Q&A: Have You Met.. Vadé


Since being crowned the winners of Sky 1’s Sing: Ultimate A cappella in 2017 and being named ‘Best A Cappella Group in the UK’, Vadé have gone from strength to strength, scooping the 2018 A Cappella Award for Best Quintet along the way.

Made up of Jermaine Sanderson, Philip Yeboah, Roy Crisp, Joseph ‘Kojo’ Anti and Joshua Hammersley Jr. Aka JJ, the band is distinguished by their close harmonies, eclectic taste in music, imaginative R&B/Jazz arrangements and beatboxing, Vadé produce covers of songs across a range of genres, medleys and original material, showcasing their vocal dexterity. Phillip formed the group in 2013 with a vision to create a fresh new sound to A cappella music not only in the UK, but the rest of the world.

Now, having already kicked off 2019 with the release of ‘Be Mine’, the group were very kind to take some time out to join our Q&A session. As ever we endeveour to speak with exciting passionate musicians, who take pride in their craft. Have a read Q&A below:

So, when and how did you guys meet?

6 years ago, it started with Phil and JJ wanting to start an a cappella group, and as we are all from a church background, they scouted churches around the country for 3 more members… now here we are!

What were you guys doing before you met, are you from musical backgrounds, or is it a completely different career change?

We have all been involved in music one way or another since at a young age but never as a career, so yes, a totally different change to before. Some of us were at uni, and some worked in care.

What lessons have you learnt, (if any) from your last project to your forthcoming EP later this year?

I think one of the hardest things with had to learn in music is patience. Patience with the process, understanding that it is going to be a long and difficult road. We’ve found that the more time you spend on perfecting your work the better the outcome will be.

Where do you gain influence for your music?

Our influence of music is crazy.  You’ll obviously hear Boyz II Men and Take 6 in the mix, but we listen to everything; MJ, Usher, Haim, Charlie Puth, Eric Clapton, Earth Wind and Fire, the list is endless. I think it’s important to have an open mind as a musician, there is always something you can learn or be inspired by from other genres.

With five guys in the group, is it sometimes difficult to blend your influences into your music, or is it easy to work together?

Well usually we’re all on the same page, but because we can have slightly personal different tastes, we’re bound to have some differences, but we always find some common ground to get the best sound out.

How does your song writing process work within your group, will you write together or, is one or few involved in the song writing?

Roy and Jermaine write mostly, and it varies how they write, whether they come up with melodies first or lyrics, it really depends on the mood at the time.

You are still independent, how important is that to you?

I think it’s great to be independent at the moment, as it can be hard to find a label who gets you and also gives you creative freedom. Especially with backing from a major label no longer being a prerequisite to an artist’s success.

How in tune are you to your surroundings, socially and politically on a wider scale, and does that impact your music?

Yeah, we’re very in tune to what’s going on. I think although we are a niche, we try to stay as current as we can no matter what’s going on. What happens on a wider scale could affect our music, but we try not to jump on the bandwagon of hype as it were, or when something major happens… Well, not straight away anyway.

Which top three artists are you listening to at the moment, and what do you like about them?

We’re listening to Jorja Smith, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran. We admire their work rate to get where they are now, and it’s important to support UK artists, we’re only a small place!

What would success feel like to you?

Success would feel like 5 Grammys, our name in lights, and our family set up and proud of us.

If you haven’t already check out the video to their latest single ‘Be Mine’:

Author: Kofi Yeboah

I'm a Music & Culture Journalist, and DJ from London. I worked in radio, events promotions, and content production. .

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