Further is a traveling laboratory for experiential hospitality and collaborative culture launched in 2017 by Design Hotels. We transform hotels across the globe into temporal hubs of thematic exploration.
Jojo Abot is an experimental Ghanaian singer, songwriter, and multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn whose music blends jazz, afropunk, spoken word, soul, and tribal and indigenous sounds. She completed her visual EP, “Power to the god within,” while in residence at Further Timber Cove: The Expanding Artist. Part liberation narrative, part tribute to Fela Kuti, the work came to her as a calling, she says, something she knew she had to create.
German-born spiritual teacher and breathwork practitioner Miriam Adler travels globally to lead transformational journeys and traditional tea ceremonies at gatherings and retreats. Her strength lies in helping people reconnect with themselves and others through breathwork, Kundalini kriyas, and mantras, as well as movement and sound. Miriam has studied yoga, meditation, zen, cha dao, somatic therapy, and breath work, and is co-founder of the lifestyle brand Mirabea.
Moroccan artisan Abdeljalil Ait Boujmie first experimented with carpentry, flooring, and marble, but found his true calling with aluminum when he moved from Casablanca to Marrakech almost 15 years ago. At this point, he opened a metal studio, where he began to specialize in welding and assembly and collaborate with local and international artists. Boujmie appreciates the exchange of knowledge, craft, skill and—most importantly—the soul that can be felt within handmade objects.
In 2018, Roxane Alaime founded La Pause Residency with an interest in unifying her passion for art and her love for Morocco. Having grown up between Marrakech and the Agafay Desert, and having later studied fine art in Paris, she enjoys working alongside artists and interacting with them on many different levels. With La Pause Residency, she invites emerging artists to explore new possibilities of creating and making and to engage in dialogue with the local creative community.
Mehdi Aminian is a musician and researcher based in Vienna with a lifelong interest in Sufism and the exploration of global musical traditions. He founded the organization Roots Revival in 2013 to bring together musicians from a diversity of musical traditions, from Romania to Syria, to explore hared connection across instruments and musical styles. In his latest musical project, Quieter than Silence, Mehdi sings and plays the ney and etar together with Syrian musician Mohamad Zatari on the oud.
Mohamed Arejdal is an interdisciplinary artist whose multifaceted body of work explores the territories of southern Morocco—the region where he grew up and where he currently lives. Committed to breaking down the boundaries between the studio, the gallery or museum, and public space, he is interested in relationships between people and how these relationships build social fabrics.
Fatimah Asghar is the writer behind the award-winning debut poetry collection, “If They Come for Us,” and the Emmy-nominated web series, “Brown Girls,” now in development with HBO. In both her screenwriting and her poetry, Asghar presents often-ignored perspectives, drawing frequently from her own experiences as a first-generation American with roots in Pakistan and divided Kashmir, growing up queer and parentless in the aftermath of 9/11.
Combining ancient musical traditions with contemporary sounds, Kurdish-Iranian musician Bahram Pourmand is inspired by the Sufi melodies he heard as a child. Singing lyrics that are based on Rumi’s poems and mystical poetry, Bahramji plays several traditional Persian instruments, including the stringed setar and santur, and the flute-like ney. After a long period living in India, he has been based in Ibiza for over 15 years and has released nine albums.
Born in Aleppo to Armenian parents, Azniv Korkejian, aka Bedouine, spent her early childhood in Saudi Arabia, then moved to the US with her family at the age of 10, eventually winding up in California. This nomadic upbringing and wanderer’s spirit led to the name she chose for herself, Bedouine, and can be heard in the music of her critically acclaimed 2017 self-titled debut.
Born in Puerto Rico to Cuban parents, Carlos Betancourt is a multimedia artist whose bold, colorful works explore issues of memory and his own experiences, while also touching upon beauty, identity, and communication. For Further Marfa, he incorporated illuminated Christmas tree toppers to create a series of sculptural and print works that seem to transform into magical vehicles of light—ritualistic objects to be worshipped. Betancourt’s artwork is part of public collections such as the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and San Antonio Museum of Art, Texas.
Born in Akka, Morocco, M’Barek Bouhchichi is a multidisciplinary artist who now lives in Tahanaout, where he develops work that explores the limits between our internal discourse and its extension towards the outer world, the actual, and the other. With painting, sculpture, drawing, and video, Bouhchichi places his works at the crossroad between the aesthetic and the social, exploring associated fields as possibilities for self-definition.
