Azari & III


Written by Lucy Natek
20 Monday 20th February 2012

In the name of album launch day (which is today), we discussed inspirations, songwriting techniques and the Canadian music scene with band member Fritz Helder. Sadly, the rumor about Azari & III going on tour with her Madgesty herself is still just a rumor.


There is some sort of house revival going on in music at the moment. Do you feel a part of that?

Not so much - there's almost too much to be inspired by. At this stage our process is to not think about a process and just trust our natural instincts. In the end we concluded that its best to create in the ‘future neutral’.

Were you into house music when you were younger? Were you actively participating in the 90’s clubbing/rave scene?

We love and respect all musical genres. It's really difficult to say there are so many! At home, I play Morris Day and the Time, a lot of Prince and Grace Jones. I guess you could say those are direct influences but my ears are open to all sounds. 

You have previously mentioned how improvisation is crucial to Azari & III. Does that go for studio sessions as well as your stage performance?

Yes, improv is important on stage and in studio... In the studio, our creation starts with ideas from the four of us and topical conversation before the intricate process of improving w sounds melodies and harmonies.  

Canada is a country which puts out a ton of good music. Do you feel most of that magic happens in Toronto? What’s the scene like now in Toronto?

The music culture in Toronto is rich and diverse. It's constantly changing and evolving. You can find bands and solo artists from hip hop to indie rock,  folk, country and electronic music all thriving and doing well abroad. It breeds a confidence when you see your peers doing well. 

How do you write songs?

With intent and emotion and honesty.

The video for ‘Hungry for the power’ makes Toronto seem like such a cold & unfriendly city. The album cover is a giant hand squeezing the Burj Khalifa. To me it comes across as a reference to the harshness of cities or capitalist world in general. Am I right, or is it about something completely different?

That’s interesting! I like that our videos and album art is open to interpretation. However, harshness isn't reserved to life in the city or the ideals capitalism. It's survival of the fittest whether you're  a country mouse or city mouse.

Are you really going on tour with Madonna?

Ask Madonna - she’ll know better than us.


Azari & III's self-titled debut album is out today. Find out more at

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