Dans la section “Streetblogger talking about rare artists” et après vous avoir brieffé sur son premier album “Cosmic Headphones” nous sommes allés à la rencontre de cette artiste assez hype et bien dans ses baskets Eagle Nebula pour un entretien qui se devait d’être….
1-Can you introduce yourself to our readers ? (Where are you from, your career, your influences …)
What’s up! I’m Eagle Nebula, you can call me Nebs for short, or Eagle, but I’ve found that people have a really hard time pronouncing that, you can call me Nebula too, but that also appears to be a tounge twister of sorts. Anyway, I’m from Inglewood, Ca where the most hood of folks live in Brady Bunch type houses. I’m an artist and emcee influenced by the infinite potential of the most powerful light called spirit.
2- How you define your music ?
Define…I have realized now, that definitions are too small, to confining for me, a very large woman!!! Whenever you see me rapping, I’m usually just having fun, bringing joy to the world, or bringing a necessary message. When I write, it’s often to transform a situation rather than dwell on it. Some consider that hippiesque. If I were to make my own box, my own definition, I’d call it hippy hop!!! Just to agitate the current rap vibration, you know. But I’m a Libra, hella indecisive so that definition could totally change tommorow.
3- How was your relation with the music during your childhood ? Did you start to play in a band or solo with an instrument ?
Man. When I was a kid, my mom really wanted me to be a musician, an artist in general. I took piano, voice lessons, drum lessons, sang in the choir, dropped out of everything. I had a short attention span, I really just wanted to talk to people, make jokes, chill. So mom was like, okay, chill with the artists in the community. They were all types of folks from all walks of life, you know, jazz musicians, poets, African dancers, lawyers turned jewelry makin’ cake bakin’ Rasta women!!! I had a great childhood, filled with a lot of eclectic people who were all about being happy and feeling free in spite of life’s many issues. I’m really happy that I got to see adults deciding to not be oppressed by “adulthood”.
4- When we look your cd cover closer, we could believe that you put a message into it for the people. From where this “Spiritual Sound” dimension comes from ?
The spiritual sound dimension is all there is, right, because everything is a vibration. Everything is vibrating, making its own sound. That is spiritual, some call it science, whatever. For me it’s about going to a higher level, not being too concerned with earthly matters. Being in a more etheric state, connecting with the higher self that society tells people to cut off after their 7th birthday. I feel like the earth has its own thing going on and we just happen to be inside of it, trying to work with it in all its seasons. Trying to grow into our higher selves, not just stay on the ground level, but go up to the penthouse of self. All of these thoughts I have are for the people because I see people walking this planet downtrodden everyday. I am often one of them. This is a message to the people and a reminder to myself.
5- This is Tokio who realized your album cover ? Can you tell us more about his work in Epistrophik Peach sound label ?
Yeah, Tokio is doing most of the album covers for EPS. He’s an artrist who can really tap into the spiritual dimension. He dosen’t just do pretty stuff. It’s beautiful work that is rooted in another realm. I love it! I love all his work and it was my deep pleasure to have been one of his subjects. I am honored for him to have done that painting, it was all from his mind and I love him for that. For his ability to time travel through his medium.
6- In collaborating only with Georgia ? You wasn’t afraid that your album is quartered in certain musical style ?
No. I wasn’t thinking about that. I was just enjoying the process.
7- We noticed this alchemy with Georgia for the production. How was your work in studio together ?
Our work in the studio was joyful, lots of laughter, some deep conversations, breakthroughs. She would play a beat and I would just dance around the studio for a while before I wrote anything. Then, we’d make jokes, then the work began. Georgia is an angel, she is just so wonderful!
8- What are your musical influences ?
Hmmm. I’m a child of the golden era of hip hop, so all of that. And many of the great jazz cats, the Coltranes, Monk, Mingus. But more personally, the artists of Leimert Park, my mother singing opera quietly while washing dishes on Saturday mornings, old musicals like Westside Story, The South Pacific, and The Wiz, of course! Then there are the constant sirens of everyday hood life, men screaming at their women, women screaming at their children…I could go on, but I’m sure you see the picture.