It’s been a decade now since Jesse Boykins III’s first two independent releases, the EP “Dopamine: My Life On My Back,” and the follow-up album, “The Beauty Created,” thrust him onto the radar of music bloggers and new-school R&B fans. His latest release, “Bartholomew,” was originally released on Soundcloud, then reissued on Def Jam when he signed with the major label in 2017.
Julie Byrne is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist from Buffalo, New York. She has released two celebrated studio albums, “Rooms With Walls and Windows” and 2017’s “Not Even Happiness,” which Pitchfork likened to “across-section of Leonard Cohen’s mysticism and Judee Sill’s vulnerability.” In 2018, she was a resident at Further Rio de Janeiro: Song of the Amazon, where she co-wrote and recorded the song, “Índio do Brasil.”
Crussen is the solo project or Robbin van der Crussen, an Oslo-based Swedish musician whose mission is to “communicate playfulness” on the dancefloor and off. With his harmonica in hand, Crussen plays live and DJs, bringing his folky electronic music to gatherings around the world, including Burning Man, Bali spirit, and Wonderfruit. A resident of Further Kazbegi: The Magic Mountain, Crussen also leads transformative breathwork sessions and sound journeys.
Berlin-based dance collective Dabkesim was founded in 2018 by Syrian refugees Ali Hasan and Medhat Aldaabal, who met while dancing in the world-renowned German dance company Sasha Waltz & Guests. Their work combines contemporary and Syrian folk dance, incorporating rhythms from the Middle East, the Balkans, and Greece. Dabkesim also functions as a community cultural organization, hosting workshops and other gatherings in Germany and beyond.
Turkish composer, musician, and DJ, Mercan Dede brings together mystical Sufi traditions and classical instruments with contemporary electronic music. Based between Montreal and Istanbul, Mercan has released 10 albums to date and gained a global cult following. He has composed music for Pina Bausch, appeared in Fatih Akin's documentary on Istanbul’s music scene, “Crossing the Bridge,” and played countless shows and festivals around the world from the Montreal Jazz Festival to Burning Man.
Influential gallerist Pamela Echeverría founded LABOR in Mexico City to support young and experienced artists who explore social and political issues based on long-term research. Echeverría worked at Museo Tamayo, Fundación Jumex, Carrillo Gil Museum, and OMR Gallery—all in MexicoCity—before turning her focus to undiscovered talent with a more academic approach. Echeverría is known to exhibit at international art fairs such as Art Basel Miami.
The Dawn of Re-engagement
Lidewij "Li"Edelkoort is one of the world's most influential trend forecasters. Under her Paris-based company Trend Union, she creates books that are tools used by strategists, designers, and marketers at international brands. Perhaps best known for her 2016 “Anti-Fashion Manifesto,” which sent shock waves through the design world, she is the Dean of Hybrid Design at the New School in New York, where she developed the MFA textiles.
Safia Elhillo is a Sudanese-American poet and Further resident whose award-winning first collection, “The January Children” (University of Nebraska Press, 2017), refers to her grandfather’s generation, those born in Sudan under British occupation, where children were assigned birth years by height and all given the birth date January 1.
Ahmed Ellouzi, a copper artisan, began working with the medium alongside his brother decades ago. “Morocco,” Ellouzi says, “is a special place to work with copper—here, the techniques and designs are traditional, not influenced by other countries.” Now that he has his own studio, Ellouzi treasures the connections he makes through his work. He collaborated with Lena Marie Emrich during her residency at La Pause.
Through collaborations and deep dives into various subcultures, Berlin-based German artist Lena Marie Emrich examines marginal social practices in media ranging from photography and video to performance, public intervention, sculpture, and poetry. During her time at La Pause Residency, she found inspiration in the desert landscape and a nearly dried-out riverbed, and she wanted to bring ancient materials into a contemporary context. Her work has been exhibited in cities including New York City, Berlin, Paris, and Bergen, Norway.
Although she’s based in Paris, Deborah Fischer’s artistic practice is fueled by her travels. The French artist often creates sculptures and installations that incorporate objects from around the world, but she’s also made a text- and image-based book based on an eight-month-long solo backpacking trip through Japan, India, Nepal, and China. While in the Moroccan desert, she found many abandoned objects, whose values she wanted to understand and whose lives she sought to reinvigorate through art.
