Ever since Questlove picked up his drumsticks and gathered up a selection of kindred musical spirits in Philadelphia way back when, live bands within hip hop have been a cause for celebration. And today, carrying on that tradition, is the mighty Lazy Habits.
Having found a home within the infamous musical hotbed of London, UK, Lazy Habits have spent the best part of the last decade forging their own path in a territory increasingly populated by sound-alikes, thanks to a unique take on the live band angle, which includes two drummers and a substantial amount of brass.
The whole band were immersed in music from an early age, thanks to a diverse range of influences from family members, which combined with their innate passion for the art form meant that various careers within music beckoned, be it as session musicians, or working with charitable organisations.
The vision for the band itself was to create a sound that resembled the dynamic you get between a DJ and an MC, but through the use of live instrumentation. The result is a potent blend of contemporary and classic, with orchestral strains married perfectly with heavy hip hop drums and brooding basslines. At once gritty and soulful, Lazy Habits have managed to find a unique formula for success.
That formula has already earned them a lot of wins along the way, including the release of two acclaimed albums, a remix project, and a selection of singles and EPs. Their sophomore album, The Atrocity Exhibition, garnered a lot of attention from TV studios, with songs from the project used in a number of shows / films including Alleycats, Shameless USA and The Receptionist.
The band have a thirst for collaborations too, as demonstrated with the inclusion of a full string section and a harpist on each album. There are also collaborations outside the band, with features on recent albums from Joe Publik and More Like Trees, as well as past alliances with Miss Baby Sol, Ambush Tactics, Dizraeli and The Hackney Colliery Band.
As you would expect from a group of this nature, they excel at live show and have graced stages all over the world as a result. Notable previous performances include tours with Mos Def, Ozomatli and Young Blood Brass, as well as one-off gigs with Slum Village, DOOM, Asian Dub Foundation, Foreign Beggars and Kid Koala. There have also been a stack of festival appearances, as well as dates across Europe and Asia, including Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
Their third album, which is due to emerge later in the year, will continue in the same vein as its predecessors, with vocal contributions from the likes of Miss Baby Sol, Onur, and Joshua Idehen of Sons of Kemet fame, as well as co-production credits from Benny Aves and Nutty P.
With the new album scheduled for release in April, plus a string of festival appearances, live shows and music video lined up across the year, it’s clear that 2022 is going to be the year of Lazy Habits.