, bottles came hurtling in a little less frequent, people were actually dancing.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Mensah: 100 club was one of my favourite. It has so much history attached to it, such an iconic venue. Very intimate. Would love to play the Pyramid stage one day and look out at that Glasto sea of people.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Cudjoe: Jimi Hendrix, Prince, George Michael, Outkast, Larry Graham and Biggie.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Marcus: Put in your 10,000 hrs. When your mates are going out raving and drinking, if you're serious; put in that work!
And to my younger self, KEEP GOING.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Mensah: Buy some Bitcoin lol apart from that, nothing, just in case I fuck with the time space continuum.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Mensah: That's a hard question, but it would probably have to be 'Stitches.' The chorus in that song gets me everytime. Kwame and I lost our mother to cancer last year and everytime I hear that song it takes me right back to being a kid at home with the family.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Mensah: Really enjoy playing sundown live. It’s a song about racial injustice. It’s about highlighting racially motivated murders, it’s about Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, George Floyd and the thousands whose names we do not know. Ultimately the song is about change. I don’t just matter I want equality and nothing less. ‘Soon’ and ‘Call Me’ probably get requested the most.
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Cudjoe: The creative process can change from song to song. Sometimes someone may have a little riff or bass line and we all jump in where needed. Other times Mensah will come with the song basically ready to go.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Mensah: The message of oneness is very important to us. When people are united change can take place. But until that, the powers that be will never be held accountable.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Kwame: Of course, disagreements show that you care. We know each other so well that no matter what's been said we get over it pretty quickly.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Marcus: We've got shitloads of music waiting in the wings. It's literally release, release, release. Some live dates in the pipeline also so watch this space.
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