The Gentle People
The Gentle People have a unique sound that blends ambient soundscapes with lounge influenced easy-listening melodies. While the‑American press has not caught on yet they do have quite a following in the UK. A little over a year ago, I met up with Dougee at the Vinyl Cafe in London. What started out as a simple question turned into a not only a correspondence, but a following of their music. I recently caught up with him while he was in New York, and here’s what he had to say about the groovy happenings of the Gentle People.
How were the Gentle People created?
The Gentle People was a meeting of minds so to speak. Originally the concept came from a communal home in London where 8 groovy friends of ours (Honeymink and Dougee included) lived and also threw parties. It was a kind of liberation for each of those who lived in the house as we were all creative souls trying to find our way in life. Honeymink and I wanted to pursue music and all worked collectively to make this dream a reality. Our graphic designer, Johnny Clayton wanted to design record sleeves. This became a reality for him as well. Nahila, our all around human dynabee was brilliant at hooking up creative people and she now is a successful agent in the music business in NY as well as a club promoter. Later on after we started holding Easy Listening parties in London, We met up with Valentine Carnelian and Laurie LeMans who were friends we met at clubs which our friends The Karminksy Experience were hosting. We all became friends and decided to make and demo and the rest is history.
Musically speaking, what is each Gentle Persons’ role?
Each Gentle Persons role is undefined. We all participate in the writing and conceptual ideas behind each song with the exception of some tracks being more personal to a specific member. If say Honeymink wants to pursue a track because it is relative to her experience, then she goes for it.
I’ve noticed the sound of the new single is going in a different direction, what are your plans for the new album?
We are basically finishing up our new LP and the sound is definitely getting more meaty and beaty. We have been experimenting a bit more and we are moving away from more ambient styles and working more with vocal song structures.
How did you get involved with Rephlex?
We got involved with Rephlex when Nahila (Orig. Gentle Person) gave our demo tape to Richard. She was good friends with him and we basically knew him from our clubs and parties which our mutual friends all attended.
For the past year it’s been quite difficult to find “Soundtracks for Living.” After a year, we finally found a couple copies here locally, and now you can readily buy it through WarpNet- what’s the deal with distribution here? Has it affected your success?
At the moment, we still have no US distribution for our LP. We have to rely on the UK and European importers to bring it over to the US. I am sure this has effected our success in America as we get quite alot of hits on our website from the States yet it is just a difficult CD to find. Hopefully some groovy label in the US will contact us soon as so far our contacts have been ultra flaky.
How did DMX Crew (Ed Upton) come to remixing “Journey” on the new “Groovin’ With You” single? Anyone else you’d like to remix your songs?
We basically know Ed and love his music so when Rephlex said they would like to put out the remix CD single, we asked him to do it. We would like to work with more house music producers like Todd Edwards or Kevin Yost.
Outside of the Gentle People being Gentle Folk, are there any other endeavors?
We are busy planning our new live show which is basically like watching and flicking through Cable TV. Commercials, music, game shows etc. Maybe even a bit of Soap opera drama.
Check out The Gentle People’s website, www.gentleworld.com.
Here you can find a discography, tour dates, and also a few of their favorite drink recipes.