Never Normal Records
INTERVIEW: Electronic music producer Suzi Analogue arouses the senses with her electrifying new project
By Sound Check
May 9, 2017
By Ayara Pommells*, AFROPUNK Contributor
New York native and experimental artist Suzi Analogue has been a cornerstone in the electronic scene now for close to a decade. Recently, she released her latest offering, an audiovisual project titled ZONEZ V.3. From the project, Suzi has released the vibrant visuals to “Wildflwrr” and the Pulp-Fiction themed “Numba 1”, where she takes on the role of the light-footed, fearless character Mia Wallace.
Despite the rising popularity of Electronic music globally, female producers are still few and far between. AFROPUNK spoke to Suzi Analogue about her new ZONEZ V.3 and on her thoughts about being a female producer in the dance world.
Is it daunting being an electronic producer in such a male dominated environment?
It’s not daunting, it is just different. In mainstream music history, the black woman has traditionally been one of a few understood archetypes: “the singer”, sometimes “the rapper”, and rarely ever celebrated as the overall composer, but for me and what I do, this is uncharted territory that I meet with excitement. I have been listening to rare electronic and hip-hop records since I was about 14 years old, and making beats since 15, and I feel really strongly about my musical choices as a producer. My male allies in the music game respect my mind, and as long as we have that, we can make change together. I see more women identifying as producers every day, and that is empowering because it makes me feel that we are waking up and owning something more traditionally denied to us.
Do you ever feel as though you have to work harder than you male counterparts?
In general I have to work very hard because I am trying to create a better path for something that has not had the space to exist before, so naturally it leads to me working very hard versus just sliding into a network that is already set up for me like some of my male allies. For me, there is no pre-existing ‘set up’ for me to follow, it’s not like “hey just release a track like this, play for this person and BOOM you’ve made it”, it’s like…. put the work in now so that the reason you do this grows legs for a generation of women after you to run with.
Do you feel your feminine energy gives you any advantage in the way that you approach making music? If so, how?
I feel that the feminine energy passed down to me via my ancestors like grandmother and mother helped me appreciate concepts in life like the beauty in utter chaos. I think that ability, that energy, the nuance of femininity, inspires my music to create beautiful moments using raw elements and sounds – I do with music what women have done with life for decades, transform it into something beautiful with raw instincts.
Where do you find the inspiration for your instrumentals?
The instrumentals on ZONEZ are inspired by my real-life moments. So, a part of the process of creating these tracks is for me to go out into the world, live and experience and take notes on my highest highs and lowest lows. I take all of that in, I keep a notepad with me, I come back to the lab and I say, “what would this moment sound like if I turned it into music”? That is how ZONEZ comes to be, it is scored on my real life. Composition-wise, I am inspired by many sounds of me growing up: club music, bass music, hip-hop, gospel, soul, jazz – and I tap into all of that using electronic instruments and try to make it sound like my own world.
What made you decide to make Tape ZONEZ V. 3 a visual album versus just an audio release?
I am working to create new audio/visual collections that score and display expansion from the feminine perspective. It’s important that creative women create more space to be visualized through our art and break the boundaries of being marginalized. This is important for people to see us, hear us, and become amplified through doing this, so that’s why ZONEZ is an audiovisual series. It’s time to record the new vision of freedom that women want the future to look and sound like, and the time is definitely now.
ZONES V.3 is out now and boasts features from JAX, DJ Earl, DJ Taye, Nappy Nappa and Opal Hoyt. You can stream it in full below.
*Ayara Pommells is Owner of UK website Rawroots.com and freelance writer for several outlets. She is also a member of Rapstation’s SheMovement and of Rap’s first Performing Arts Group, The Black Opera. Follow @YahYahNah.