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Top 10 artists of inspiration for Pluto Tango and his music

Pluto Tango’s heavenly EP, Banana Harvest blessed our ears in July. Now, the QLD artist has revealed his ultimate musical inspirations.

Pluto Tango enthralled us with his debut EP, Banana Harvest last month. The vibrant, feel-good collection of tracks effortlessly fuse elements of reggae, R&B, funk and soul to create the perfect summer soundtrack for warming up our winter blues!

Now, we’ve caught up with the Queensland-based singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist once again to find out which 10 artists have inspired his sound the most. Check them out below.

#1 – Fat Freddy’s Drop

Speaking on the NZ-hailing seven-piece, Pluto Tango says: “One of the first reggae dub artists I really connected with. The combination of live and electronic elements really peaked my interest from an early age. One of the first acts I saw live at one of my first festivals called Shine On’.”

#2 – Katchafire

Yet another “amazing reggae group from NZ,” says Pluto about Katchafire. “Such a focus on group harmonies with impeccable tone. Feel-good and uplifting. Was always a favourite with my friendship group at parties.”

#3 – FKJ

In the words of Pluto, French musician, FKJ is “an absolute master of his craft.” He adds, “another blend of electronic and live instruments with super soft and subtle vocal style. Really changed the game for me, especially his first album, ‘French Kiwi Juice’.”

#4 – Tom Misch

“A tasty, guitar-driven style with clever hook lines and laid-back, easy listening,” says Pluto on English musician and producer, Tom Misch. “A mix of jazz and soul elements with a beautiful English voice.”

#5 – Jacob Collier

Let’s face it, we all love the awe-inspiring musical genius that is Jacob Collier, Pluto Tango included: “If God put all the musical talent in the world into one person, this would be the guy,” he says. “His music blows me away at the range of styles he can cover, the time signatures, and the pull-and-push in melody and groove. It’s immeasurable to any other I’ve heard. He reminds me of my early days just making sounds for the fun of it, but makes weirdness digestible to the average listener.”

#6 – Bonobo

UK-born, LA-based musician, producer and DJ, Bonobo evokes feelings of a ‘home away from home’ for Pluto Tango: “I always listen to Bonobo when I go travelling,” he explains. “It puts me in a place I can’t quite describe, but makes me feel like I’m home wherever I am in the world. The collaborations with other artists, and the choices of samples and sounds used, are always an inspiration.”

#7 – Snarky Puppy

“Freaks all ’round,” he says on American collective, Snarky Puppy. “The experimental nature of this band has been a huge eye opener into what can be achieved by a high caliber bunch of musicians in a room together. Another one with amazing flow and make you wonder if you’re counting the music correctly, trying to find the 1 (in 1, 2, 3, 4) is a fun challenge.”

#8 – The Red Eyes

“This reggae dub group was a huge inspiration through my early ’20s,” reveals Pluto. “I would go to see them live in Melbourne every chance I could. The vocalist has a very unique tone and you can feel his roots and passion in his voice, along with amazing players that share synchronicity, both live and in the studio.”

#9 – Hiatus Kaiyote

“Where to begin?!” exclaims Pluto, referring to Melbourne-originating neo-soul quartet, Hiatus Kaiyote. “This group is fronted by one of the best vocalists of all time. Her range of tones and octaves always has me baffled. Another one that can make jazz and experimental music digestible for the average listener. Timeless and beautiful songs, a huge inspiration.”

#10 – Herbie Hancock

According to Pluto, Herbie Hancock is “an absolute master of music in all senses of the word.” He goes on to say, “the range he has covered throughout his long life will stand the rest of time. Some stuff is weird, some stuff is funky and some stuff is completely out of this world. Some of the stuff he was doing back in the ’70s, people have only just started to scratch the surface now.”

If you’ve not yet treated yourself to the sun-soaked, sonic sensation that is Pluto Tango’s debut LP, give it a listen below!