Even once they aren’t enjoying their raucous on-screen personas, the forged of We Are Woman Components seem like a band. Over the course of our interview, the 4 women – who’re nestled collectively on a settee of their native London – giggle loads, mess about and end one another’s sentences too.
“We help one another,” says Religion Omole, who performs bassist Bisma within the present. “It’s like a track; all of our devices sound higher once we’re collectively.”
Set in London, the ground-breaking Channel 4 comedy was created by Nida Manzoor. It follows all-Muslim feminist punk band Woman Components, made up of Omole’s Bisma, enigmatic frontwoman Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), taxi-driving drummer Ayesha (Juliette Motamed) and wheeler-dealer supervisor Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse). After a little bit of looking, they discover their lacking piece in shy guitarist Amina (Anjana Vasan). Whereas on a determined quest to discover a husband but additionally mix in together with her friends, Amina struggles to stability her two worlds.
Manzoor had two essential causes for creating the present. Firstly, she was pissed off with the shortage of variety on UK telly. “I used to be seeing a number of Muslim girls within the mainstream media proven as oppressed or victims,” she tells NME. “I wished to jot down one thing that mirrored who I’m, the individuals I do know and the ladies I really like.”
It additionally stemmed from a love of music that she’s had since childhood. Rising up with musical siblings and listening to every little thing from Paul Simon to pop punk (she was particularly jealous of her sister’s Green Day t-shirt rising up), Manzoor was adamant that her eclectic tastes can be mirrored within the present. “I cherished System of a Down, they had been my teen obsession as a result of they had been Armenian American,” she says. “They’d this Center Japanese sound to their music which was actually broad and playful.”
Manzoor can be obsessive about band dynamics, which lie on the coronary heart of her favorite movies This Is Spinal Faucet and Virtually Well-known. With this in thoughts, choosing the right forged for her all-girl Muslim outfit was essential. “One of many hardest issues was discovering actors who may very well be believably punk,” she says. We Are Woman Components had already existed as a comedy brief put out by Channel 4 in 2018 starring Vasan, Shorthouse and Motamed. After a “vigorous and intense” casting course of, Omole and Impey joined the fold. “They discovered the devices, and so they put a lot time in that they really grew to become a band in rehearsals.”
A number of the forged had been already musically educated. Vasan, an acoustic singer-songwriter who cites Dolly Parton and nation artist Townes Van Zandt as her inspirations, immediately struck a chord together with her character: “It felt surreal to play [someone] who shares the identical Spotify playlist as me.” Impey had sung in soul indie band A Blossom Fell for six years. Self-labelled emo Motamed is a singer and producer, although had by no means sat behind a drum equipment till rehearsals. “It was such a beautiful little cathartic second to truly play,” she remembers. “It was actually cool to reside out my punk band fantasy.”
Solely Omole was new to the instrumental scene. “It was the center of the pandemic after I discovered that I had the function,” she remembers. “I used to be simply doing puzzles and consuming all day. On the day I discovered, I completed my final puzzle. It was like, ‘Child, you’ve received to study some stuff now.’”
Raised on a strict food regimen of Whitney Houston, the actor threw herself into training the bass and mastered the instrument in simply two weeks. “After my first lesson I left a voice be aware for my buddy attempting to not have a panic assault,” she says, whereas the opposite women cackle within the background. “However I’m not going inform myself that I can’t do one thing, I’m [had to] inform myself that I may do it.”
To get into character, the forged immersed themselves in punk. Impey studied robust feminine lead singers and band gamers, and watched music movies by London rockers Skinny Lady Eating regimen to select up their naturally chaotic air. Motamed would ship the ladies music to hearken to on set. “I needed to channel some actual rage, so I’d sit in my trailer and hear to those playlists,” says Impey.
The songs carried out within the present – a string or guttural punk anthems with titles like ‘Basheer With The Good Beard’ – had been written by Manzoor and her siblings over the course of some weeks. “My sister or I’d have an thought or humorous lyric and we’d begin spitballing,” she says. “I play the guitar, my sister performs bass, and my brother performs every little thing, and we’d simply lay down these tough demos.”
For lots of the forged, We Are Woman Components is their first serialised small-screen enterprise. “My mother and father are over the bloody moon,” says Motamed. “The household WhatsApp is on hearth. Like, I’m positive they’ll be those to create the memes of my face.” The expertise of creating the present even motivated Vasan and Motamed to get again to their very own music, with each releasing new materials over the summer season. “I’ve wished to place collectively an album for a very long time,” says Vasan. “Then after I received to do the present, I realised, ‘Why am I ready? I ought to simply do it.’”
Past the memes and the music, the ladies are most dedicated to the present’s mission, which is to point out a gaggle of Muslim girls enjoying guitar and having enjoyable. “It is a story that hasn’t been instructed earlier than. It’s a present that celebrates pleasure,” says Motamed. “Hopefully, it may possibly open the door for completely completely different tales.” Over a gaggle of vigorously nodding heads, Omole provides: “We have to perceive one another, and we are able to solely do this if we see one another. This present makes Black and Brown girls seen, and that’s what’s so thrilling about it.”
‘We Are Woman Components’ debuts on Channel 4 at 10pm tonight (Might 20), with the total sequence accessible on All 4