Mar Arago Egosex

The night before our interview with EgoSex, the photographer Mar Arago arrived at my house from Valencia and slept on a single person sized couch.  ´I don't mind at all ́, she said, ́I'm a little bit nervous about tomorrow though ́. She apologized for spilling water whilst showering in the morning. Not her fault of course, as our shower curtain / or the poor condition of it, was just doing it every time, with everyone. How should we get to the studio where we are having a photoshoot with the band? We jumped in a cab. 

When finally meeting Egosex, one would say they are just formidable. So all the worries of  Mar from the night before were gone the minute we met the trio. A group with a powerful presence yet seemed quite relaxed and were capable of smoothly getting through a photoshoot a few hours long. Wekefore, the lead singer danced through it, along with the rest of the Egosex band, playing us their sounds of African percussion, blues vocals, and dance music. Their own work permits broader culture in a way such things rarely do, many who don ́t know about the African diaspora can change their attitudes towards the strongly growing Afro- Spaniard community in Barcelona. The interview took place in the same studio we took photos. Like everything they create, the music, the clothing, the videos are a nuanced yet intuitive composition of melodies, on which Egosex is fervently at work. 

Egosex Mar Arago

Marta: How did you guys meet? 

Hugo: We met one night when rehearsing for another band. Wekafore was there for a couple of hours watching our band. A few days later he wrote to me and said that he had a project, that started in Bilbao and that he wanted to begin again so was looking for musicians. I joined straight away and we started working together. A month later I contacted Luis to come along and deal with issues of electronics and rhythm. That's how we formed as a three. 

M: And how long ago was that?

Luis: Two years, in September.

M: Hugo you are from here but Luis is from Valencia and Wekafore is from Nigeria. So what brought you all to Barcelona?

Wekafore: I used to live in Dubai with my parents. I moved to Bilbao from Dubai to study fashion and then I left Bilbao to come to Barcelona just because I wanted more crazy energy. It took a while, I stopped making music and had a long break. Barcelona reminded me what I wanted to do and then I met Hugo and Luis and we just clicked.

M: What about yourself? When did you come to Barcelona? Why?

Luis: I came to study graphic design, 15 years ago. I started here, I had several bands with Hugo. Then I grew up here on a musical and professional level.

M: I think we agree that the question about the name of the band is asked often enough, can you describe EgoSex in six words instead? 

W: Romance, dark, the inside of you, connection, sex, three egos. 

M: What is your songwriting process? How do you begin to write songs? Who is composing?

H: The composition at the musical level, is me and Luis. All the rest that are the lyrics and the melodies of vocals are commissioned by Weka. Apart from that, it usually starts with an idea that Luis and I bring; the musical idea, then Weka begins to make his lines of vocals  and little by little already speaking between the three we are doing here a slow piece. That is to say, we begin separated but then we always end up doing the song together.

W: The words come to me through conversations, just things that stick in my head. I keep saying it over and over again and then wherever I meet them they have something, like a melody, to put that together. 

M: At the beginning of the CONGO song, that is personally my favourite and in the language of Yoruba,  means it’s my calling, at least that's how Google translated it… 

W: I wouldn't say so because in Yoruba it really depends on a different tone you use. I mean different things but when I say K’padè mi ni salé  everyone would understand it as “meet me down”, like “I’m going down, meet me down”

Egosex Mar Arago

M: This is my question, later in the chorus you sing “there is no peace in the Congo, there is no mercy in the jungle” Do you think you are somehow a representative of Nigerian culture in Europe? 

W: In this song?

M: Yes, does it have any political message regarding conflicts in Congo ? 

E:  Not really, it's more about conflict between romance and welfare.

M: So it is more of a love story? 

W: It is more about the chaos of being in love. It is like a crisis in the Congo, where there is no mercy in the jungle. About how ruthless it can get when in the process of finding love, breaking up or having your heartbroken. The whole game is like a jungle, a survival. Everyone is just trying to survive, right? That’s basically the message.

M: The EgoSex album is an EP, meaning it has only 5 songs there. I very rarely listen to the whole album of one band. I’ve got a playlist instead and I’m listening to one song of one artist, another song of a different band. Is that the reason why EgoSex chose only 5 songs so people can just listen through? 

H: We thought it was a perfect introduction to the direction we are heading. A little taste of what is coming. 

It was not intended as a record but a collection of singles. The best way to describe it is to call it to demo, as the first thing we have done. In other words, it is not an album with a closed concept, with a closed sound, each song has a sound, it has a style and that is all we have been able to host during this year, like the exploration of what we have done this year. 

M: Who do you trust for venues? 

L: I think we all just give, we all give ideas of what we want but now we have like a combined sense. 

M: So there is not one person who says that is what we are gonna do next? 

E: No 

M: You are all in together?

E: Yeah 

M: Who are your biggest influences? 

H: The references for me and Luis are the same as when we started it was all about punk. Not that, that's what EgoSex is, but there is something of punk in there. And then we started to make instrumental music more rock and roll like. This might be linked to EgoSex’́s dark side. There is also a jungle tone that can be heard in the electronic part but more like a rock with acoustic instruments. EgoSex is a musical project closely linked with art, fashion and other visuals so we try to borrow from different fields.

W: I’m very inspired by primitivity. Only yesterday I was watching some vintage fetish like African porn. It is jungle fever, the sexual urge to have sex. I’́m personally very inspired by that. The whole process has, of course, its political background but in fact, it is much more innocent than it seems. 

M: So you are interested to see this process from the perspective of an outsider? 

E: It is just jungle fever and there is a lot of layers on top of it. So speaking only creatively it is like a fetish of creative romance. 

M: Do you have any rules for clothing? How do you dress when performing? 

W: We try to evoke the Voodoo Child brand as much as we can, but EgoSex is moving towards a more futuristic look. 

M: So it is a mixture of futuristic and primitive 

W: Yeah exactly, they are more futuristic and I ́m all about purity, like no shoes so that’s the contrast that we are trying to do on stage. We are building new costumes to further the difference between the primitive and futuristic. We call it “the spirit and the machine” I’m the spirit they are machines

M: Do you feel is necessary to have perspective? Like learning from mistakes? Do you think it is important when you are making music or is it just good to be pure, fresh and just go with your intuition?

W: In my case, yes. For me, the vocals need to have context. I need to have references, 

but without getting soaked when creating you try to be you, not copy another.

M: It´s super difficult, I know this because you want to be original but then you sometimes see that somebody has done this already. 

H: We have music references but we don't want to be like them. The challenge is to create something that is completely new and yours, and if it is Yours, it cannot belong to anyone else.

W: I like Freddie Mercury though. (laughs)


Egosex Mar arago



Words: Marta Marszalek 

Photography: Mar Aragó 

Styling: Álvaro Martinez