Contemporary jazz saxophonist Suzy Eises swings into the festive spirit with a self-titled debut album. The eight track album comes ready with jovial grooves. It’s filled with Afro pop, jazz music and Afro Jazz. “I used a lot of elements of improvisation which is a style of Jazz music that is used to express oneself. It’s for the African continent and for anyone who enjoys that kind of music. It’s meant for people to enjoy themselves. There are a lot of African rhythms just for people to have a good time and dance around,” she assures.
Before anyone assumes the album is filled with only sounds of a saxophone, the vocals of Sam E Lee Jones and DJ Maphorisa also featured on the album. DJ Maphorisa features in the ‘Only You’ song while Sam E Lee Jones features in ‘Lowkey’.
DJ K-Boz produced most of the tracks such as ‘Africa Stand Up’, ‘Friday’ and ‘Our Love’. Suzy says that ‘Our Love’ is a romantic song about relationships with sounds of a guitar and a saxophone coming together. “At some point they rich a climax and that portrays that when people argue, they have differences but in the end they get together. That’s what I hope for people in relationships when people argue they shouldn’t just end it there but they should rather get together and resolve the matter,” said Suzy.
Sam E Lee Jones also produced two songs ‘Lowkey’ and ‘Moving’ which is the first track. Moving is a high energy track that speaks about moving anywhere. Moving upwards, moving forward with life or moving onwards from past relationships.
‘Lowkey’ is a very calm soothing kind of song that speaks about being at peace and calm with oneself. “It’s also about laying low for a while because sometimes one just has to take life easy and stop trying to be in the spotlight. I, for example don’t like being in the spotlight all the time. I like to have my family time, friendship time, travel time and so forth,” said Suzy.
Like any other up and coming artist Suzy says that working on her album hasn’t been all rosy. The fact that she has no management meant that she had to do everything by herself from marketing, promoting and funding. “Everything is funded by my mom and I. She helps me out at times or I get funds from companies that book me for performances. The challenge is trying to find people who have a vision and who understand my vision that I can go far somehow,” she expressed.
Suzy further mentioned that being respected in an independent way can be challenging when an artist doesn’t belong to any record label. It can be challenging but I am hopeful and positive that things will work out. The thing is talent cannot be unnoticed it’s all about being talented and working hard. Those things always come through no matter who you are or where you come from. If you really know how to play an instrument or if you know how to do something it will always show,” says the saxophonist.
2017 has been a great year for Suzy and she is grateful for that. “Due to the lack of saxophonists I’m able to play as often as I can. I am in demand therefore I am very grateful for the opportunity and the fact that there’s work for me because you never know with the current economic situation,” she expressed.
The Jazz festival was one of my highlights because I met Ringo who’s a humble and professional gentleman. He asked me to do one song with him and I’m very excited to collaborate with him because I always wanted voices. It is humbling to know that there’s a well-established artist from South Africa who wants to work with me. This means a lot.
Also being able to meet DJ Maphorisa who I really respect and for him to say yes to doing a song means that I am doing something right. It was also a learning experience for me. For me every year gets better though this year, it’s been slow but always better. I’d rather have it slow and doing better than being fast and crash,” she exclaimed.
Suzy’s music journey started at a very young age playing the piano. “When I picked up piano I also learned how to read music and I took part in a lot of choir competitions.” However, she started being fond of the saxophone at the age of sixteen when she went to high school.
At the age of nineteen Suzy moved to London where she attended a music course while also working as a waitress. At the age of 22 she moved to the United States of America to pursue her studies in music again. “When I came back home people where very intrigued by a black female girl playing saxophone.
The Namibian music industry is so small, I think they were really drawn to that which has helped me build my business. I grew confidence through performing as much as I could and it built up till now and hopefully it will keep growing,” expressed Suzy.
Suzy says that as an artist she has to create and that’s why she decided to work on an album. “People have been asking me to create something and this is what I can give right now. I am also excited to do a lot more in the future,” she concludes.