As is the case with any parent with the combination of infants and toddlers at home, you can always expect a distraction during the course of any adult exchange. In a recent important telephone conversation with the group at home discussing the disc now in your hands, one could hear the bubbling of some childhood discord in the background that sounded like the beginning of an argument over a toy. When the first faint sounds of “it’s mine” broke the previous silence, Aja was in the middle of one her beautiful and patented soliloquies we’ve all been so accustomed to hearing. After a few minutes, the sounds in the backdrop began to escalate but Aja remained focused as she neared the climax of the story she was sharing. Even as the once civil dispute was pierced by an occasional yelp, cry or falling object sound, Aja spoke undistracted from her dissertation. Then, in mid-sentence BLAM! without warning, Aja turned her head away from the phone barely, if at all, covering the receiver, and found a voice far from the sweet tones that fill this record; a voice familiar to every child in deep, deep trouble with their parent - the type of voice where all given names listed on the birth certificate are used at the start.
The commotion shut up so fast, so abruptly, that we can only imagine the two pre-schoolers were instantaneously frozen in fear from the metamorphosis that just occurred before their eyes. Hell, it was scary being on the other end of the phone not having done anything wrong. With her house in order and immediate dead quiet in the background, she continued the story, sweet dulcet-tone voice and all, exactly mid-sentence where she left off as if nothing had happened. Fatin, who had dialed in from the couple’s Philadelphia clothing shop (The Kulture Shop), also continued without comment.
With at least one child in diapers and breastfeeding another, throughout every stage of their four year professional recording career, Aja and Fatin have learned well the ability to multitask and “handle” the “distractions.” But more than distractions being “handled” and “quieted,” they have found a way to incorporate what others may consider distractions into the core of the Kindred and The Family Soul experience. As Aja’s hilarious complete breakdown of her two feuding children quickly became the focus of the conversation for those listening to her (immediately passing in importance of what she had previously intended to say) Aja was able to eventually weave lessons from raising her children into appropriate analogies for point she was making before the interruption. As demonstrated by this example, Aja and Fatin have figured out how to translate those moments in life which would normally be considered deviations, into inspirations for wonderful commentary and ultimately some of life’s most important observations.
Faced with challenges that can easily humble any family (let alone one with three kids age six and under, no nanny and two full-time jobs…three full-time jobs really considering The Kulture Shop), they are able to maintain a tight grip on the positives and therefore the proper outlook on the situations they face thereby imparting sage advice to all of us, the Kindred listener.
Even in moments of the usual marital tension any couple faces from time to time, Aja and Fatin are able to craft music which may be the exact antidote they themselves need to hear at any given time. This often very personal communication between husband and wife whispered and sung to each other in plain view is an extraordinary and often needed reminder on how we all should look at these situations. In fact, Aja and Fatin will be the first to tell you they are not Superman and Wonder Woman and often may need to play their own records for guidance or look to the lives of their role models like Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. Like all of us, they may not always see the answers so clearly while living the hectic details of their lives, but through their music we are all given the gift of particular clarity and understanding that at times it is so simple yet it can evade most of us when we need it most.
It is said that the more personal an artist makes his or her art, the more people they will ultimately touch. This is certainly a central principle of the Hidden Beach philosophy and Aja and Fatin (through Kindred the Family Soul) have taken this philosophy to heart and practice. Just as they struck a universal chord in their debut album with the song Far Away, this album is filled with extremely personal observations and experiences that are uniquely universal. Not only is this project filled with great sounds, great melodies, and great performances, we feel very strongly that this is a project that fulfills a great need as our airwaves are often cluttered with shallow beats that lack lasting substance.
Aja and Fatin have crafted a spectacular album that should completely satisfy their growing fan base who have patiently waited for their follow up to “Surrender To Love” as well as garner a legion of new fans. We hope you have fun and a lifetime of enjoyment and listening. If you have taken the time to read this very small print usually relegated under the CD plastic, certainly take the time to read, listen and study every single lyric sung so passionately within. Take the substance and wisdom sown through each and every line of this special album and hold onto a project we humbly feel quite simply, that the world needs right now.