Photography by Amy Wilkinson
The Forty Six,
with Karan Master
An exclusive interview with the front-man of locally formed, up-and-coming band, The Forty Six, following AnonStyle’s invitation to their recent gig at Surburbia, Southampton.
“Art is art. All forms. Music is just one part of it” Karan Master.
Why don’t you start by telling us a bit about you as a musician?
“I used to be in a band called The Emergency Please and we did a lot of shows and got some press in America and here. But I found my heart wasn’t really in it. It was tough to find core members who wanted to do it. When I started The Forty Six, I wanted to create a side of music that has a freedom of control. I found people that dig the music and were inspired by it, then it’s up to them how much they want to take on”
Karan’s dedication to his music is enforced as he describes his new approach, welcoming collaboration whilst driving the band forward himself -
“I didn’t wanna be waiting on someone else to make my record. There’s so many aspects of being in a band; there’s social media, there’s the content creation, the planning, the marketing. So it’s an open door now, I tell contributors they can help out as much as they want. I realise people have different priorities in life.”
Would you advise this approach to current bands starting out in the music industry?
“Bands are a thing that happen really organically, look at Lower than Atlantis. They were together for 11 years before they broke up. The Chilli Peppers, they all grew up together, they all know eachother – that doesn’t really happen that often. It’s really hard to get four strangers and be like yeah, we’re best mates now, it’s all up from here. Because there’s loads of details that go into forming a band, aside from music”.
“I’ll be honest; this life isn’t for everyone. I’ve just come back from Amsterdam, we were doing a shoot out there and it was amazing. But – we didn’t sleep for four days and not everyone’s up for that lifestyle – cramming into a car, driving for thirteen hours, shoot for another twelve and then drive back. I respect that. ‘Cause the people that do it are insane”.
So how did the name ‘The Forty Six’ come about?
Me and my housemates lived at number 46. I built a recording studio upstairs and a rehearsal room downstairs. That was our little hub and we used to have loads of musicians staying round all the time; sax players, guitar players, bass players, drummer’s. They’d always just come ‘cause there was a bed to pass-out, a drum kit, guitars. That’s why we’re called The Forty Six - after that house”.
Are there any constant musicians in the band that you continuously work with?
“I’ve been working with Jono Powell playing bass tonight. He used to actually play guitar when the band started but he can play a bit of everything and he’s been here from the beginning. Sam Garnett, the drummer, we’ve been playing music together for maybe five or six years in different projects. He was in The Emergency Please a little bit too. We’ve had a few drummers in-and-out but he’s currently my main drummer. And Michael Lewis, who’s playing guitar, is very new – he offered his room to rehearse one day with Sam and I heard him play guitar. He’s so good”.
How long have you been making music?
“I started playing guitar when I was twelve/thirteen but started writing songs when I was about eight/nine - on a xylophone!”.
Karan laughs as he tells the team,
“The first song I ever wrote was on a school trip to Osmington Bay, it was this rap. So yeah, a freestyle rap about Osmington Bay”.
How would you describe your style of music?
“We’re neo emo soul and some of our fans have started calling it funk pop-punk which I almost like better. I love emo music and I love pop-punk, it’s what I grew up with. My Chem til’ I die!”
“I’m also really into funk and neo soul, guitar players like Isaiah Sharkey and John Mayer, just sexy chords really”.
“We’ve got something a bit different. There’s so many pop-punk bands out there like Fall Out Boy and Don Broco that are already doing it so great. So with our style, I wanted to hint at pop-punk and a lot of genre’s whilst being different. I love funk and jazz and blues too – I love it all and I just wanna throw it in a pot and see what happens”.
When asked about visual presentation of the band, Karan tells us how –
“I’ll usually wear something kinda chic and then almost destroy it. I always wear odd socks. That’s just my look”.
(We’re loving the random styling inspo).
So what does the future hold for The Forty Six?
“We’ve just dropped an EP, the second one this year and we now have another three brand new songs ready. It’s looking like we’re gonna put an album out within the next few months. There’s a few collaborations in there, like Elleana – A really cool local hip-hop/R&B artist. We’re gonna be collaborating with other local artists that really love and support on the album too”.
“Our new music video for the track ‘Trouble’ has also just been made which was awesome, we got to work with some amazing people on that. It actually made me really inspired to make more videos, I’m super pumped about that. It was a real eye-opener and we got to take in a lot of history and culture”.
We’ll also be doing Sunday Night Live in London, July 14th.
^ Keep an eye out for this guys! To be held at ‘The Burlock’ on Bond Street, near Oxford Street. A great kick-off summer gig.
Anonstyle would like to say a huge thank you to Karan for passing-up an L.A opportunity to be here tonight!
Interview and words: Laura Wilcox