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Parlour Q+A: THEESatisfaction on ‘awE naturalE’ LP and Sexuality

Ever played an album so much that realized you should probably find the artist behind your new theme songs? Enter THEESatisfaction. I’ve been listening to the alternative, jazz-y futuristic female duo for the last few months, and not just because Parlour buddy dream hampton directed their first video for their lead single, “QueenS.” Catherine “Cat” Harris White and Stasia “Stas” Irons, who met while attending Cornish College of the Arts and University of Washington in Seattle respectively, have created a perfect gem of piano melodies, synthy-funk and a horn that I can’t get out of my mind thanks to a sultry jam called “Sweat” with their debut album awE naturalE.

Parlour chatted with the dynamic duo about their sound, creative influences and what the hell afro-futurism is.

Parlour: How would you describe your sound to those unfamiliar?
Stas: Instead of labeling “R&B, electro Jazz”– it is that, but it’s not – our sound is feel-good, vibe music with high energy.

Do you do all of your own production?
Stas: Yes, we trade off. Kat lays something down on the piano and I put in the drum loops, it’s the best way we both feel the song.

What’s your creative process, does it come to you in dreams or spark something fun and then get busy?
Cat: We draw from our dreams and environment. It all depends on how we’re feeling but that doesn’t dictate how the song’s going to come out.

You’ve mentioned the concept of Afro-Futurism in interviews, what is it and how does it play a role in your music?
Stas: Black Americans being put in an ‘other’ category and not having a place of belonging by not feeling American or African. You alienate yourself and the sounds you come up with are coming from within and sound otherworldly.

Some of your lyrics reference dating women, are you ladies all-inclusive?
Stas: I don’t discriminate, neither does Cat but I don’t say that we’re bi-sexual. It sounds silly, we made a jokey song about that awhile back called “We’re Lovers.”

Because people assumed you two were dating?
Stas: Yeah, I won’t lie about [my sexuality], but it’s not anyone’s business. We say it in our songs and you can get it from there.

What inspired your group’s name?
Cat: We’re into getting what we want out of life. When we were in school, we thought about where we’d like to be. We wanted to satisfy ourselves and obtain the satisfaction so THEESatisfaction is a play on that.

Since you’re a duo, what are your six favorite songs?
Ab-Soul’s “Bohemian Grove”
Anita Baker’s “Caught Up In The Rapture”
Mariah Carey’s “Honey,” the Bad Boy remix but it’s just stuck in my head, which always happens!

Nicki Minaj’s “Beez In The Trap,” I listen to that every day and I especially appreciate 2 Chainz’s verse.
Danny Brown’s “I Will”
Young Jeezy’s “Thug Motivation 101,” but really the whole album.

Catch the ladies on tour at the dates below:

Monday, August 27, 2012 | The Mill, Iowa City IA
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 | 7th St Entry, Minneapolis MN
Saturday, September 1, 2012 | Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle WA | Fountain Lawn Stage @ 5PM
Sunday, September 2, 2012 | New Parish, Oakland CA
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 | Doug Fir Lounge, Portland OR
Thursday, October 18, 2012 | Hi Fi Bar (Melbourne), Melbourne Australia
Friday, October 19, 2012 | Goodgod Small Club, Sydney Australia

Check out THEESatisfaction’s debut clip, “QueenS,” below:

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