New York City singer Fritzwa recently made her VannDigital debut with the live acoustic version of her track, "A-Train", which lives on her recently released album 'Avenue A' (which is available to cop via Bandcamp | SoundCloud | iTunes | Spotify | Google Play). Prior to her concert in Portland, OR at Jack London Revue on 11.12.2017 (tickets are available via TicketWeb), Fritzwa took the time out to wax poetic with us about said album & more. You can give what was discussed a read below…
VannDigital: How do you feel about today's R&B as opposed to your music???
Fritzwa: Genre questions always make me feel a little funny. Naturally, we like to identify sounds and categorize them but it's hard when today; R&B is James Blake, Kelela and Sampha to Bryson Tiller, Smino, Sabrina Claudio or Dvsn. It's just so vast now. I like to identify music by the way it makes me feel, especially as of late.
I think folks are blending all types of influences now. It's exciting. Rappers are using melody, Europe is invading American hip hop culture, Afrobeat made its way overseas in a way that probably hasn't been seen since when Fela Kuti was big. I think there's great music out. Right now, I have LeiKeli47, Anderson Paak & Labyrinth, Yebba, Michael Kiwanuka, Stromae, SZA and a few more on heavy rotation. People would probably classify them all as R&B in some way… but they're all new and so different and all so dope.
Knowing that you're also a DJ, what's your favorite genre of music to spin???
I started Djing 6 years ago. I was always the one at a function, by the computer trying to make sure the vibe was right. Didn't matter the function… Christmas… a kickback.. whatever lol. After a while I decided to take it more seriously. I went from only DJing small parties at bars in the Lower East Side to opening for touring acts and doing 3000 person Nike events.
I like to play whatever genre is going to get the crowd to dance lol. Usually for my bookings, that's hip hop. I love playing smaller clubs/bars where I can play whatever I like. I'll play anything from old-school Lupe Fiasco to T- Grizzly, Foxy Brown to Azealia Banks, … just good music. People like good music lol.
I started DJing on Pioneer CDJ's. I still use them lol. I use the same equipment I first bought. At one point, I used to side eye folks who used newer technology to DJ, because a lot of the learning curve you can skip by automating the mixing during your sets. But I got past that once I realized that it's partially in the ability to mix a song… but it's mostly in the ability to pick the right song. Technology can't help you if you're not catching the wave. So I've grown into respecting any DJ who can rock a party, no matter how they do it… because the proof is right there in front of you.
If you could collaborate with any artist/s, who would said artist/s be???
Well as a producer/arranger, iconic voices. So like hmmm Sia, Rick Ross, Sade, Erykah Badu, Kendrick, Britney from Alabama Shakes and too many more… that was just on the fly.
As an artist… whoever writes music, I love and has a good positive vibe. With an artist, there needs to be no ego and real collaboration, or else it's no fun! lol
Tell us about your 'Avenue A' album.
It's named after the street I grew up on in NYC. I wrote it after moving to the West Coast. So it's nostalgic and has a lot of references to home. I recently released a video for "Sittin' Pretty", the first track on the album. It sort of embodies the tone of the whole project, kinda sad but really lush and beautiful.