The three members of Trouble In The Streets call their latest EP Rule Breaker, and that’s no idle boast. Everything about the group is designed to defy expectation. During a time of conformity, they’ve dispensed with genre limitations and crafted a style and sound all their own – one that draws from hip-hop, punk, electronic music, dream pop, avant-soul, and wild, wigged-out experimental music. At their explosive concerts, the line between audience and band is blurred by the approachability of the musicians and the enthusiasm of their listeners. Their lyrics are frequently confrontational and uncompromising, but they’re hopeful, too; they’re invitations to other outsiders to join the rebellion. Putting together novel combinations of sounds, taking left turns, astonishing fans with the intensity of their performances – that’s what the sonic agitators in Trouble In The Streets do.
And their home audience wouldn’t expect anything less. Trouble In The Streets comes from the Austin underground – and Austin, as every fan of alternative music knows, is a launching pad for projects that neither behave nor bow to any authority. Although they’re still a relatively new group, Trouble In The Streets has already won the respect of the famously discerning Texas audience: in 2018, the group won “Best New Band” at the Austin Music Awards. Word of the group’s excellence has spread far beyond the Lone Star State, too. Rule Breaker premiered on Afropunk, which lauded the group’s “beautiful odes to defiance” and praised the unconventionality of the music. The excitement of the Trouble In The Streets live show has prompted some famous names to add the trio to bills, including George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic, the Grammy Award Winning Rebirth Brass Band, Beach Fossils, Saul Williams, and Turkuaz.
Producer/keyboardist/bassist Andy Leonard and drummer Bobby Snakes are dynamic musicians, and as anybody who has caught Trouble In The Streets at a club can tell you, they’ve got charisma to burn. But the star of the show is singer and synth player Nnedi Nebula Agbaroji, and she’s the focus of Johnny Underwood’s crisply-shot clip. “Chasing Whatever” is the second track on Rule Breaker, and it doubles as a rallying-cry – and Agbaroji addresses the camera with the same kind of confidence that all of her vocal performances radiate. Underwood shoots her in the Texas greenery, flanked by her equally videogenic bandmates, ready for the fight.