Water Seed. Photo: Sean Jamar

Water Seed Defines New Orleans Future Funk In “Open Sesame”

Water Seed’s new performance video for “Open Sesame,” shows the band’s songs do anything but make you want to plant your feet.

Rather, the locals dress up an old soul in dancing shoes, evoking nostalgia for a time you may have never lived in with music you have definitely never heard before. The opening created between past and present, that fluid movement through space and time, comes to life in the new live recording of “Open Sesame.”

Filmed on August 19, 2017 at a performance at the Blue Nile, the video features drummer Lou Hill, lead singer Berkley, flautist Cinese, percussionist Shaleyah and keyboardist J Sharp commanding crowds and executing coordinated dances as the band belts out the opening track of its latest album, We Are Stars. Keeping the crowd playing right along with the bouncy banger,the musicians slip in a rock ‘n’ roll-style guitar solo into a song otherwise fashioned in the image of 1970s.

In speaking exclusively with OffBeat, Water Seed’s Lou Hill says “‘Open Sesame’ is one of the band’s favorite songs.  I think it was the first song that we felt was actually done and ready for the album.  If you listen closely it’s really a song about evolution and personal destination.  It encourages you to walk a path that will eventually transform you to your higher self.”

The entirety of the band’s latest album stays true to the future funk fusion style of the video. We Are Stars, which peaked at 27 on the Billboard 200’s R&B chart and 8 on Heatseekers, is the fifth studio album for the band since Hill founded it 15 years ago at Xavier University.

In the intervening years, Water Seed has survived a changing roster of group members and changing locations, relocating to Atlanta after Hurricane Katrina. While the band honed its musical art and soul in New Orleans, the collective’s stay in another southern city  gave it time to evolve into its current iteration of artsmanship, solidifying  group members and learning about the business side of the music.

Now, three years after returning to New Orleans, Water Seed has submerged right back into the musical landscape of its home, playing local festivals and venues, and even making a fan out of Cyril Neville after he saw them perform.

Water Seed will perform once again at the Blue Nile on November 7 as part of a tour through Louisiana and Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania. The new album is now available for streaming. You listen to it here: https://open.spotify.com/album/1PNLm7Zwqvv4A45fuBBUcn