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They are experts in soul & blues performances. They were formed in 2015 in Memphis and recently they released their debut album. We are refering to Southern Avenue! If you want to know how they chose this name, more details about their album, and also if you want to get to know them in depth, Ori the band’s frontman, shares with us all the details about who they really are.

Two years ago, they made their dream come true when they signed their first contract with Stax Records. Tierinii Jackson, Ori Naftaly, Jeremy Powell, and Tikyra Jackson are not here to change the world, but they are here to make us feel better through their music, while we all try to change it together.

Their fans are an important part of their everyday life and they always make time for them, even after the end of their concerts. The members of Southern Avenue may face the difficulties of everyday life, but they are here only to entertain us with their music and fill us with their positive energy.

So, on the occasion of their latest live appearances and their upcoming album, we wanted to find out who Southern Avenue really are. If you also want to know, then we suggest that you read the full-featured interview they gave to!

Ori, welcome to! What’s the story behind the name of your band?

Hi! I used to live in a neighborhood in Memphis called ​C​ooper-​Young and the street Southern ​Avenue passes right at the end of it. ​ Southern Avenue also turns into McLemore Avenue, where ​Stax Records had it’s home for years. We think the name lets us be us and represents our Memphis​ music culture.

 You are five different people in this band. What’s the thing that you have in common and how did you end up together?

Music. It’s all about making music and touring. I had my solo band and I toured the Blues circuit for two years. I decided to change my lead singer with Tierinii and then hired her sister to play drums. Quickly we realized we love working together and we started a new Band.

​W​e always played with Jeremy on Beale street so when we signed with Stax we asked him to join us. Gage on bass actually did sound for us for a few months before we hired him on bass. We are a family.

In February, you released your debut self-titled-album, “Southern Avenue”, under Stax Records. What are your feelings about this evolution in your career?

We are humbled. We are feeling blessed. Nothing more to say here, we exceeded every expectation we had. 

Which of the songs you have released so far is in the top of your playlist and you think is the one that represents you the most as a band?

​”​It’s ​Gonna ​Be ​Alright​,” and “Don’t Give Up.”​ Because that’s life. When you don’t give up everything will be alright. It’s our motto.

Do you like to experiment or do you want to move on your best known musical paths?

We are musicians who have different musical tastes but 80% of it is mutual. We love exploring and do it on stage and in the studio every day.

You are currently on tour. How do you choose the songs that you play in your live performances and which other artists do you prefer to cover?

We change the set list every night. If we tour with another band then we usually do the same set list but change things up on stage as we go. We like to cover songs in a cool way like take a slow tune and make it fast or take a male vocalist like Stevie wonder and Have Tierinii sing it. It’s refreshing and cool.

What is your relationship with the public? What kind of energy do you get from them when you’re on stage?

We love our fans! We try to connect to our audience at every show and sometimes it takes some time but by the end of the show we are all together as one.

Which are the artists that have inspired you the most to write your music? Are there any other artists you would like to collaborate with in the future?

We have so many influences that it’s hard to point out specific artists. Anything Memphis Music.

I’m sure that you’re aware of the socio-political situation that exists right now is Greece. Generally do these things affect you in the way you write your music?

It does. But we don’t write about it. We write from the experiences we are going through. If I had a bad day I’m going to write about what my feelings are while it’s happening. We talk about difficult issues but we are not here to change the world – just make y’all feel better while we all try to change it together.

Have you ever visited our country? What are your thoughts about Greece?

I visited Athens and loved it. I only spent three days and I hope to comeback sooner then later!

Did you face any major difficulties in your career until now? And did you have to take any hard decisions that could affect you?

We faced a lot of difficulties. We face them everyday. Tierinii has two kids. Jeremy has a kid. I am in the US on artist visa and TK was in college when she joined the Band. I can go on and on. We are fighting but you know, the hardest fight is the battle with our own thoughts and fears. When we are strong a difficulty becomes a challenge. A struggle becomes a journey. That’s how I feel.

Since you are new in the music industry as a band, what do you think you learned about music, and about your relationship during that period?

We learned that to love ourselves is the first step. Be polite and thoughtful. You cannot spend 300 days a year together and not have respect for one another.

What has been the most surprising part of this journey so far?

Being signed on Stax only ​seven months after starting the band. It was such a crazy moment.

What are your next business plans?

We plan to release another album as soon as we can and keep touring the world.

Is there anything that you would like to add which hasn’t been mentioned since this moment of the interview?

I would love to say that without our families and our team behind us like our manager ​ and ​agent​, and all of the fine folks at Stax (Concord Music)​ – we would not be where we are today.

Interview: Theodore Kolliopoulos

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