Joined together just six years ago band And The Animal consists of singer Eilanne Nascimento, A.Z. (drums,programming, midi noises, sampling) and Brian Gadomski (synths, pianos, trumpet) They dropped their first EP One in 2017, and have now released their new EP Zinko, which you can stream below. The band’s sound varies from anything like Hip Hop, House, dance to more ethereal soundscapes. One thing is for certain, each release has a groovy and electronic hook to it.
We find out more about the band in this exclusive.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
Elianne: My earliest entry into music appreciation started when I was a child learning English after moving to the U.S. from Brazil when I was about 6 or 7 years old if memory serves me correctly. I wasn’t in grammar school when we first arrived, so I started singing to get acclimated to the language. I didn’t have a clue what I was saying as I was singing but Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion took over my life as a kid. My dad, who also sings, discovered I could sing so he had me sing in the church where he was a head pastor at the time. He also took my older sister and I to our first concert as kids. Since then, I have thrown myself into music and been performing non-stop.
Brian: Growing up in Presbyterian church, music was all around me. My mom did music with the youth in addition to singing in the choir. Before I knew it, I was playing in the praise band, singing in the adult choir, and even working the soundboard.
A.Z.: Very simple. I started playing drums at 8 years old and two years later my dad took me to a Pink Floyd concert. They blew my mind. That was it. I knew music was what I wanted to do.
Please tell us more about how your latest song/release/project was conceived.
Elianne: Our new EP ‘Zinko’ was well underway when I joined And The Animal back in May. The instrumentation is this crazy amalgamation of sound full of endless ear candy, and I really wanted to find a way to ground it and make it digestible for our audience. I felt that keeping the lyrics simple and the melodies in a tight pocket were the best way to bring it all together. It was a cool challenge but I definitely think we achieved that.
A.Z.: Brian and I had been working on this release since last year. We wanted to do something a little different than our previous albums. Being from Chicago, we wanted more of the city’s trademark house sound. We were just missing a piece in the puzzle. That was Elianne. She brought the powerful and groovy vocals the songs were screaming for to complete ZINKO.
Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?
Elianne: I don’t think I have a particular songwriting process. A lot of what comes out of my writing is grounded in how instrumentation makes me feel; or rather how I would like it to feel and then I go from there. If I am writing a song without instrumentation presented first, I’m usually getting something off my chest when I write. If I like the music, it’s easy for me to come up with melodic word stories for it.
A.Z. usually starts with something catchy on drums, beats and synths. From there we try and orchestrate it with different pianos, guitars, even horns, and drop a bass line in to add that last rhythmic touch. Then it is in the hands of our vocalist Elianne. She adds her magic and then we rearrange based on what she writes if needed. Every song is different. Some just come up naturally and quickly. Some others give us a little more work. We also collaborate with other musicians internationally who help us add different touches if need be.
How much do you invest in how your music is received upon release? Are you very concerned about how your art is received?
Elianne: We are not terribly concerned with how our music within any avenue is received – truly. We honestly only care if we like it. Some people will love what we have to give and others will absolutely hate it, and that’s totally cool. I personally like and, frankly, pursue artistic conflict; it means I’m challenging people which makes me feel like I’m doing something right as a creator.
A.Z.: We are artists, we are emotionally attached to what we do but Elianne said it right. We concern ourselves with writing pieces we like. It is important for us that we have a passion for what we perform because that energy is what our audience will receive from our music/shows. I think audiences liking/loving/hating what we do, will be a reflection of what we give out as artists.
What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?
Elianne: The most memorable response I had to my music recently was from my neighbour. I hosted a listening party in my apartment and in the middle of a chat she said to me, “I keep forgetting that this is you singing. I can’t believe I know you!” Also, the fact that 2 of our singles on our newest EP breached 10,000 streams is absolutely insane to me. I’ve had many other memorable music experiences that encouraged me. I opened for Biz Markie at House of Blues with Run Forrest Run and he pulled me aside and simply said, “You’re f***ing dope”. When it comes to performing it’s no longer about me, it’s entirely about the people who come to a stage to rediscover joy in their lives. Without them, I can’t do what I do.
Brian: We have heard it all. That our music is cinematic, great to dance, relax, for an action movie or video game, etc. Some people listen to it on expensive sound systems and some in bad phone speakers. In general, the response has been extremely positive. We have been told our music is not electronic, but electronic; whatever that means. But the best response has been after our last show, a promoter came up to us and said, “Your show is trippy, very pro and I think I need mushrooms to watch it. You should be playing in bigger venues”. Hopefully soon.
Are there any key non-musical influences on your sound and creative process?
Elianne: I think life experience. It influences anyone’s artistic process. Sometimes I write or cover a song because I need to get some negative feelings out, or because I’m happy about something, or because I want to alter my mood, or I long for something, or I’m singing for someone I love, or I’ve had a revelation of some sort. All kinds of things influence me subconsciously all the time.
A.Z: I second Elianne. Life definitely. I travel a lot, been to 60 countries and each experience brings something different to my music. Not to mention that And The Animal started in cold winter wonderland Norway back in 2014. Our first two EP’s are very Scandinavian feeling.
Brian: What they said.
Do you have any information regarding upcoming releases, projects, DJ mixes or collaborations in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Elianne: We have an instrumental album coming out soon plus two new singles in the works right now, which is exciting. Both songs have such powerful messages that I am writing lyrically with the deepest of intentions, and I am doing my best to make them both meaningful. We have also been making live videos pretty consistently. In addition, we are pursuing the avenue of virtual concerts which we believe is going to be great for us. You can check out all the music videos on our Youtube channel, website and social media platforms. In terms of live shows, well, you know, COVID made sure there were no concerts in 2020.
Famous last words?
I guess we won’t have any last words until we die.
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