Natural Animal is an alt/dance duo based in Toronto, Canada.
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Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. We are Natural Animal. Matt Hunter and Devon Wright. Two dudes residing in beautiful West Queen West, Toronto. We make awesome things and are also the co-founders of a rapidly growing tech company called Turnstyle Solutions.
What kinds of things are influencing your music right now? Classic films, anything from Bergman to Fellini to anything with Gene Kelly in it all the way up to the more modern Woody Allen flicks. And in a weird way, being an entrepreneur and taking that entrepreneur’s mindset and applying it to making music I think can be quite advantageous and can provide a unique perspective on the artistic process.
What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? Well we just released our debut album Waiting For Another. However we are doing a rolling release, putting each song out in real time once it’s finished. So you can imagine this is a significant undertaking for us. Each month or so we are putting our best foot forward and by the end of the year we will have ten original songs out from the album.
How did your interest in music begin? The two of us met and bonded over hip hop, free styling and chasing women. We would just hang out in my basement and freestyle as best we could. From there we decided to put out an EP, and that’s how the whole thing started. Roughly six years ago. The music was terrible in the beginning.
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What other musicians/bands are you interested in right now? Big fan right now of Damon Albarn, La Roux, Jungle, Caribou, Four Tet, classic Tupac records, Mac Demarco, and of course the Sam Smith album was undeniable.
Who would you ideally like to collaborate with? I actually recently asked this question to myself, so this one’s easy. My top three right now would likely be Mark Foster, Damon Albarn and Paul Epworth. I just feel there would be so much to learn from these gentlemen.
What do you want a viewer to walk away with after hearing your music? We want them to feel good; it’s that simple. That’s why the two of us get out of bed every morning—to make people feel great. We are hopeful that our music as well as our other endeavours can prove to be solid vehicles for that.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? Favourite place in the city for me is likely Massey Hall, I have had some great moments there watching some of my favourite artists. There is something so refreshing about sitting down, sober, purely enjoying the music in an incredible sounding venue.
Favourite place in the world for me is a restaurant called Harmony Bar on the Greek island Ios. Incredible vibe, Scandinavian women everywhere, amazing partying surely to follow and the most picturesque view you could imagine.
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Most embarrassing moment on stage? We’ve had more than a handful of these. There have been a couple of DJ gigs where we had to take leaks while on stage, those were pretty funny. We once had a complete technical melt down in front of 500 people while we were performing our remix of Young Empires with lead singer Matt on stage. You just have to shrug it off and have a laugh with the crowd. Oh yeah and one time we DJ’d naked to a packed bar for a music video shoot.
Can you share one of the best or worst reactions you have gotten as a result of your music? Best reaction by far was at our album release party. 300 person venue completely jammed with people from wall to wall singing the lyrics to our songs. A moment we will surely never forget. Warmed our hearts.