Exclusive Interview: See Sza Blossom

 

by Andrea K. Castillo

Her voice is sweet and her lyrics are filled with emotion. Her music digs deeper than the surface, and is crafted with precision. Her name is Sza and she is here to share her music and herself to the world. Take a glimpse inside her mind in this interview with Giant Step contributor, Andrea K. Castillo.

I first became familiar with your EP through Giant Step and I immediately downloaded, and I listened, and listened, and thought, “Wow, this is really great! Let me learn more about this girl.” So I read all your press stuff and decided to do an interview, so here it is. We’re in the time of Sza. Your EP, See Sza Run, has been out for a few weeks now, tell me a little bit about the process, I know you worked with a bunch of different producers, how was that experience?

Sza: Super. A lot of these happened by chance. You’d be surprised at how any people don’t give you beats or don’t give you permission for anything, so I pretty much stole three-quarters of my project. Once they [the producers] heard it, they weren’t as angry with me. It was definitely interesting, I was like “That sounds good, MINE!”, and just ran with it.

So it’s seven tracks, and when listening it is very atmospheric and I can see what you are talking about. It’s a little dark, but I like that, and your lyrics are very refined. How long have you been writing?

Sza: That’s a really good question. I’ve been a writer, prior to singing or anything, for a very long time. That was my strong suit. Even in high school I was in AP English…writing is my thing. I’m a serious reader and heavily into poetry, so before I even opened my mouth and thought “Maybe I should try to translate this into something, it’s crowded in here”, I had to find a way to get these thoughts out of my brain.

You paint a picture with your words, and in regards to your visuals, I noticed across the board there are a lot of flowers; the album artwork, the music videos. Can you tell us more about your choice to use floral imagery in your work?

Sza: My mom was somewhat of a botanist, so gardening, plant life, that’s all her sh*t, and my dad was super into science. I went to school for science, so I love plant life and wild life. Knowing a lot about flowers and what they represent and the energy they bring…I use a lot of tiger lilies in my work because they used to grow in my backyard all the time; those are my favorite, they’re so pretty.

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Read the rest of the interview after the jump

Blue Note Reissues Six Classic Jazz Albums in Hi-Def Audio

 

Blue Note this week released six classic jazz albums in high definition audio. Digitally remastered for the first time, these albums will be available on HDtracks for an unparalleled listening experience. All albums will come packaged with original liner notes, extra photos, and newly written essays. Folks can look forward to more reissues coming soon, but in the meantime, check below for the stellar works that have been made available this week:

John ColtraneBlue Train
Eric DolphyOut To Lunch
Herbie HancockMaiden Voyage
Wayne Shorter- Speak No Evil
Horace SilverSong for My Father
Larry YoungUnity

Purchase on HDtracks

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New Release: Cecilia Stalin – ‘Step Like A Giant’

 

Now this is something truly special. Also taking inspiration from our namesake, John Coltrane’s Giant Steps album, Swedish vocalist Cecilia Stalin has released her Step Like A Giant project.

She has done an overwhelmingly beautiful job paying homage to one of our most cherished musical greats. She speaks on the project:

This project was born deep down in my heart when I first heard “Naima” by John Coltrane. I fell deeply in love with the melody and then even more with the lyrics after learning more about him. I have ever since spiritually been working with the music of John Coltrane and it’s now come out in new shapes, forms and ideas.

Cecilia aims to use the project to introduce Coltrane’s music to those who may not yet be familiar. Stream the project below and become inspired yourself!

Twitter | Official Site

Happy 85th Birthday, John Coltrane

 

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If John Coltrane was alive today, he would be celebrating his 85th birthday. The jazz great’s influence on us and the whole music world is nothing short of massive – we’re not called Giant Step for nothing.

We salute you and think of you fondly on this special day!

Official Site

GPWW 4/20/11: Worldwide Family Mixtape – Austin Peralta

This week’s show starts out with a track by the recently-deceased drummer Steve Reid, who Gilles Peterson started a foundation for on behalf of struggling musicians. The GPWW radio show moves quickly after that with some Roots, plus more great music by Morgan Zarate, Jack Soul, Riton and Hefner.

Then we get into the special mix from the latest Brainfeeder signing, a new LA-based pianist named Austin Peralta. He plays a nice variety of tunes alongside his own songs, including Bjork, John Coltrane, J Dilla, Archie Shepp and more. Gilles finishes off the show with more Coltrane (never enough ‘Trane) Sun-Ra, Bobby Hutcherson, Tortoise, Moloko and Arthur Russell.

Part 1
 

Part 2
 

Listen in Jukebox

More Info & Tracklisting