Jessie French is an Australian curator and artist whose work explores speculative futures through algae-based bioplastic and ocean ecologies. She is the founder of Other Matter, an experimental studio that invites others to engage with the possibilities of a post-petrochemical world.
DJ Gr◯un土, a Japanese producer and DJ, counts the crows and insects in his backyard as musical influences, alongside video game music, disco, and local folk. His earthy influences make all the more sense when one learns that his name—ground—is a riff off of his Japanese name, and the ◯ represents Earth. DJ Gr◯un土’s soulful dance music incorporates a vast array of music from around the world. He’s based in the mountains outside of Osaka, where he’s been putting on the Chill Mountain Festival for the past 10 years.
Oke Hauser is the creative lead and project manager of BMW’s ambitious urbanization venture, MINI Living, where he spends his time investigating new possibilities for city and community life. The German architect cut his teeth working with Rem Koolhaas’ office OMA and Herzog & De Meuron. Today he explores housing solutions to address the lack of space in urban environments—like co-living and “urban cabins”—while imagining ingenious new possibilities for work, life, and play in the 21st-century city.
Japanese singer-songwriter Kenta Hayashi uses a looper to layer guitar, percussion, and vocals in his psychedelic live shows and compositions. Hayashi released his fifth album, Berliner Sparkler, in 2019, and has toured the globe extensively, creating soundscapes that run the gamut from richly layered to sparse. The “loop pedal ninja” works expertly with tension and release in his music and uses 444Hz tuning to give the music a meditative, healing effect, with vibrations that match the frequency of water in our bodies.
London-based food and wellness guru Jasmine Hemsley is passionate about helping people re-connect to food. Her cookbook, “East by West”, offers recipes and rituals based on the ancient philosophy of Ayurveda, tailored for a modern wellness-orientated audience. With her sister, Melissa, she penned two popular cookbooks, founded Hemsley + Hemsley, a bespoke nutritional consultancy, as well as a TV series and the Hemsley + Hemsley Cafe in London.
Islandman started as a solo project ofIstanbul-based producer Tolga Böyük’s and has grown to include band membersEralp Güven and Erdem Başer. Together the trio tour the world playing theirparticular amalgamation of live electro-acoustic dance music at festivals andclubs. Their first album, “Rest in Space” (2017), was followed in 2019 by“Kaybola,” incorporating field recordings of Central Asian throat singeralongside other ethnocultural strains, from Bulgaria to Japan.
Max Kabat worked on Wall Street for three years before leaving in 2007, just before the global financial crash. Looking to find more purpose, he founded the environmentally minded good Dog branding and growth engineering company, as well as The West Texan Media Group that aims to give a boost to small-town journalism. Kabat is co-owner of The Sentinel Marfa coffee shop, restaurant and bar, and the weekly newspaper The Big Bend Sentinel, as well as the Spanish-language Presidio International.
Amine Kabbaj is an architect, contemporary art collector, and avid runner. Since 2012, he’s also been known as the Executive President of the Marrakech Biennale. Under his direction, the Biennale—founded in 2004 as the first major trilingual festival in North Africa—has given a voice and platform to both international and Moroccan artists. Due to financial struggles, the exhibitions have been put on pause, but Kabbaj remains determined to keep the Biennale’s spirit alive.
With an artistic practice comprising photography and performance, Australian artist Lichen Kelp combines scientific experimentation with ikebana and DIY electronics. In 2019, she founded the Seaweed Appreciation Society international (SASi), a community-based algae research group that emphasizes group learning and connecting artists with marine biologists, kelp farmers, and other experts in marine habitat restoration and everyday uses of seaweed.
Raised in Jerusalem, Hadas Kleinman is a cellist and singer who began her career at 19 in the band, the Mojos, earning three Israeli gold albums and playing some of the world’s most prominent stages, from Carnegie Hall to the Cannes Film Festival. A resident of Further Troutbeck: The Poetry Society and Further Timber Cove: The Expanding Artist, she has released two albums with Aviv Bahar, including the 2014 hit, “Me’at Pashtut” (“A Little Simplicity”).
