London is a melting pot of frantic energy and multi-culturalism so perfectly represented in Mangoseed. Like the city they embody so well, the band bring together different backgrounds, both sonic and ethnic, for a rich texture covering Trinidadian, Jamaican, Australian, and Irish heritage.
The result is a fusion that plays in everything from the furthest reaches of global music through rock, ska, punk, funk, and jungle, all tied together by a relentlessly high-energy and danceable spirit.
This spirit is on full display on Mangoseed’s latest album, Dreamers, an 11–track journey that shifts through genres with an infectiously fun punk sensibility. The band pokes fun at the current social zeitgeist on the album’s lead single Alternative Facts. Using all the tools at their disposal, their message is scored by electronic samples, a dark and brooding bass, and soulful vocals in reggae stylings.
The wide variety in Mangoseed’s sound should come as no surprise given the band’s makeup. Fronted by Trinidadian Nicholai La Barrie, the band has second-generation Jamaican heritage Karlos Coleman on guitars/vocals, Australian/Trinidadian Richard Hardy on bass, and Sam Irish Campbell on drums.
Political commentary is a theme that runs deep throughout Nicholai’s body of work. In the wake of a year of racial unrest, the director found recent success in joint curating for the culture – Celebrations of Blackness, the Lyric Hammersmith theatre’s first festival celebrating black talent. His political work continues in Dreamers, an album that challenges our status quo.
‘Most of our lives are governed by some political decision that we had nothing to do with. It’s really important to say that aloud and ask questions, so we feel with and for people and bring them together. There is healing power in music. You can find bliss in everybody jumping, singing, and dancing together.’