ART + CULTURE | MUSIC
Interview by Sandra Benbaruk
-2016 Fall/Winter Issue-
Harding’s style was born in Michigan and bred on the road, a restless
childhood spent singing gospel alongside and evangelizing mother then
cultivated in Atlanta, where he sang backup for CeeLo Green and befriended
the Black Lips (he plays with Cole Alexander in Night Sun).
SB: Hi Curtis , Thank you very much for granting us this interview . I discovered your music on Youtube and it resonated with my soul right away. Your sound is like undissolvable memories illuminated by an aura of nostalgia that grips an individual’s forbidden delights. Somehow alluding us towards an unknown feeling so familiar . Is music the ultimate soul power tool?
CH: Music is the way I express myself the best. For some it may take on another form of expression but as for me it is the audio form of my thoughts and feelings. A extension of the soul which is one source of power.
SB: Your music is superbly suited to achieve the expression of Love. How do you define its style?
CH: ‘Slop & Soul’ is what I call this particular project as I am a part of many. I used so many elements from genre and sounds. Slop by one definition means “To Spill” with just that one description it speaks volumes about how I felt while making this record. Of course SOUL is the foundation. I’d like to think I incorporated elements in my soul record and music that others don’t use which I consider to be the leftovers from other genres that I love. It also flows and is funky at times.
SB: Your first instrument ? How did you learn to play Guitar?
CH: My first was drums, I began playing them for church functions and such. I am a self taught guitar player. I’m still learning. I discover something new every time I play. I love it.
SB: Did the spiritual compositions of Gospel Music elevate your creativity? What have you learnt from it?
CH: Yes, of course. The GOD concept is one that has been before you and I and before countries before a lot of people, places, and things. To think of a all knowing all mighty creator is something that causes at least my self to want to create something as well. For me it’s music.
SB: When putting a song together, does it just shine through you or is it more a process of where you sit down with your guitar or … For your own musical kicks, where’s the best place to play?
CH: It happens it different places under all kinds of circumstances. There’s is no particular process. However I find to get the most done when I am in a actual recording facility.
Photo: Heidi Slimane
SB: Can the profound nature of music bridge the gap between people?
CH: Yes, I believe so.
SB: What are your best qualities towards others?
CH: People have to be open to receiving ones best qualities so I’d say Honesty and kindness when allowed.
SB: What does Freedom mean to you?
SB: What is one thing no one would ever guess about you?
CH: If they would never guess it, it is most likely private and I don’t want any one to know.
SB: What is one thing you would never dare to do?
CH: Bungee jumping. It doesn’t seem fun to me.
Photo: Heidi Slimane
SB: Favorite places in the world so far?
CH: Anywhere there are sandy beaches, mountains, hills, valleys, and wild life.
SB: What are the things that you would like to see change in this world?
CH: There are many things that I’d like to see change. Rather than speak about these things in interviews I much rather do my part in ways that I feel will have a much larger impact.
SB: I like to think of Fashion as an unexpected intrusions of beauty. Everything else is not Fashion but products. What is Fashion to you?
CH: I don’t know very much about fashion. I am more of a personal style guy.
SB: How did you meet Hedi Slimane and end up on a Saint Laurent ad?
CH: Hedi, was at one of the shows I played in California “Beach Goth” which is thrown by The Growlers every year. He after watching my set asked to meet and discuss taking photos. We met and I really like what he had to say and wanted to see his work as I did not know who he was. The next day he came by and shot some pics of me at The Growlers compound where I was staying at the time and it was a really good experience. His assistant contacted me after a couple months to come back to LA and participate in the musical collaboration done between musicians and YSL. I was excited and very happy to be apart of it. I’m blown away to this day about how it all unfolded. The rest is history.