I was first introduced to your voice while i was perusing youtube videos for dopeness! and i came across a song you have with Japanese producer Michita entitled ” Mothearth. ” I was blown away by not only the production but, the amazing vocals that blended perfectly as well as the message of the song. But, I could not not help but notice how extra awesome it is that you were able to sing the song in both english and japanese! Where are you from? and what is your ethnic and cultural background that enabled such versatility?
Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with me, Wahkiba! Well…I fell in love with the instrumental as soon as I heard it also. Michita has a jazzy zen feeling about his music that I was moved by pretty easily. I’m glad you enjoy the tune! I was born and raised in Los Angeles. My mom is Japanese and my dad is Iranian so I got to soak in some pretty cool elements of both cultures growing up. I think both ends helped me appreciate how amazing and impacting musical diversity really is. I always loved Arabic music because it’s exciting and beautiful. My dad played it often and would dance and sing songs really loud around the house. And I appreciated traditional Japanese songs because of the balance of strength and peace I felt when I listened to the instruments and the singing. I loved watching Taiko performances and listening to the sound of Shamisen in the car when my mom would have her turn with the cd player. I love it all. From Gamelan to the banjo, and especially Funk .
Your debut EP Movin’ came out this summer and in my opinion every single song on there is class-act amazing! The production, the lyrics, that sweet voice of yours, and the fact that you seamlessly cover so many themes such as: love, party vibes, conscious revolution, and relationships with each individual song seeming to have its own importance. With such an abundance in a 5 track EP, I wonder what your main inspirations & motivations for writing and vocal stylings are?
One of my main motivations is to connect…myself to others, folks to other folks and to themselves, myself to myself…I think it’s important to come together, even if it’s to create dialogue while maintaining different views the entire time. Sometimes I write to communicate information I feel is important. Sometimes I sing and it’s more of something that I just need for myself. I think music is the deepest love when we create without inhibition. Without thinking too hard or at all even. And I think the best way to spread love is to share the deepest part of ourselves. It’s often vulnerable though unapologetic. I want everyone to feel and to run with the deepest part of herself/himself. As far as vocal style goes, I’ll always remember Sun Ra’s “A Joyful Noise”. That’s what singing and creating is to me…it’s a joyful noise because it’s free and pure. Music is your own gospel whether you believe in God, the power of the Universe, yourself, or nothing divine at all. It’s a joyful and powerful thing. Even when the reason behind the singing is pain, or when some or all of those who listen interpret that noise as just noise. We do it for ourselves, and in doing so we spread love by embracing how awesome it is to simply be ourselves. I think it’s contagious. And if it’s not at first, then hopefully it’s understood eventually.
I cannot say more about how dope the production is on this EP! I am well familiar with the outstandingness of beats by Knxwledge. However, my ears are new to Emperor Bohe, T.HMWY, and Dub Easy but, they all proved themselves as heavyweights! Also, to take into account your prior work with one of Japan’s dopest producers ” Michita “, It would seem that you keep yourself in stellar beatmaking company! How involved are with your beat selections? What do you look for in a producer? And are there any producers on any scene that you would love to collab with now?
The producers of the tracks are pretty incredible aren’t they? I’m thankful to have teamed up with each one of them to bring all of the songs to life. As far as what I look for and how I choose tracks, I look for sounds that I cling to without thought or hesitation. I’m drawn to tunes that transport me to a place I can best describe as being clear and euphoric. I am a glutton for overstimulation…sounds that are too funky and nasty, so soulfully abundant and undisturbed it hurts…even if the sound is really minimal. I either get it or I don’t and I always know whether a track has done that for me in the first seconds of listening. I’d be so excited to work with Georgia Anne Muldrow or Mono/Poly.
At what age or time in your life did you realize you had the gift and decided you want to do music? what inspired that?
I think I realized how much I loved singing when I did karaoke for the first time with my mom and her friends in Japan. I was about five years old. I don’t know if there was a moment in particular that inspired my want to do music as I got older…but I do know that singing songs from “The Sound of Music” in my elementary school choir felt like home, just like dancing around to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Whatta Man” in 3rd grade did too. hahaha! Music always brought me closer to myself and to everything around me. I knew I never wanted to lose that feeling.
My favorite thing about your artistry Vida is the uniqueness & honesty of your voice, your sound is like nothing i’ve heard before. ( No carbon copies here! ) it is apparent that the music you manifest is coming from your soul! In your thoughts, how does an artist remain themselves or even realize their full potential in a world where the pressures of the economy, clash with the addiction to materialism, while jaded corporate bombardment controls what the masses call and respond to as ” Music “?
Thanks Wahkiba. I think artists remain themselves and reach their fullest potentials when they understand that music is somewhere they can be completely free. Music to a music maker is usually the deepest, realest part of herself/himself. So to have that expression or experimentation process tampered with, be it due to creative control from labels or pressures to conform from within, can be hindering to an artist’s self-actualization. Be it mainstream music or not, I understand how one can fall into hoping folks will understand or even like her or his art. It’s a pretty neat process I think. At some point, perhaps it becomes tiring to allow ourselves to juggle such pressures. Breaking points like these are good because we learn a lot about ourselves when we give in and finally listen to what it is that we want. Why it is that we each personally do music is important to understand. It can carry us through the most challenging times and encourage us to overcome the unnecessary pressures we take upon ourselves once we understand that we’re all here to be who we are.
What are your plans for the 2012 year!! knowing that it may be our last haha! .. Are you doing any new movements? what should we be anticipating from Vida Jafari?
My plans are to continue exploring, observing, and experimenting. And to have more organic jam circles…they are my favorite!! I’m looking forward to expanding, learning, and channeling my travels into music. I have ideas in terms of projects and movements I’d like to dive into soon as well, and I’m excited to share it all as it comes together. Instead of elaborating the content of the projects, I’d rather the listeners interpret and relate to the meanings behind them in their own ways. More to come! Thank you again, Wahkiba, for giving me the opportunity to share a little bit about myself! Much respect.
For more information on Vida Jafari go HERE & keep in contact here via Twitter as well.
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