It's been raining for days in Tallahassee. My back right tire is on a donut, I'm juggling a foggy head from that nap I shouldn't have taken and all the camera equipment I shouldn't have brought, and climbing too many stairs for this out-of-shape girl to the front door of song-writing duo, ChannelPyro.
Warm, and always calming energy, envelops me as I cross the threshold into their tiki hut-like apartment. Rob immediately greets me, although I'm still thinking about the interview notes I left back at my own apartment. I let it go. We'll have to wing this, and how hard could it be? I've been following these two around to shows, listening to their old, original music for years, even before I knew them personally. Hundreds of photos and videos of their performances sit in my Google Drive with nowhere to go, but the past is the past. Today, it's all about the new collaboration they’ve dropped together - AfroPyro: A Love Story.
Anala Tefnut, or Angelica as I call her, comes out of her room and sits on the couch with a poise that's both stoic and energetic. I know she's ready, always for a deep conversation. Rob, though, seems somewhat sluggish. Very understandable, since as soon as this album dropped, he's already moved onto working on another - his collective's, Cap 6. In fact, after the interview, Rob and I would head to the Stu, a.k.a. the Castle, meeting up with the rest of Cap 6, to continue recording tracks. This, all on top of the two jobs he works and the girlfriend who sits on his right.
Why aren't there any CAP 6 features on the mixtape?
Anala Tefnut: It never really crossed our minds, honestly. You're mentioning it now and I'm, like, oh - it never occurred to me to have them.
Rob Ohtis: Yeah, we were just feeding off of each other’s energy.
What brought the Afro Pyro album into the fruition?
AT: It wasn't really a concept, it was just music that we were making. After the first few songs, we have something here. *laughs*
So, what became the theme for the album after those first few songs?
AT: This album was about freeing yourself. Just having unity within yourself and your culture. It was really for the culture - I made a conscious decision to put out good music that is not only cool to listen to, but is also digestible. (check this quote.)
The mixtape got very political with the track "A Song For Passion." Can you explain the importance of that track?
RO: The Song for Passion was definitely a political song. It play a special a part in the album - it was totally left field from the other songs. We arranged it to be near the front of the album just so people would know - this isn't what you thought it was. It's a song for those who can't express themselves in a certain way. Like, I'm angry about racism and slavery, but it's not coming from a place of hatred. I'd rather express my anger through a song.
The mixtape is ChannelPyro's only project, but the two assure that there is more.
RO: We're definitely going to keep it going. We have plans.