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Black Pumas’ Eric Burton On Psychedelic Soul And Their Grammy Nominations

Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Dua Lipa and Post Malone are all nominated for album of the year at the Grammys (1A favorite Jacob Collier is also in the running). But the roster also includes Black Pumas, a duo that might be less familiar.

Singer-songwriter Eric Burton and guitarist-producer Adrian Quesada started recording together in Austin, Texas, and released their eponymous debut album in 2019.

From the Pitchfork review of that album:

At no point on Black Pumas do Quesada and Burton shy away from signifiers of the past. Rhythms roll with the tight precision of the Hi Records rhythm section, “Fire” is punctuated with horns straight out of Stax, “OCT 33” finds Burton obliquely nodding at Otis Redding’s “Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song),” the title of its opener “Black Moon Rising” echoes Creedence Clearwater Revival’s doomsday classic “Bad Moon Rising.” Black Pumas are too clever to succumb to pure nostalgic pandering, though. They pointedly avoid the pitfalls that plague well-intentioned retro-soul records, favoring feel over authenticity, playing as much for the head as the heart.

“Colors” was also nominated for record of the year.

How do they feel competing against some of today’s most popular artists? We talk to Black Pumas about their songwriting process, making music during 2020 and more.

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Emmanuel Johnson