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Connan Mockasin Talks Tokyo, Eric Clapton + ‘Flirty’ New Album ‘Caramel’

Connan Mockasin
Jen Carey

New Zealand psych-soul curio Connan Mockasin recorded his latest album, ‘Caramel,’ in Tokyo after his father fell ill, and by the sound of it, he had himself quite the trip. The songs ooze freakazoid sexiness, making this a go-to boot-knocking record for conceptual art students and fans of avant-garde pop the world ’round. Aroused, enthralled and perplexed by the LP, which dropped back in November on Mexican Summer, Diffuser.fm sent Connan a list of interview questions. Our hope was to get a sense of what this dude is all about, and while we still have no idea, his answers are pretty entertaining. Check ‘em out below.

You wrote and recorded this album in Tokyo following your father’s illness. Why that city? Had you been there before?

Yes, I had been there before. I wanted to make a record that to me sounded like a record called ‘Caramel,’ which was slick and flirty, so I went to Tokyo. It’s an exciting and mysterious city.

Tunes like ‘I’m the Man, That Will Find You’ have a sensuality to them — they’re almost like loverman Prince jams — but there’s also this warped, woozy sensibility. Would you say your music is sexy? Is that the intention?

I would say more flirty, the part way before sex.

At the risk of getting too personal, what records do you reach for to set a romantic mood?

I like Eric Claptons soundtrack to Rush. It’s very romantic.

Is creating an album by yourself in a hotel room a lonely experience? How does it compare to working with a full band?

It’s not lonely. I enjoy being alone making a record. I haven’t made a record with my band yet, but I would love to.

Your stage name comes from your penchant for making moccasins. When touring and traveling in general, how important is having the right footwear? When are moccasins not appropriate?

Yes, I used to love making moccasins. My moccasins are good in the cold but not too good in the rain.

You made your U.S. debut at Mexican Summer’s five-year anniversary. What’d you think of Brooklyn and the States? Any plans for additional touring?

Loved it. There was an excitement that inspired me and has made me want to move there very soon.

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