Sink, the anticipated follow up to Sudan Archives’ self-titled debut, continues to define the experimental R&B artist as a singular new voice. Her unique blend of ethereal R&B vocals, violin figures and hip-hop beats has already won over the likes of Pitchfork, the New York Times, The Guardian, NPR Music, and more. “‘Sink’ describes the way I want my music to make you feel,” she says, “It’s inspired by my love of fluidity, movement of jellyfish and water.”
Sudan Archives (Sudan for short) taught herself to play the violin in elementary school, mostly by ear. After discovering the violin playing style of both Northeast and West African fiddlers and musicians like Asim Gorashi, Ali Farka Touré and Juldeh Camarah, her eyes opened to new ways of incorporating this instrument into her sound. “The way they played the violin was different from classical music. I resonated with their style, and I was like, maybe I can blend it with electronic music.”
Fusing folk music and electronic production was the turning point for Sudan. “I started mixing my violin into beats,” she says, “I’d just sing straight into the iPad.” She’s refined her early DIY style to a setup that centres on a midi violin, and creates most of her songs, synths and bass lines from the violin synthesizer. She moved to Los Angeles to study music technology at age 19, and signed with Stones Throw in 2017.
Now 24 and just beginning her career, Sudan Archives is already winning fans around the world. After releasing her debut EP, she toured the US (both solo and with Tune-Yards) and Europe. Her recent performances at SXSW were described by NPR Music, Pitchfork, the Chicago Tribune and more as highlights of the week.
Sudan Archives will make her Coachella debut this April before bringing her electrifying live show to Japan. This summer she’ll also return to Europe to perform at Field Day, Best Kept Secret, RUSH Festival, and more.