Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio

Sudan Archives performs "Did You Know" at The Current (MPR Video / Nate Ryan)
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Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (full session + interview)
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  • Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (full session + interview) 23:15
  • Sudan Archives - Did You Know (Live at The Current) 03:16
  • Sudan Archives - Nont For Sale (Live at The Current) 03:44
  • Sudan Archives - Pelicans In The Summer (Live at The Current) 04:07

Brittney Parks, who performs under the moniker Sudan Archives, was born in Cincinnati and classically trained in violin: the 26-year-old is now based in Los Angeles and uses a complex system of drum loops and effects to propel her music beyond classification.

Throughout her set in The Current studio, she consistently cooked up a savory roux of genres: folk, ambient, hip-hop, classical, and contemporary R&B. It is the contrasting mixture of cultures that defines the sound of Sudan Archives.

This was made apparent from the start: before starting off her set with "Did You Know," the opener on her latest LP, Athena, Parks explained that she got into the violin when she saw folk fiddlers perform at her elementary school. As a fourth-grader, she was immediately captivated and began learning what she said were "Irish jigs." This opened the door for her own musical ethnography. She soon learned about Sudanese, Czech, and Irish fiddlers. This was in part inspired by eclectic African music pioneer Francis Bebes, who also advocated for an internationalist perspective on music.

This was made apparent in the second track she performed, "Nont For Sale," off her 2018 EP Sink. It's a track that feels like a good example of her thesis: how can you arrange different musical communities into a singular force? The song features formidable electronic production, delicate violin plucks, and a medley of soulful croons and snappy neo-rap flows. Three contrasting tones synthesized into — to put it plainly — one incredibly cool sound.

Another goal of the Sudan Archives project is to put "new faces on historic things." At least that's The 26-year-old said when asked about why she picked the name of a Greco-Roman goddess to title her debut LP. "Now when you search for her, you'll see me."

It is this assertiveness that defines not only Parks's personality, but her music as well. She's both invested in the collective legacy of music and making a name for herself. She's more than on her way to doing both.

Video

Songs Performed


"Did You Know"
"Nont For Sale"
"Pelicans In The Summer"
Songs 1 and 3 from Sudan Archives' 2019 release, Athena; song 2 is from the 2018 EP, Sink, both available on Stones Throw Records.

Hosted by Jade
Produced by Derrick Stevens
Engineered by Michael DeMark
Visuals by Nate Ryan
Web feature by Caleb Brennan

External Link

Sudan Archives - official site

17 Photos

  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives visits The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives prepares for her performance in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives performs in The Current studio (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)
  • Sudan Archives visits The Current studio
    Sudan Archives portrait at The Current (Nate Ryan | MPR)