La Metropolitana is a 60-person team of professionals focused on generating solutions through creativity and design. Founded in 2008 in Mexico City, it has undertaken projects of diverse scale, focusing on furniture but also specializing in public works such as museums and plazas, restaurants, and theatrical sets, as well as accessories and graphics. The group’s first art piece, “Our land is full of bones is an introspective work exhibited at Further Marfa that encourages us to explore the symbiotic relationship between human civilization and the plant kingdom.
Japanese-French electronic pop musician Maika Loubté’s hyperreal DIY music videos and predilection for vintage analog synthesizers have earned her a place as one of Asia’s most interesting new names in independent music. Raised in Paris and Hong Kong and based in Tokyo, the producer and songwriter released her first LP in 2019. She plays at major festivals around Asia and collaborates with French fashion and art legend agnès b. Loubté’s infectious sound and aesthetic feels simultaneously globally relevant and intertwined with Asia’s vibrant youth culture.
Kelsey Lu is an avant-pop cellist whose lush, arresting recordings with the likes of Florence + the Machine and Solange have drawn widespread acclaim. Her 2016 debut EP Church was recorded live, in one take, at a Catholic church in Brooklyn. Since then, she’s taken on a full band and a major label, Columbia, but her output remains distinctly hers. Lu was a resident at Further Rio de Janeiro: Song of the Amazon in 2018.
The London-based architect is a trailblazer of a new breed of digital fabrication-based architecture. His award-winning firm, Mamou-Mani Architects, designed Galaxia, the immense, spiraling 3D-printed wooden temple at Burning Man in 2018, and created the acclaimed Conifera installation for COS at Salone del Mobile in 2019. Before starting his own practice, he worked with Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid.
Axel Mansoor is a Los Angeles-based, Emmy-award-winning singer-songwriter whose 2017 single, “Wasted My Love,” reached #5 on Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart. In 2018 he released his debut EP, "Somerset," of self-produced, stripped-down acoustic songs. As a resident of Further Timber Cove: The Expanding Artist, Mansoor composed an original song, which deals lyrically with alienation, loss, and the redemptive power and magic of creativity.
Alejandra Martínez is the founder and managing director of Anónimo, a Mexico City-based multi disciplinary cultural platform that obscures authorship until a work of art is sold, allowing the viewer to appreciate each piece as a standalone work and value it on the personal connection it establishes. With more than a decade of experience as a cultural entrepreneur in Mexico, Martínez is a leading figure in the country’s dynamic new wave of artists, curators and gallerists.
Akihiro Matsui has worked with Tokyo-based Media Surf for 13 years, a company that runs community-building projects throughout the metropolis. Two of their most popular projects are the weekend farmers market across from the United Nations University, and a collective of food stalls, Commune 2nd, which brings locals and travelers together to delight in food cultures. Through these projects and others, Matsui and Media Surf are exploring what it takes to revitalize a neighborhood and foster creative life.
Erick Meyenberg is a multimedia artist born and raised in Mexico City whose “Chroma” installation at Further Marfa explored the ecological threat of a border wall between the United States and Mexico. Exploring a variety of themes from race and class to technology and ecology, Meyenberg doesn’t limit himself to any given medium. His work ranges from sculptural pieces to paintings, videos, and installations, and has been exhibited in Mexico, Germany, Austria, Spain, Canada, USA, UK, Japan, and India. Two new books about his work are in process.
Hieu Minh Nguyen is an award-winning poet whose two collections deal with his identity as a queer Vietnamese-American raised by an immigrant single mother in the Mcdonough Housing Projects in Saint Paul, Minnesota. His first poetry collection, “This Way to the Sugar” (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014), was a finalist for both the Lambda Literary Award and the Minnesota Book Award.
Aja Monet is a poet, writer, lyricist, and activist of Cuban-Jamaican descent raised in Brooklyn. She was the youngest poet ever to be named the Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Champion in 2007 at the age of 19. In 2018, Her first full poetry collection, “my mother was a freedom fighter,” was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work. Monet was a resident at Further NeueHouse: New Sanctuaries.
Experimental London-based Japanese vocalist Hatis Noit’s otherworldly, transcendent vocals unite “Gagaku”—Japanese classical music—with opera and Gregorian chants. A self-taught singer-songwriter, her name refers to the stem of the lotus flower, a symbol in Japanese folklore representing the link between the living world and the spirit world. With an EP and several high-profile collaborations under her belt, she is unveiling a project with London Contemporary Orchestra at the Southbank Centre in December 2019.
