Thursday, July 14, 2005

KEZIAH JONES: THE ICON OF BLUFUNK



Chima's Exclusive Interview With Keziah Jones: The Icon Of Blufunk Fame.

EKENYERENGOZI MICHAEL CHIMA INTERVIEWED THE CHARISMATIC AND ENIGMATIC NIGERIAN BORN ROCK GUITARIST KEZIAH JONES. AND HE IS ALSO WORKING ON THE KEZIAH JONES BOOK PROJECT WITH FRENCH AND JAPANESE RESEARCHERS AND TRANSLATORS. BELOW IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.

1. WHAT IS BLUFUNK?
Blufunk is essentially a method: a means of making one instrument sound like many. This was a necessity during the years I spent playing out and about on the streets of London and Paris. In the guitar, is the bassline, the percussion and the lead guitar line. Weaving in and out of all these is my vocal line. For all these things to be going on it is necessary for the mind to be totally still and fixed on no one thing in particular, therefore Blufunk is also a philosophy of life, which is reflected in my lyrics. You could say the whole theory emerged as a result of long periods of time spent in solitude and cultural isolation whilst I was being ”educated" in British boarding schools from the age of eight. So literally you could break it down like this. The psychic blues/melancholia that I perceived in life in general and the funk: for an individuals physical/dynamic attempt to overcome it. In the dictionary a "blue funk" is defined as a state of mental or emotional agitation.

2. WHY ARE YOU NOT CALLING IT AFROFUNK? SINCE THERE IS A LOT OF AFRICAN BEATS IN THE COMPOSITION OF YOUR MUSIC.
The term afro funk whilst obviously related to me and to some aspects of my music is still too broad and unspecific.

3. WHY ARE YOU NOT VERY WELL KNOWN IN AMERICA?
I am known among the people who look for me, so far I have managed and to prevent my music being totally commercialized in return for mainstream success, there are compromises involved in "being known in America" or even being known anywhere. After 4 albums, it’s so far so good. I believe I can now negotiate being known in America and elsewhere on my own terms. So lookout for the next album.

4. DON'T YOU THINK YOU NEED AN AMERICAN PRODUCER LIKE QUINCY JONES?
I think America and American music business and music production techniques are in some ways far ahead, African- Americans are constantly evolving new ways of sonic effects, e.g most R&B and Hip-Hop and certain avant-garde and R&B with Pop like the Neptunes and Timbaland. I tend to choose producers on account of how we get on with each other, if they are sensitive to my ideas, etc; rather than if they have a name. But at the same time I respect the work of Quincy Jones as a producer and as a musician.

5.WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP OF BLACK ORPHEUS TO KEZIAH JONES AND "BLUFUNK"?
Black Orpheus is the 4th and final installation in a series of ideas started by the “Blufunk is a Fact” album. It is also the 4th and final attempt in the self-analysis triggered off by my being sent away from home at a very young age. I feel as if the series of questions and enquiries this cultural journey presented have at last found some sort of resolution from the 1st album "Blufunk"(mental agitation/discomfort) to the 2nd called ”African space" (the journey into new and uncharted cultural/psychic territory as a result of the forced break with the past/family/culture) to the3rd "Liquid Sunshine" (which was an attempt to see some sort of beauty nevertheless amongst all the destruction left behind) and finally the "Black Orpheus” album (which was the completion of the broken cycle, an attempt to create new links with the past with the full understanding of my present state and place with the resolution to use it fully to liberate myself and anybody else who might be interested.)

6.WHY ARE YOU NOT BRINGING UP OTHER NIGERIANS WHO ARE INTERESTED IN PLAYING "BLUFUNK"?
After 15 years or so of devising and defining Blufunk, I have only recently found a means of codifying it into a series of instructions and symbols. The idea is to put it out in book form, or DVD at some point. That’s the purely technical side. There is also the philosophical attitude necessary to really "play" it. This I think I express and convey by my live concerts all over the world, and more recently in Nigeria in particular. So interested Nigerians will definitely be seeing more of me.

Thank you KEZIAH JONES.

BY EKENYERENGOZI MICHAEL CHIMA.APRIL 2005.

Link:
keziah Jones

2 Comments:

At 2:46 AM, Blogger Storm Trooper said...

Weak Sauce

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Orikinla Osinachi. said...

God bless you.

 

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