Manu Delago, drummer with art-pop superstar Bjork, renowned sitar player Anoushka Shankar, and multi-instrumentalist/producer Olafur Arnalds, is partnering with Modern Drummer in the premiere of the video to his track “Rudi,” featuring vocalist Isa Kurz.
“I’m a big fan of unison rhythms,” Delago tells MD, “meaning that at least two different elements play exactly the same rhythm. You can discover that phenomenon in many kinds of music, especially rock and metal. I also love it when lights and music are very tightly connected. In my song ‘Rudi’ the connection happens between the human voice and a drumkit.”
Delago, who is greatly influenced by the singing of Michael Jackson, the phrasing of rappers, and examples of drummers playing in sync with movie dialogue, says the story of “Rudi” was inspired by his own struggles growing up with the wish to become a drummer. “When I moved to London,” he recalls, “my first neighbor got very aggressive when she heard the sound of any musical instrument through the walls. Needless to say, the drums were the worst of all sounds. I was a jazz student then and hated practicing, mainly because I knew that my dear neighbor would be furious and shouting at me any second.”
Isa Kurz has been a member of Delago’s band for more than ten years. Notably, in the video Manu can’t actually see Kurz; he’s purely following the rhythm of her words, and vice versa.