Born into a family of artists, curators, art dealers, professors, and critics, French artist Lyora Pissarro (a direct descendent of Impressionist master Camille) was immersed in the art world from a very young age. A former resident of Further Troutbeck: The Poetry Society, she creates dreamlike figurative and abstract works rooted in painting but gesturing at performance and has exhibited in Texas, San Francisco, New York, London, and Boston.
Multidisciplinary artist Daniel Popper’s larger-than-life sculptures have been appearing in locations that hold spiritual and historical resonance, including festivals in Tulum, Portugal, Australia, and beyond. The South African artist collaborates with artists and technicians to incorporate music, LED lighting, and projection mapping into his works. For Further Mykonos, Daniel was inspired by ancient Cycladic art and delved into Greek mythology with his rattan woven sculpture of Greek goddess Leto.
Justin Phillip Reed, a native South Carolinian poet now based in Brooklyn, was the winner of the National Book Award in Poetry for his first poetry collection, “Indecency” (Coffee House Press, 2018). His work often deals with what it means to be a queer black man in America. His second full-length collection of poetry, “The Malevolent Volume,” will be released in Spring 2020.
Fashion designer Gerardo Ruiz Musi’s eponymous brand predominately focuses on high-quality leather goods. After studying in Paris, he moved back to Mexico City in order to expand his artistic practice, which merges several disciplines. Musi creates handmade works at the intersection of Mexican weaving techniques and the Japanese tradition of Boro. Exhibited at Further Marfa, Musi’s textile work “A backwards march / A forward talk” looks at the naked self, technological facilitation, and the search for truth.
Yesika Salgado is a Los Angeles-based Salvadoran poet, co-founder of the Latina feminist collective Chingona Fire, and an internationally recognized body positivity activist. Her two poetry collections, “Corazón” and “Tesoro” (Not a Cult), were bestsellers. Her next collection, “Hermosa,” is forthcoming on Not a Cult. Salgado is a four-time member of Da Poetry Lounge Slam Team and a 2017 and 2018 National Poetry Slam finalist.
Chris Sanderson is the London-based co-founder and CEO of The Future Laboratory, a world-leading strategic foresight consultancy specializing in trends intelligence, strategic research, and innovation strategy that’s consulted for Louis Vuitton, Microsoft, BMW, and many other top brands. He has won numerous awards for his work, lectured at universities, presented a TV-series for Channel 4, and is a regular speaker for organizations and companies around the world.
Danniel Schoonebeek is a poet who has authored three celebrated works, including the collection “American Barricade” (YesYes Books, 2014), which was named one of the year’s 10 standout debuts by Poets & Writers, a travelogue called “C’est la guerre” (2015), and “Trébuchet,” which was selected by Kevin Prufer for the 2015 National Poetry Series.
Craig Schowengerdt is a sculptor based in Marfa who studied Fine Arts and Literature at Kansas City Art Institute and University of Oregon before moving to New York and working as an electrician for 25 years. Schowengerdt started out as an artist after stumbling upon a large piece of pine in Brooklyn that he then carved into a male torso on his kitchen table. He then moved to Marfa to commit fully to his artwork.
Greg Seider is a New York-based mixologist and the author of “Alchemy in a Glass: The Essential Guide to Handcrafted Cocktails.” The co-founder of Summit Bar and Manhattan Cricket Club in New York, he is a consultant for a range of bars and hospitality brands across the world. Recently, through his company Seiderhouse, he has expanded into the realm of plant-based restorative elixirs, which aims to create a “healthier and higher vibrational drinking experience,” using ingredients like CBD and MCT oils, D-ribose, and ionic fulvic minerals.
Danish chef Kamilla Seidler’s pioneering take on Bolivian cuisine at Gustu in La Paz made it one of the best restaurants in the world, with her use of local, indigenous ingredients. After relocating back to Copenhagen in 2017, she helped launch theannual Freja Symposium to tackle gender equality in food world. Seidler isopening her new restaurant Lola in November 2019, with a focus on sustainableingredients and innovating inclusive new social models.
Moroccan artist Loutfi Souidi uses personal moments of reflection to express ideas about and opinions on sociological and political themes faced in daily life. He finds inspiration everywhere from Marrakech’s lively neighborhoods to alleyways in the ancient Medina to the souks and other public spaces. In a recent project, Loutfi focused on the climate crisis and rapid deforestation as experienced through the lens of animals.
