Traditional Flamenco and the poetic nature of rap have made for a unique and alluring sound on songwriter Peter More’s release of double singe “Instead/Chan Chan”. The release features an original and a cover inspired by Compay Segundo and Buena Vista Social Club. The medley featured an unlikely guest whose vocal-lines became a staple to the songs’ appeal.
Grammy winning producer John Forte who is best known for his work on The Fugees’ The Score in 1996 was welcomed into the project with More after a casual porch-like meeting at a jam night at Martha’s Vineyard. More and his band were playing a medley of “Instead” and Forte stepped up spontaneously to spit a line and it was magic from then on for the group.
“John is a highly creative person and true artist, so it was a pleasure working with him on this medley and we wanted to keep the back porch feel of how it came together in Martha’s Vineyard when we met,” More told American Songwriter.
“Instead” is a profound blend of traditional flamenco guitar and pop inspired vocals. The expert musicianship of the group is eloquent and paired with Forte’s rap hooks, constitute the perfect dynamic.
“Chan Chan” originally written by Compay Segundo and popularized by Cuban group Buena Vista Social Club, is an intricate, beautiful, traditional bolero/danzon style song, commemorated by the stylistic and accented vocals of More and the gaze of dreamy flamenco acoustic guitars.
“Bandmate Jose and I had been playing ‘Chan Chan’ for years down in Mexico but we had never recorded a cover before,” said More. “We felt this arrangement with ‘Instead’ had evolved to a special place incorporating several styles and we wanted to capture it.”
Before the duo was brought together, More and his band were touring extensively internationally and domestically to promote their debut LP Beautiful Despair from 2018. The recent double single presents a new side and transformation to More’s songwriting, propelled by its experimental nature. Counterpart Forte, who found himself in a world of legal turbulence after involvement in drug trafficking, eventually serving a seven-year stint in federal prison, now presents himself with a new found perception that he works into his lyrics. His verse on “Instead” dishes up a reflection on his life-altering mistakes while his line in “Chan Chan” highlights the philosophical promise in love and renewal.