MF Robots (Music For Robots) is a soulful new project founded by Brand New Heavies originator Jan Kincaid and former band vocalist Dawn Joseph. “It's about liberation, about being freed from musical constraints and perceptions, about pushing the envelope and challenging ourselves and making it edgy,” says Jan Kincaid.
Jan Kincaid, the former drummer, songwriter, producer, and founder of the Brand New Heavies met Dawn Joseph, the vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, when she started singing for the Heavies in 2013. The pair instantly clicked, and within their first week of working together, they were writing songs. By the end of their first month, they already had far too many for the Heavies to realistically put out. They kept writing together though and after issuing the album, Sweet Freaks, with the Heavies, they left. Now they’ve formed their own band, MF Robots – their name, a subtle dig at how generic today’s music climate has become – based around Joseph’s effusive vocals, mindful of soul’s golden age but no revival, and Kincaid’s killer rhythms. Touchstones for Joseph are Anita Baker, Gladys Knight and Whitney; their classicism viewed here through a modern lens. “The first time I heard Dawn sing, I was gripped,” says Kincaid. “Her voice just pulled me in.”
Dawn Joseph is key. A vibrant personality, both on and off stage, with a rich musical past – she started out playing bass with Phil Collins’ band and has sung with acts as diverse as Kylie Minogue, Michael McDonald and CeeLo Green – she’s a part of that lineage that connects Rick James, Nile Rodgers and Grace Jones. Her attire, which she designs and makes herself, is flamboyant and colourful and she carries herself with a flair and verve.