Namiwa Jazz is a 24 year old singer-songwriter from Birmingham, UK who speaks her truth, with a fearless lyrical approach to subjects that mean a lot to her. She has supported the lies of Public Enemy, Brian Jackson, The Floacist, Macka B and Amarrie, Teedra Moses and Jacob Banks.
Accompanied with a full band, Namiwa Jazz has been performing as an opening for festivals, and venues! Whether signing with just a guitar accompaniment or a full band, her unique singing style is leaving music lovers feeling that once again, the world mya see another great voice emerge. Surprising listeners with a voice and aura way beyond her years that she describes as AFROTWANG. Bringing in 2019 by releasing her latest funky new single “Matter of Fact” produced by Mellow Deep.
This was a fun single! We couldn’t help ourselves with this one. Immediately we are up dancing around, voguing, whining, and really grooving to this song. It has a sound of so many familiar sounds but it makes its own sound. AFROTWANG is what she calls it and we couldn’t agree more! You have all these exotic sounds in the production and her voice! Her voice is so different and it adds another flavor into this song. You can dance to this alone, in a group, in the shower, in the mirror, cleaning up, working out you name it. It sounds like she really had a ball creating this song.
Listen to "Matter Of Fact" by Namiwa Jazz here, and learn more about Namiwa in our interview below!
Namiwa! Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey good people, its your girl Namiwa Jazz! I am an international singer songwriter and composer from Birmingham, UK. I'm currently touring at venues and festivals with my band around the UK and Europe.
Can you give us a brief history of your musical career?
I started gigging on the UK music scene in 2014 with my AFROTWANG band. I produced my 1st EP 'My Garden of Eden' and headlined my EP launch selling over 200 tickets to local fans. It was this year that I found my sound AFROTWANG and received my first BBC Radio 1 & BBC 1Xtra play from Huw Stevens and DJ Trevor Nelson.
Since summer 2014, I have been blessed with opportunities to support artists like Public Enemy, Brian Jackson, Teedra Moses, Amariie, Jimmy Cliff and The Floacist (Floetry). I have since self released my second body of work 360 on Love EP and self released my single Namaste produced by Duplex and Matter of Fact produced by Mellow Deep.
I made my international debut in 2018 playing 3 gigs at New Skool Rules, the biggest International Urban Music Conference and Festival with my live band and will be back this May (2019) to showcase with my live band.
Towards the end of 2018, I elevated my live band sound with a brass trio for the very first time, launching at the Hare and Hounds music venue, one of Birmingham most loved music venues. I am currently recording with my band and touring around the UK playing awesome venues like The Birmingham Jamhouse and Hootananny in Brixton, London. I am currently supported by platforms like Birmingham Music Awards, BBC West Midlands and BBC Introducing.
How did you choose your stage name?
I feel as if my name chose me, Namiwa Jazz is me, I am her.
Do you write your own music?
I write all my songs and work closely with my band to create my unique sound AFROTWANG. Over the last few years I have collaborated with other artists to write passion songs for them in different genres like, Electronic, Drum and Bass, R&B and Hip hop.
Can you tell us a bit about your writing style?
I approach writing music with feelings first. Depending on the vibe of the instrumental, mood and or concept of the song my approach differs. For songs I have written and released to date, my writing process has been intimate and mostly done alone, then I bring the lyrics to my band or producer and build up the sound. I imagine the sound and then make it happen based on my vision or idea for the composition.
My sound AFROTWANG is unique to me, its a fusion of my favourite genres of music: Soul, Jazz, Funk, Hip-Hop, R&B and Reggae music. Working with a live band allows me to flow effortlessly between genres and lift my spirit, sound and lyrics to the place they need to be.
Your new single "Matter Of Fact" is beautiful. Your jazzy sound is so addictive! Can you tell us a bit about creating the song?
Matter of Fact is written by myself and produced by Mellow Deep. We have a good energy in the studio together, we were originally connected through a mutual friend, so our approach making the single was really organic.
The official music video was directed by myself, I worked with a small team of creatives from Birmingham including international choreographer Mathew Lambden to visually represent the message and meaning of the song. I wanted this visual to be full with a 'Matter of Fact' attitude. I absolutely love videography and have either directed or co-directed all of my music videos to date. I am a hands on artist and love every part of making music from writing in the studio to impatiently waiting to hear the final masters, to sitting with the editors for the video.
Where did the inspiration behind the song come from?
Yeah, Matter of Fact, it's in the name. This song is definitely a self affirming anthem. I'd say the hook and post hook bring the message home.
"Matter of Fact and done.
Matter of Fact I know I'm someone.
Na badda with uncertain.
Matter of Fact I know I'm chosen.
Gwarn give them a run.
Go and get them I'll over turn them.
You can't touch my front.
Go and get them I'll under 10 them."
When I wrote this I was feeling frustrated with the complexities of friendship and sisterhood and felt at the time the music was the only friend I had to express this to.
I hope that other young women and girls can relate to this song and my overall message, which is, know how you are and don't allow people to walk all over you no matter who they are.
I want to inspire people from all walks of life with my music but most importantly I want to encourage women and girls to stand up in their power and work it.
Coming from a jazz background, who are some major influences in music who have helped shape your career in the music industry?
There are so many, but so I don't make this list as long as the interview, It's only fair to brake it down like this:
Child hood: That's so raven, Mistque, Shuga babes
USA: Lauren Hill, Jill Scott, Nina Simone, Beyonce, Gwen Stefani
UK: Laura Mvula, Joan Armatrading, Jools Holland, Macy Grey, Gabriel
Emergeing UK acts: Cherri V, Hamza, Etta bond
Gospel: Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, Israel
What’s next for Namiwa?
I feel so blessed to have a community that support me and fans that show me genuine love at shows. This year I have more original Afrotwang music to release and more gig dates to announce! I am working on a new live band orchestra project that will be released in good time.
I hope the USA is ready for me! I will be residing in North Hollywood for the whole month of August and plan to make as many connections as possible whilst I'm out there. Before that I'll be in NYC in March exploring the city and going to as many live gigs as possible and back in Rotterdam for New Skool Rules in May.
So what's next.... More life, more travels, more music, more love!
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