Localized: Øutset Bandits
Blending genres is no new feat in the music industry, and local bands Roses On The Moon and Øutset Bandits both utilize the individuality of their band members, stories and backgrounds to make dynamic and soulful music. Show up at Kilby Court on Thursday, November 16 to see opener CLUB MUNGO at 8 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) and join the crowd of joyful faces celebrating authentic, talented musicians native to Salt Lake City. There’s a $5 entry fee to this month’s SLUG Localized show, which is sponsored by Riso-Geist.
Øutset Bandits are a community. Comprised of about eight members, the group takes a co-op approach to music: If you’re in the band, you pull your weight, and every member of the family-like structure works hard to make the magic happen. I had the pleasure to meet with three core members Saco, Andrew and Mal to chat about their music career thus far as part of Øutset Bandits. They showed up to our interview wearing stylish outfits from clothing brand YSK, owned and designed by co-collaborators Nate and Robbie. Each member is a solo musician as well as a member of the Øutset crew, having each found the group through mutual friends in the Salt Lake music community. The band was formed around 2016, though some members didn’t join until more recently.
“I feel like you don’t get [collaborations] enough in rap today. People find their style and stay in that box.”
Saco is the “modest one,” Mal jokes, mentioning that Saco claims he’s not that good but is “lowkey the best.” Saco does most of the music engineering and producing while simultaneously singing and writing. Mal joined the group around 2018 with a drive to book shows and grow their presence. He and Andrew both love writing and rapping; Saco loves to make them sing. Their voices are well-balanced, and the artists speak to the versatility of their music.
They miss the collaborative nature of music, lost in recent years to the rise of a copy-paste trap sound. “I feel like you don’t get [collaborations] enough in rap today,” Saco says, “People find their style and stay in that box.” Øutset Bandits maintain their dynamic style by pushing each other and welcoming diversity in their members. “We all listen to different types of music,” Mal adds. They all agree that if you could only listen to one Øutset Bandits song it should be “Tendencies.”
Each member of the group has a deep passion for music. It shows in the way they talk about it and the way they live their lives. Mal specifically mentions that his creative outlet allows him to be vulnerable in ways he wouldn’t otherwise. One of the band’s most vulnerable moments came when they lost a crucial member of the band, Thompson Kamara. He was the “face of the band…the glue,” Mal says. Thompson’s passing on December 30, 2020 has been a motivating force for the band, as they continue to work hard in his name. They put on a tribute show for his birthday every July, and they contribute to the Thompson Kamara Hope Foundation to give back to the world in his name. Organized by his mom and supported by the Øutset family, the Foundation is a program that supports small communities in Africa to honor Kamara’s family’s heritage. Follow Øutset Bandits on Instagram @outset.bandits to stay up to date on TKHF events.
“We don’t even consider them fans, we just consider them friends of ours.”
Øutset Bandits have a sense of humility that is rare in talented artists. They jump on every opportunity to uplift fellow band members, they strive to make honest music rather than to gain clout and they care about their fans. “We don’t even consider them fans, we just consider them friends of ours,” Mal explains. “We’re so supportive of other people…we want to recognize you as a person not a fan.” The band is endlessly grateful for every opportunity that comes their way, big or small.
The group aims to create a tight-knit, comfortable ambiance at their shows. They describe their live performances as always being “stuffed to the brim with people, everyone smiling, happy, a bunch of pretty faces,” Saco says. “No drama, no fighting—just good music.” The group radiates genuine connection and inspires hard work, authenticity and talent in Salt Lake City, reminding the local scene what it means to create music from the soul. The band recently released the single “Bandit Freestyle,” and are excited to play something previously unheard at November’s Localized show.