[Exclusive] Get Digital With @SuziAnalog
Women's History Month is almost over, but not until we introduce our premiere feature starring Suzi Analogue. We teamed up with a group of eclectic artists to create an original digital feature to set off the growth of FearlessLeon this year. We are proud to call this our first body of original work.
Suzi is a confident musical force--this was evident during our shoot with this DJ, producer, artist, entrepreneur and nail art curator. Being multi-talented can sometimes get messy or overwhelming, yet, Suzi Analogue does it all effortlessly. It's super refreshing to meet women who are capable of aligning all of their talents to build their personal brand. The sassy hazel-eyed Virginia native is leaving her imprint via her self-managed label, Never Normal Records, where she introduces new music and new talent through an analog recording format (Sankofa moment). Her Instagram is filled with her beat making process, Instax stories and positive messages of being (as she calls herself) a Wavy Lady. During last month's Fall Fashion Week, Suzi invited me to a U.K. Grime party at Westway. I was impressed at her knowledge of foreign rapper crews--not to mention that she sang along the lyrics of Stormzy and Skepta's verses (in an English accent) and her vulnerability to global sounds. She's proven her skills with her songs like "Jumprope, Swarvy- Smoke, her beats like Make Et, and her remix to Kelela's "Go All Night" Remix which was premiered by THE FADER.
See our exclusive photo shoot, fashion editorial and Q&A with this beauty.
How did you get your start in music?
I've been musically active since a kid. Singing in school choirs, community performances, and church choir. My church choir was even on the Bobby Jones Gospel Show on BET. The choir inspired me to start writing my own songs when I was about 8 years old. I would record my songs to cassette tapes. They were funny songs, because I was literally a small kid figuring the world out - but I never stopped writing them, and then I started making beats at 16. I shared songs online during my 1st year of college, and a label from Amsterdam hit me up and asked me to send a demo. I did, and that was really the start of me taking music seriously. I was in school still, being flown out to studio sessions on Spring Break and making vinyl releases - my whole vision has been growing since then. I've always loved music deeply.
How long have you been in the scene for?
Even more than a scene, I've been building in the global music community for a few years now. I'm a young, but not new artist. On my Youtube Channel I have my early videos; and those things that I shared then opened the door for me to collaborate on videos and music with creatives all over the world now. From the U.K., Amsterdam, Los Angeles and so many more countries/cities. I've shared my art for years and been creating like a wildfire really.
How do you balance between producing music, DJ'ing, and being an artist?
It all comes from one place - loving music deeply and connecting it to my experiences. During my live shows, I DJ my original beats and remixes and perform some tracks I have written - like a live mixtape. That is just my style...blending it all together instead of separating it really. Each thing that I do is a great part of who I am as an artist. I'm always connecting the dots.
As a musician, what are the foreign sounds that inspire you?
I believe like Sun Ra says, that music is a universal language. That said, every city or even hood I've traveled to, to create has its own sound and feel. Traveling and hearing the sounds of cities and areas inspires me, I'm a sound enthusiast - sound traveling. Producer-wise, I love listening to vintage Bollywood records lately. The musical scale that the instruments on those records play on is cool, unlike Western instruments, and the singers sound so beautiful - they have their own vibe. I love percussive, melodic instruments from Africa like the mbira/kalimba, it makes its tones by vibrating. Synthesizer sounds can be "foreign" too. With synthesizers I've played like the Moog, you can make your own sounds that have never really even existed before - that's amazing stuff.
You've lived in many places. What has been your biggest accomplishment in each city?
What do you wish to accomplish musically and mentally this year?
In 2015, musically, I want to produce and write with/for more artists. I love being in the studio, I have fun in my sessions and always working to make a real song that people can feel. It's dope to do that with other artists too and build on your experiences together to make something new that people can feel. Mentally, I want to stay focused, and strong - but also I want to take time to let myself process the realness of what happens around me. Life is beautiful and crazy, we can't forget to take time out to step back and look at how it's all playing out and how dope it is.
You have a very eclectic sense of style. What is your biggest fashion purchase and what are some of your shopping hot spots?
In high school, I did theatre. I acted some, definitely sang, but also became a lead costume designer for our productions. I've always loved different clothing and fabrics, so that inspires my style. I would say that I'm more of a collector than just a fashion consumer - the more exciting pieces that I've collected represent a part of my story as a character, you know? One of my favorite recent pieces are Margiela Mono Lens Sunglasses. They're one big lens, it looks like a visor - protecting my left, right, and third eye haha. I actually saw that Amber Rose wore them this past fashion week, pretty cool.
I could honestly find a dope piece of clothing in any store. I've shopped high fashion and "low" fashion - the only difference I see in each store is the fabrics. "Style" is becoming available to everyone now with more technology booming, and making trends come alive faster than ever. I sometimes post my looks on my Fake Fashion Blog.
If you could shop with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
How do you feel about balancing love and a career?
In one of my favorite Paul McCartney songs, he sings: "give your heart to somebody, soon, right away". I love those lyrics so much because they really explain how artists feel bout being in love - it inspires us greatly to feel love, we thrive on it. It's tight to focus on building a special connection with someone who has your back and, you look out back. With anything in life, it's important to have understanding, respect, and good communication to be successful at it. As long as you hold that down, you're good!
What makes you fearless?
What I feel. How I let it motivate me and how I move forward with it.
What is your spirit animal?
An owl I think. Piercing eyes, always cute, but wise. I'm a night owl, always doing creative work in the night. I can have clarity, even in the darkness. I observe and respect silence and move swiftly into action.
To keep up with Suzi log on to SuziAnalouge.com
This is our first body of original work to highlight fierce talent. Thank you for being a witness. This is the beginning. If you know someone who would be a great feature, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.