Eises and Blaque cook up jazz hip-hop track ‘Lick’
Taking a revolutionary step in the Namibian music industry, jazz musician Suzy Eises and music producer Nasha Blaque teamed up to create ‘Lick’, a track which incorporates both jazz and hip-hop elements.
The melodic saxophone notes and the track’s smooth electronic harmony are twined in such a manner to create the musical meaning of the song ‘lick’. Jazz ‘licks’ are usually original short phrases which can be altered so that they can be used over a song’s changing harmonic progressions which Suzy does with effortless precision.
“In the jazz and rock community, a ‘lick’ is a phrase of musical notes that is carried over by musicians through time and played in different ways or songs. I have used a specific lick in this song by a well-known jazz musician, Eric Marienthal, that I really liked. It has become the main theme of this song,” Suzy said.
She comes from two different cultures, Oshiwambo and Damara, and has lived in South Africa, England, Kenya, Germany and the USA. Stating that this has helped her appreciate other cultures and their music, she said “I have always loved a wide range of music and wouldn’t like to stick to one genre. I love to experiment with all types of music.” Nasha also uses inspiration from various aspects of his life to diversify his beats. “Music as a whole inspires me too. I listen to all kinds of music just to see what’s out there and to see how I can incorporate it into my style of production,” he said.
This openness to music brought Suzy and Nasha together. After playing a few tracks and seeing Suzy’s positive reaction to his beats, Nasha proposed that the two collaborate on a piece. Together, they were able to transcend genres and introduce Namibia to a new jazz hip-hop style. Both artists hope that the track will be an inspiration to other musicians to try new things with their talent. “I think the song is a push factor to make musicians see that it’s OK to step outside the box and experiment with music, to try different things with different genres of music and not just stay in one lane as it will only limit you,” Nasha said.
Suzy echoes the same sentiment saying, “We hope to inspire people to work together in different ways and to become innovative.”
The song has not only united two different genres of music, but it has also built a friendship between the two artists who look forward to working together on future projects. “This song is more than a song to us. We have become really good friends and hope to work together on an EP very soon,” Suzy said.
Suzy is expected to enthrall audiences with performances at the Night under the Stars concert on 13 May 2016 whilst Nasha is slated to perform on 26 May 2016 at the Warehouse Theatre at the Beat Auction Namibia event.