The Worldwide Big Hustle
From Detroit to Afrorever with Sebastien Levanneur

Image Credits: The Big Hustle © Stella K

September 25, 2017
Sebastien Levanneur is the bass player, composer and band leader of the jazz funk Parisian band The Big Hustle, a fresh collective that, after the 2016 debut album Worldwide, has recently released the EP Afrorever. 
> Ivano Rossato

What is The Big Hustle  workin’ on?
Since the release of our first album Worldwide in 2016 we did some nice shows around France to promote it. And now we just released our new EP Afrorever, a four track record with the same musicians of Worldwide plus some special guests like Cheick Tidiane SeckRaashan Ahmad and Thomas Faure. This new record is a tribute to African culture and African music.

In 2011 you spent some time in Detroit; are there some differences between American and European musical scenes and audiences?
Given the music I like to play, funk, jazz and r&b and all that stuff, when you go to the US as a French guy like me you understand lots of things because this is the place where all this was born, it’s in the air, it’s more “natural”. For example lots of people  know Marvin Gaye, The Headhunters, it’s really their background. Although, like in Europe, the audience for this kind of music it’s very small and it’s not mainstream, it’s very supportive and welcoming.
What CD’s are you currently listening to in your car radio?
Actually I don’t have any CD player in my car, I only have old fashioned compact cassettes! So there is a lot of old cool stuff I used to listen to when I was a teenager, old school rock like Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, or sometimes classical composers like Debussy or Šostakovič. Talking about more recent music, I like the new scene in Los Angeles, like for example the duo Knower and Thundercat.
What is your approach to composing and how much do the other musicians in the band contribute in the writing and arranging process?
Usually there are no rules, sometimes I mess up with the bass trying to find the right grooves and basslines and I start writing the song from that. Or I mess up with the piano trying a chord progression and then write a melody on top. I just let the song take me where it has to go. Usually when I finish a song I make a demo with some software like Logic, and I send it to the band. Of course they have some kind of freedom to add their own flavor to the song, and that’s why I called them to play my songs. They all have their own sound. I’m looking for  people who love to serve the music, who don’t show off but want to take the song and the music higher, listening to the whole band playing together.
What do you think about the potential of the Web for a musician?
These are two sides of the same coin. We are a small band, we don’t have any label so we have to rely on tools like Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and all those stuff because that’s the only way we can spread our music as much as we can. On the other side actually we give away our music for free!

Reservados todos los derechos – All rights reserved – 版權所有 – 版权所有;  The Big Hustle Worldwide From Detroit to Afrorever with Sebastien Levanneur copyright Jazzespresso 2017.
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