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Love Letter To A Record: True VibeNation’s Gabriel Clouston On Fat Freddys Drop’s ‘Based On A True Story’

Written by Gabriel Clouston on March 11, 2020

Many of us can link a certain album to pivotal moments in our lives. Whether it’s the first record you bought with your own money, the chord you first learnt to play on guitar, the song that soundtracked your first kiss, the album that got you those awkward and painful pubescent years or the one that set off light bulbs in your brain and inspired you to take a big leap of faith into the unknown – music is often the catalyst for change in our lives and can even help shape who we become.

In this series, Music Feeds asks artists to reflect on their relationship with music and share with us stories about the effect music has had on their lives.

Gabriel Clouston, True VibeNation – Fat Freddys Drop, Based On A True Story (2005)

I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, so I thought I’d write down my thoughts. I know it’s been ages; I hope you’re still slaying it as you were last time we spoke! It’s been pretty hectic over here, but you know I’ll always step out of the rush for you!

Even though I haven’t seen you in ages you keep coming up in conversation. Clearly you keep good company. I couldn’t even list all the awesome people I’ve met and ended up being friends with after realising we had you as a mutual friend. A Dutch couple in a café in Rio, a British manager in a dive bar in Hamburg, an opponent in a DJ comp who eventually turned into a best mate… the list is too long. Few are as universally loved as you are, as you should be!

Remember all the nights when I was starting out and you come to the club with me and keep me company in the booth when I would DJ? Damn we had some times. But having you there with me made it. I have to thank you for that. I don’t think I’d be doing what I do if you hadn’t been there back then. You’d always be the one who started the dancefloor and once you did, it was on. From the first few beats of ‘Roady’, with you there in that 2-tone aqua marine jacket, skanking from the darkness to the light. Damn.

I still don’t know how you could be the life and soul of the party, but also the soothing lullaby that brought sleep at the end of a rough day. Always reminding me to “look up higher”. I won’t forget that! More relevant than ever with the amount of time we spend looking down at our phones these days.

I remember meeting you at my uncle’s house. Even from your first few chords of the piano dancing and hanging in the air I knew you were something special. Even before that trombone stepped in. But I could never have guessed what you would come to mean to me.

I know you’re busy winning awards (congratulations btw), but let’s make sure to hang again soon, next time we find ourselves on the same side of the earth.

After all — you’re the part of my memories that I never want to live without.

Following on from their critically praised single ‘No Way’, Afro-Australian group True Vibenation have today returned with their latest single ‘You Don’t Love Me (You Love My Guitar)’ ft. Sylent Nqo – written and produced by the group themselves, and mixed by Chris Arnott (Friendless).

Recorded in a DIY studio in Harare, Zimbabwe, ‘You Don’t Love Me (You Love My Guitar)’ showcases the trio’s distinctive afrobeat sound, mixing traditional Sungura music with modern inflections.

Listen below.

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