Dietmar Dombrowsky is a guitarist from Mauritius...
My music is all about sorting out feelings that are sometimes too complicated to voice clearly. My lyrics, therefore, are not always very direct. But I guess that leaves things open for interpretation and I believe that’s a good thing. My music reflects the musical influences that have I have been subjected to over the years. I grew up in Mauritius and my intial musical awakening was French Pop and Folk/Rock songs as well as local Sega music. The Pop sounds of a still swinging London and the power behind 60s folk songs from the USA, were also early influences. Later, with 7 years of Brazil behind me I had discovered that music can be so much more than a backdrop to life, it can, in fact, be what life is all about to many people. I have always been fascinated by rhythms that blend together to create something new, chord shapes and sequences that go a bit against the expected and words that go into more than one direction. Keatitude is for me a new territory since it is all about expressing myself as an individual but also creating a sound that I feel is uniquely held together by the three of us. Every song we work on is a discovery and it is absolutely fascinating what shapes and colours emerge by the end of a song forging process. It is a way of harking back to where I have come from as well as bringing together all the disparate influences that have accumulated in this somewhat worn and ragged travel-bag that my life seems to have become.
Narin Kiki is a singer with Syrian roots and experience in a-cappella music...
"Need You" is the first song I’ve written in my life. It arose almost before I realized I’d composed a song at all – actually while I was cycling and then driving back to Berlin from Dortmund. Before we founded Keatitude, I only had experience of singing in small choirs and a six-piece a-cappella group, although I’d already been looking for other ways of making music for quite some time. Dietmar and Stephen have encouraged me from the start to write my own songs. I needed a while to overcome my musical shyness, but soon I knew the three of us together provide a great environment for working out musical ideas, and one day I came to a rehearsal with ‘Need You’ in my head. For me it’s a minor miracle, when the three of us add guitar parts and harmonies to a melody and lyric that has been sitting in my mind and we make a ‘real’ song. I think that’s what I like most – that we deal so respectfully, fairly and openly with each other’s ideas, creating the Keatitude style very much together.
Stephen Laskey is a singer-songwriter from London...
Having the chance to play in a band whose members come not only from different musical and cultural backgrounds, but also in part from different generations, is pure pleasure. This is not to say bands whose members are from similar backgrounds and more or less the same age offer a less interesting experience, but having withdrawn from the band scene for more years than was good for me, returning to such a line-up as ours has been wonderfully refreshing. If anyone out there suffering from uniform band-member syndrome has landed on this page, I can only recommend the multiform option with an open heart.
I have loved writing songs all my life. There aren’t too many genres I haven’t tried out. The journey began, though, with folk-pop, and it will almost certainly end there. My songbirds are a melody that glues itself unforgettably to the soul, a rhythm that pumps the wild-blue heart and a lyric that ratchets up the open mind. Sophisticated harmonies can seduce as elegantly as ingenious rhymes can enchant, but songbirds enjoy even more mysterious criteria.
My hometown is London, but that was all a decent while ago now. My language is the global monster of English, the language the band sings in. Fabulous a language for songwriting as German may be, with its fertile rhythmic patterns and splendid rhymes, we sing in English so as to represent properly our own far-flung roots. There will probably be some Keatitude songs in German one day, but for now we softly say hold your breath and watch this space.
Influences spin from Mozart to Donovan, Don Giovanni to Mellow Yellow. We may not rap, but our rapport with verses and refrains sings its three-part message clearly enough. My own lyrics and poems tip their hat to an even older tradition, going back to Sir Thomas Wyatt, an almost forgotten figure from the English sixteenth century, to slogans on the bones, a skeletal volume of virtual sonnets to be seen between my guitar strings and my strumming hand.