Artopia's Bagheera: "Dance Music for People Who Give a Damn About Dance Music"

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Bagheera's Aidan Kennedy has opened for M83's Anthony Gonzalez in Austin and warmed up the crowd before a Halloween 2012 Ghostland Observatory gig at Warehouse Live. Now his group takes on the Houston Press's Artopia party.


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When Kennedy isn't helping you exercise your God-given right to shake your ass, he's also in The Handshake, a fearsome blues-metal trio. That band has been working on material off and on in SugarHill Studios with Chris Longwood, but no date has been set for release.

I talked to Kennedy about his whirlwind of a year and just how to adequately describe Bagheera.

Rocks Off: What are you working on at the moment?

Aidan Kennedy: Right now, I'm recording the follow-up to my first release, 100% Panther. It was put out this past July on a Parisian label called Plik & Plok Records. It was about 50 percent samples, and then the other half was built from scratch. For my second release, I'm trying to use no samples and have a piece of work that's truly representative of my writing capabilities.

RO: You got to play with Ghostland and Mr. M83 within the span of a month. How did that happen?

AK: October was a pretty crazy month, no doubt. We got to play with Matthew Dear, M83, and Ghostland Observatory in the span of about two weeks. Those were also the first shows that we played our full live set, so it was really great to be able to debut our original songs live at such high-profile gigs.

RO: The GO crowd warmed to you guys pretty quickly.

AK: I've got a great manager who also handles a lot of my bookings, and he hooked me up with the Ghostland Observatory guys. I've just been lucky enough to meet some fantastic people who have given me some phenomenal opportunities.

RO: You seem to split your time evenly between here and Austin.

AK: Well, I live in Houston, but I do manage to find myself in Austin at least once or twice a month. In terms of the live set, we've actually only played two shows before (one in Dallas, the other in Houston), so it's still a pretty new experience.

Our third live show is tonight at Holy Mountain for Learning Secrets' anniversary party. These guys are the best party promoters in Austin and have been doing it for a while. We open for Cosmic Kids from L.A. It should get live.

Then we are headed right back home to blow the roof off of Winter Street Studios for Artopia, and I cannot wait.

RO: Describe Bagheera's sound.

AK: It's a bastardized love child of pop culture, both old and new. Influences range from '70s O.G. disco to '80s pop, '90s house music and more modern electronic.

Cat5 magazine from Beaumont said that it's "dance music for people who give a damn about dance music," and I like that a lot.

Bagheera performs with Bang Bangz and Poor Pilate at Houston Press Artopia, 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26, at Winter Street Studios, 2101 Winter, www.houstonpressartopia.com.

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