Combine activist lyrics, a jazz melody and an African rhythm and you start to understand the unique sound of Mr. Something Something.
The band formed more than five years ago with Larry Graves and John MacLean coming up with the initial concept. They then gathered others interested in their type of music.
“It evokes the feeling that it’s a party but we’re trying to evoke something,” Graves said.
Their most recent album, Shine Your Face, includes songs seeking an antidote to the world’s problems and coming to terms with injustice.
“Our music tends to have a slightly different focus,” Graves said.
By offering a fun package, the band can share their message without sounding preachy, suggest solutions and offer inclusiveness to all aspects of society.
“The most important thing is to get people thinking differently,” Graves said.
He fell in love with the rhythms and sounds of African music during a trip to the continent after leaving Berklee music school.
“I was a little disillusioned as a wannabe jazz musician,” Graves said.
Something in the music spoke to him, whether it was the uncommon instruments, several layers of rhythm or the way music is such a part of every day life in Africa.
“It’s a real ensemble based music,” Graves said. “It was a different approach.”
Movement and dancing is as integral to the music as the sound.
“It’s all part of the package … they dance, they sing,” Graves said.
Much of that is what influences the sound and stage show of Mr. Something Something. The band performs at Nanaimo’s Cambie on Victoria Crescent on July 26. For more information, please visit www.mrsomethingsomething.com.