Feli and the LemonShakers, comprised of Felicia Soumah, Carlos Fornié, and Anwar Glenn, is a Los Angeles-based band that has recently released their first EP – Naïve! They have been busy recording demos, playing festivals, writing songs, and living life to the fullest for the last two years so releasing their EP is a huge step as a band for them. With members from Sweden, Chile, Spain, Ethiopia, and the United States, their world influences are ever present in this upbeat, tropical-indie record.
With a wealth of percussion, rhythmic dance beats, and a sunny care-free feel, this band will get you on your feet and out on the dance floor!
Naïve contains four songs: Blood in My Veins, Go to Bed, Naïve, Double Time and can be found on Soundcloud, Spotify, iTunes, and on WorldArts! You can also find out more about the band on their Facebook.
Don’t miss them at their upcoming show this weekend: June 11, 2016: Make Music Pasadena at 6:45 PM.
Feli and the LemonShakers and WorldArts: Feli and the LemonShakers applied for a WorldArts opportunity to perform at Rusty’s Surf Ranch in Santa Monica. Their unique sound caught our attention and we chose them as the opportunity winner. About a month later we invited the band to record a live-performance music video on the WorldArts Stage which will be released the week of June 13th!
In light of the release of Naïve, Feli and the LemonShakers stopped by the WorldArts Studio for an interview!
How and when did Feli and the LemonShakers get started?
Feli: That was around two years ago.
Anwar: Yeah, I was gonna say 2014, early 2014 yeah. We actually started out – what was it – we had a few cover gigs together and jammed together a little bit and we just kind of felt each other out and it worked well. That’s kind of the beginning of the whole thing.
Feli: Yeah I came with some songs, and working with these guys really got these songs going. We started out writing together.
Carlos: Yeah we were having a lot of fun in the rehearsals and that was it!
How would you describe the sound of your new EP?
Carlos: We like to call it, like, indie-tropical and indie-pop because we have a mixture of world sounds and happy music. I’m from Spain, she’s from Sweden [pointing to Felicia], and he’s from Missouri [pointing to Anwar]. And also we play with a keyboardist who’s from Ethiopia and the bass player is from Chile. It’s all over the place and I think that changes a lot of the music – in a good way.
What was the recording and the producing process like for the EP? How long did you work on the project?
Anwar: When we started the songs were pretty much finished and we went in with the producer, Andrew Murdoch – we recorded at his studio, Hobby Shop Studios, and we tracked and mixed there. It was about a three day process for tracking the EP, yeah ‘cause we already went in with the songs, ready to go. We knew what we wanted. We had him track for us in Highland Park, I don’t know if you guys know where that is.
Feli: One of our friends, he’s a producer too, Jesper Windmar. He helped us out with the last tune on our EP and yeah we felt like that had to be included. It was super fresh when we recorded it so it also felt like we didn’t want to re-record it – we wanted to keep it as it was when it was fresh and new. So “Double Time” is also on the EP and recorded by Jesper WIndmar.
What’s your favorite song from the EP and what makes it special to you?
Carlos: For me, okay if I have to choose one – and knowing what you guys are probably gonna choose… [all members laughing]
Anwar: I don’t know, I think I might surprise you!
Carlos: I’m going to say “Blood in My Veins”. That’s for me, I don’t know, there’s something about it that makes it special. The chorus, for me, which is kind of tricky because they were the ones composing it, but if I try to see it as a listener, I think because of my taste that’s the one that stands out.
Anwar: Okay, me? So this one is a tricky question ‘cause it’s a two part question for me. MY favorite one to sit and listen to is “Naïve” because the intimacy involved in her voice, especially, and the simplicity of it – from my point of view. And for playing, it is “Blood in My Veins” because there are a lot of interesting guitar parts – there’s a lot going on for me to handle and it’s a challenge every time we play it and I really like that about it. So yeah, that’s my answer.
Feli: I would say – it’s super hard – but “Naïve” is probably one of my favorites. I wrote it because I’m not from here, and not being from this county I just had a lot of – it’s about memories and about all the relationships when I was a little bit younger that made me who I am for good and bad and how the good always win. And that’s what that song is about so yeah it’s really important to me and probably my favorite to sing and perform because I always want to be remembering where I come from and where I’ve been and what has made me who I am.
So going from that note to a fun question, what is your go-to karaoke song?
Feli: ….okay, I have one! I would go with any Prince song. He’s my favorite artist and yeah I think I would go with “When Doves Cry” by Prince.
Carlos: If I have to go and I’m by myself – I’m alone, this is serious, this is happening – maybe I’ll go with The Strokes if there is a possibility and I try to do my best and then I would drink a little bit and I probably go with Enrique Iglesias. And that’s it! Yup. [everyone laughing]
Anwar: I think I’m going with – okay the first thing that came to mind, and I don’t even know why is – I don’t even know the last time I sang this song! It’s “In the Air Tonight” – maybe it’s ‘cause the drum feel, I don’t know but it’s either that or “Roxanne”. That one’s fun for me to sing, when I don’t care you know. [laughing]
If you could go on tour with any band/artist (past or present) who would it be?
Feli: Stevie Wonder.
Anwar: [pause] Oh, I got it! If it was music I would want to be a part of on a live stage, I would say – and probably just because I’ve been listening to them a little bit lately – is Toto. As a guitarist, that would be pretty awesome.
Carlos: I think I would go with the Strokes, again because they also just released an EP and yeah it’s like my band from when I was a teenager.
Where’d you get the name – Feli and the LemonShakers?
Carlos: Oh yeah! Umm..
Anwar: It is a very literal name – believe it or not.
Carlos: Exactly. We were in the studio and actually the studio where we recorded this EP but we were recording almost two years ago. Recording demos. And we needed some percussion – some shakers and we were looking in the drawers of the studio and there was a lemon shaker. Plastic lemon shakers. So we used them for the recording, and we felt really happy about it and we felt really excited about the lemon shakers, I don’t know why.
Feli: YOU did! [laughing]
Anwar: Yeah, you were really passionate about these shakers! And he did one of those [dramatic, Shakespeare-esque stance] “Feli and the LemonShakers!” and it was just, I don’t know – it was really funny.
Feli: My idea was, like, Feli and the Hummingbirds but not everyone agreed. [laughing] They felt like they weren’t really hummingbirds.
Anwar: I’m not a hummingbird!
Feli: It was too sweet. So that was voted completely out of the picture and then Carlos came along with the “LemonShakers”
Carlos: I think it fits with the music in some way.
Check out the band’s profile on WorldArts. Visit their website for more information and their upcoming gigs. Check out our opportunities and apply to get some great opportunities like Feli and the LemonShakers!