Jazz, funk, fusion and soul: interview with musician Suzy Eises.
|Publication:||Name: Sister Namibia Publisher: Sister Namibia Audience: Academic; General Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Social sciences; Women's issues/gender studies Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Sister Namibia ISSN: 1026-9126|
|Issue:||Date: Sept-Dec, 2011 Source Volume: 23 Source Issue: 3|
|Persons:||Named Person: Eises, Suzy|
|Geographic:||Geographic Scope: Namibia Geographic Code: 6NAMI Namibia|
You are an aspiring jazz musician. How did your musical career
I started performing at a young age, singing and playing the piano in primary school, then I moved to the keyboard in high school, in 2004. In 2006, when in Grade 10, I one day saw our school jazz band play in our hall. Immediately after, I asked the head of the jazz band if I could start learning how to play the saxophone so I could join the school jazz band. Two years into the saxophone, I headed to Grahamstown to attend workshops and performances at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, Seeing so many different musicians from different countries playing music propelled me into making the decision that this is what I want to do with my life.
After I graduated from high school in 2008, I travelled to London in 2009, where I worked for a year and then attended a one-year course at the London Centre of Contemporary Music during 2010. I arrived home early in 2011 and have since then been performing with our band called Suzy Eises and the Jazz Band. We perform at corporate and gala events and at festivals.
Do you think music can make a difference when it comes to sending positive messages?
Yes, a big difference, if it's the right music, if it's music that uplifts your spirit. The lyrics or the music itself create strong emotions that help to empower people. People can relate to lyrics as they are words from the heart. We live in a city where lots of people work hard for their money, working long hours or the '9-5'. I'm sure there are many who leave the office looking forward to listening to music that can keep them relaxed after a long day.
Can music change the world? And does your work send some kind of message?
These days, music is becoming more popular as a source of inspiration. Just look at the Western world and how the majority of American popular artists are becoming gods to people worldwide. We see rappers and singers talking about making lots of money, living lavish lives, and people are drawn to the ideas that this is how life should be lived and that this is what makes us happy.
But on the other hand, even though in the minority, we have great artists who speak of the truth and who make music that brings hope. I feel that the role I play in society is to bring good music to the world. I would like to set a good example and show the world that you can live a humble life and be peaceful, happy and successful in your own way. We don't need to give in to the pressures of the world and act like people we don't really want to be.
I think that's the beauty of the Namibian music industry. It doesn't discriminate on the basis of gender. It's all about what you can bring to the table. My situation is also unique. Being the only lead saxophonist in a live band in the country, I find it easier to break into the industry as I can build a foundation for myself and the music that I play. If you are matchless and confident in your abilities, and if others see your potential, you will thrive.
You literally became an overnight celebrity in Namibia, taking into consideration the fact that you only recently arrived in the country. How do you use your newly found success and fame towards building Namibia?
This is a great opportunity for me as I can educate the youth as well as the older generations about the style of music that I play: jazz, funk, fusion and soul. In Namibia, we are not exposed enough to different types of art forms, especially different types of music. We need to build our own industries; we need more artists in order to become fully independent in all services of our country. This will allow for more tourism and help our country gain more income.
I also hope to build a music school in Namibia one day. One of my favourite quotes is one by Dr. Minor Myers, Jr.: "Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good." - I want to use my success to help others become better; I want to speak to their souls and to inspire them. What I've achieved now is only the tip of the iceberg, I want to do more and be more, and I know by facing the future with great faith, I will accomplish my goals.
|Gale Copyright:||Copyright 2011 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.|