NAMag: Can you tell me a bit about how you got into this kind of music and how you continue to learn more about it?
Jason Urick: It's tough to pinpoint and I'm not sure that it's even really proper to say "this kind of music". For better or worse music all sort of blurs together for me. Youtube has lead me to tons of music that I wouldn't have had access to for sure... with more an more of the populations of African countries and Middle Eastern countries having access to computers there has certainly been an influx of home produced music and availibility of it outside of the original region, which is super exciting.
NAMag: Autotune: is it evil?
Jason Urick: Heck no. It can be used for bad but so can guitars.
NAMag: A lot of these videos are as complex as they are lo-fi, any thoughts on what purpose these videos have and why they were made?
Jason Urick: It's different for each region, or really each video. Much of the Nepalese, Nigerian(Hausa region) and Indian videos are from movies, most of the Malinese stuff I find is from TV there, otherwise I believe it's the same reason bands make videos over here, promotion. The lo-fi-ness of many of these videos add another layer to me in a way, much like an old blues record with tons of surface noise often sounds better to me than a remastered version. I suppose it's a somewhat romantic notion but I can't deny it.
NAMag: With so many mainstream artists (Lady Gaga, MIA, etc) showing an openness to this style of (ok, I'll say it) "world music" (barf) how do you think it conversely effects these musicians?
Jason Urick: It's always been that way I suppose. Not just within "world music". Mega-stars are rarely going to be true innovators, whether it's MIA using Baile Funk beats or the Rolling Stones stealing blues riffs.
NAMag: How does Sociology fit into your personal world? Do you feel like an youtube-generation Alan Lomax?
Jason Urick: Ha, a friend once made that exact joke towards me, but no.... I think that there are people much better suited for the true research on this stuff. The sociology does interest me but in general I'm usually moving on trying to find the next jam rather than spending a month trying to find more about the origins of the song or style of music.
Questions by Network Awesome writers and editors. We're a lot of fun - you can find us at apocalypse-themed parties, museums of science and industry, and snarky media-obsessed websites.