Sasha Spielberg is a musician and actress who also goes by the stage name Buzzy Lee. After playing in the indie-folk act Wardell with her brother Theo and in Just Friends, an electro-pop collaboration with the producer Nicolas Jaar, Spielberg released her first solo musical project last April, an EP titled “Facepaint.” Her output at Further Timber Cove: The Expanding Artist includes a video performance of a song from that EP, “On the Radio.”
Rory Spowers is a celebrated British author, environmentalist, and documentary filmmaker whose fascination with sustainable farming and food culture has seen him play a leading role in establishing Amorevore, a food and consciousness festival set in Ibiza where he currently lives. The former River Café chef and Further resident ran a sustainable farm and biodiversity refuge in Sri Lanka and chronicled the experience in his most recent book, “A Year in Green Tea and Tuk-Tuks.”
Paul Tange is the son of late Japanese modernist master, Kenzō Tange. He strives to keep his father’s architectural philosophy alive, while sensitively adapting it to the buildings that he designs with his Tokyo-based firm, Tange Associates. In the projects that he works on in Asia and globally, Tange strives to find the balance between tradition and planning for the future, and between globalization and the needs of local people. Despite father and son having a different visual aesthetic, it’s this approach to architecture that that unites them.
Inspired by the energy of the high desert, artist Nick Terry specializes in water colorworks distilled from the inherent qualities of the materials he works with and the openness of his method, producing unforeseen results. Originally from Paris, Terry is now based in Marfa. A catalogue of his watercolor paintings was published in 2007.
Born in Guadalajara in 1974, Emanuel Tovar analyzes the contradictions inherent in power imposition at different levels and in various scenarios through his mostly sculptural art, often using recycled or discarded materials. His work reflects the changes and antithesis of the instant, a particular vision that centers on observation and careful registration of everyday processes and the actions of individuals. Trained in sculpture at the University of Guadalajara, he has presented several solo exhibitions, including “La Conspiración de las Bestias” and “Gloria Desierta,” as well as numerous group shows.
Mezzo soprano Ariana Vafadari breathes new life into the traditional Zoroastrian Gathas she heard as a child, using her classical operatic training to create something entirely new. Moving to France from Iran at the age of five, she went on to study opera at the Academy of Music in Paris and at the Hanns Eisler Academy of Music in Berlin. Ariana released her album, “Gathas, Songs My Father Taught Me” in 2016. On the back of its success, she has performed around the world, from the Sacred Music Festival in Fez to Burning Man and Further Mykonos.
Matsipaya Waura Txucarramãe is a musician and songwriter who descends from the Xingu tribe, indigenous to northern Brazil. In 2018, as part of Further Rio de Janeiro: Song of the Amazon, he co-wrote and recorded the song “Índio do Brasil” with Kelsey Lu, Zach Tetreault of Hundred Waters, Purity Ring, Empress Of, and Julie Byrne to raise funds and awareness for sustainable development communities in Brazil and beyond.
Tiphanie Yanique is a novelist, poet, and essayist whose evocative writing, often set in her native Virgin Islands, has drawn comparisons to Toni Morrison and Gabriel García Márquez. Yanique's debut collection, “How to Escape a Leper Colony: A Novella and Stories,” was published by Graywolf Press in 2010 to great acclaim. Yanique teaches creative writing at Wesleyan University.
After leaving his corporate job, Sascha Zeilinger had a profound encounter with breathwork in Bali that led him to become an Alchemy of Breath facilitator. Today he is the founder of Berlin-based Spirit of Breath, where he leads group sessions and works with brands like Nike, WeWork, and Soho House. He guides participants through deep diaphragmatic breathing, allowing for the release of trauma stored in the body.
Japanese musical duo Reo Matsumoto and Koji Matsumoto first met and played music together on a rooftop in Varanasi, before they later started busking together on the streets of Melbourne. In the last seven years, Matsumoto Zoku have gone on to record five albums and tour the world extensively. Their distinctive organic sound is a melodious amalgamation of hand pan and human beats with didgeridoo and electronic music. Their success is no doubt partly down to their on-stage presence—playful and engaged, they connect with their audience at a grassroots level.