An Interview With Mama Said
Updated: Sep 9, 2022
Let's get to know a little band called Mama Said, shall we? Yes, we shall. Why? That's easy. The band just released a killer single that gives off the feel of classic almost 80's pop action with tons of colorful energy and insanely catchy musical and vocal hooks left and right.
The single is dubbed "Itch" and is incredibly danceable, displays soul and heart, and is so quickly infectious it's nuts.
Let's start with the fact that the song boasts a blues pop rock feel and that doesn't at all exclude some outrageous guitar solos and a driving vibe the whole damn time.
The song shines with this attitude and style that you come to love almost straight away.
You get this fun rock approach but with all this almost retro-pop undertone and it all comes together so well that you find yourself shaking your ass in your seat without even knowing it.
It's at that point you say to yourself "hey, Mama Said is fun as hell" and proceed to look them up.
You won't be disappointed when you do this either.
But let's stick to "Itch" for now.
With such a crazy fun summer style single, we wanted to touch base with the band to find out where this came from and what may be next for them.
Here's what happened.
Buzz Slayers: Let's kick things off with "itch". This single has such a pop sound with a little retro underneath. Where did this track come from?
It came out of a writing session with our producer. We loved the tension of the retro Fender P-bass riff/distorted Les Paul guitar accents, over the more modern-sounding percussive elements. Latifa and Jen wanted to write about the chaos of modern life. Especially as moms. Between us we have 7 kids! There are so many competing forces vying for our attention that it's hard to catch a breath. Oftentimes our own dreams and needs are eclipsed. It can be hard to take care of oneself or "scratch those itches" so to speak. Making music for us is kind of a radical act of self care, lol. Anyway, there’s an element of discontent in the song, but it’s more playful with underlying optimism. Buzz Slayers: So how did all of this start for you guys?
We (Derek, Latifa & Jen) were in a cover band together and felt such chemistry and creative inspiration that a bunch of original music started coming to the surface. Eventually we left the cover band to write our own stuff. Then Covid hit and shut everything down, which was actually a perfect excuse to get in the studio and record an album. Latifa called her long ago friend, Jim McGorman, who she used to write with in LA. He since went on to play with and produce artists like Gwen Stefani, Poison, Avril Lavigne, Kenny Wayne Sheppard, Weezer and so many more. He was and is currently playing keyboard in the Goo Goo Dolls and their tour was cancelled so, lucky us, he was available. We took a lot of Covid tests and precautions and went to LA to record a 5 song EP first. But with no sign of live music returning, we decided to just keep going and ended up with a 10 song LP. Buzz Slayers: What inspires you guys to write a song?
We usually start with a guitar riff from Derek. Something that just sounds hooky and feels good. Latifa will throw a melody over it and Jen usually brings the lyric for some theme we’ve been talking about. We’re all great friends and Jen & Derek are married. We all have our lanes but it’s a group effort. Our producer partnered with us on songwriting for this album. We set the intention to make music we like. We figure if we like it other people will too. We all appreciate great hooks and it was important to us to tell stories about redemption, courage, togetherness, and love. Buzz Slayers: This track has some great styles! Can you all give us some of your top musical influences?
Our style lives at the intersection of some varied influences. Latifa is a Southern girl with blues rock and gospel/R&B roots. Derek loves bluesy rock guitar. Jen is a little more pop/rock with an affinity for punk and funk. Rock is the thread that weaves it all together. And Jen and Latifa come together through their love of harmony. Our voices have a special blend that’s truly satisfying. We knew instantly we wanted to sing together. It’s unusual to have two lead singers but it works for us. Buzz Slayers: What are you all doing when you're NOT working on music?
Latifa teaches music, singing and ukulele. Jen uses her voice as a voice actor for commercials, animation, games, and toys. Derek owns a coffee roastery. All of his roasts are named after the seminal amplifiers of the rock & roll era, Tweed, Full Stack, & Black Magick (referring to the Supro Jimmy Page recorded Led Zeppelin 1 on.) www.OhmCoffee.com Buzz Slayers: Who's in all your headphones right now?
Jen: Elle King, The Struts
Derek: Last Internationale, Greta Van Fleet
Latifa: Chris Stapleton, Jill Scott, Yebba, Larkin Poe Buzz Slayers: Are you guys doing any live performances right now?
Yeah! We just played a bunch of outdoor summer concerts around the Napa Valley in NorCal where we’re from, starting with The Blue Note Napa and Bottlerock music festival (headlined by Pink and Metallica.) We’ve got shows lined up in San Francisco and around the Bay Area. Now that music is back we hope to travel more in 2023. Buzz Slayers: This record feels like a big undertaking, is there any advice you'd give to other up and coming bands out there?
Get an awesome producer. Buzz Slayers: What can your fans expect from you guys in the near future?
We’ve still got half an album to release so stay tuned for more singles and video. Buzz Slayers: Before we go, what would you like to say to fans of the music?
Don’t stop making art and showing up for your life. It’s never too late. We’re gen X’ers and this is our first album. Also that Rock & Roll lives on. In the era of quantized, auto-tuned everything, there’s something refreshing about the organic sounds of human voices harmonizing, electric guitars riffing, and real instruments and musicians making music together. THANK YOU.