9- What are the artistical meetings that change your career ?
Well, meeting Tius Blak was really important for me. He saw me freestyle at a club in the Lower East Side and asked me to be on his mixtape. The session went well and he encouraged me to record more, at the time, I wasn’t into recording, I just liked to freestyle, he encouraged me to put my ideas onto paper and then record. That was very important. Georgia and Dudley are important too, they wouldn’t let me come and just hang out at the house, they always wanted to lay down a track and then put it out for the world to hear. That was really cool of them because they didn’t have to do it, they wanted to. All of these people saw a talent in me and believed in me and that is important in any artists career, strong and supportive friendships.
10- How do you met Georgia and Dudley Perkins ?
Georgia and I are from the same cultural/spiritual/creative community in LA. We’ve been partners in crime since High School. I met Dudley through Georgia and we’ve been working together since.
11- You already came in Paris briefly. Did you see some french artists to work together ? With what artist would you like to work ?
You know, one of my favorite phographers is from Paris. His name is Hermosdef. When we did our show in Paris, he took pictures of me, Dudley and Quazadelic. I was familiar with his work and so excited and honored to be shot by him. We spoke about doing another shoot in the future. He was so vibrant and passionate about his craft. It made me very sad to hear of his passing. He had a gift and a light so powerful it would have only made the world a more beautiful place. But I know that his images will be a journal to educate and inspire generations of artists to come.
12- How can you explain this new excitement for the Neo Soul with artists like Ms Jack Davey or Sarah White ?
These are two very fierce and powerful women. They make me proud to be an 80’s kid! I would say that they are not neo soul, but part of a generation that is creating a style of music yet to be defined. They are challenging the idea of what “soul” or “black” music is and I love that! I’m happy that there is excitement about them. Black folks in general and Black artists in particular are tired of conforming to whatever someone elses idea of Blackness or Soul is. There are a whole lot of Black folks that don’t fit into the “Black Box”, myself included, so there has to be a sort of resistance, a willingness to self define, lest you be forever damned to the Thug Life!!!! The essence of their strength is their unwavering determination to be themselves. I hope it inspires the youth to be non conformists!
13- In listening your album, I was surprised by this old school flavor which sounds like 80’s music. Are you nostaligic about this period ?
I wasn’t going for the 80’s sound but the 80’s and all it’s styrophome and hairspray are forever etched into my stem cells so I guess it just came out like that. I was a little kid in the 80’s so all I remember are the cartoons, the music, and the clothes, you know, the good stuff in life. Nostalgic, no, politically and socially, we are still in the 80’s and I would love to see the day when we progress toward a better day. Society plummeted more deeply into shit in the 80’s, Reganomics, Crack, Bush #1, I’m ready for a new day.
14- Cosmic Headphones is your first album, but you released Black Experiment maxi before. Did you release another maxis or collaborate for other projects before ?
No, just those two projects. There were other things, but they were never released.
15- I knew you with “RebelYouthwithSkill”. Can you tell us more this musical UFO “Pattie Blingh And The Akebulan Five” ?
Georgia released the Sagala EP under the alias Pattie Blingh. “RebelYouthwithSkill” was my first appearance so that song and that project hold a special place in my heart.
16- Did you have, as in independent artist, some difficulties to find a studio, a label, a distribution ?
Those things are always difficult to secure to a certain extent. To me it’s about having a strong community and working with a team. You can’t do it all on your own. Tius Blak, who I worked on with The Blak Experiment EP was always down to record me when I was away from my folks in California, then Georgia told me about her label and that’s how the album came out. I guess when things are supposed to happen, they just happen. Nowadays with Computers and the internet, all of those things are more accessible than they were a decade ago.
17- I just discovered that you worked with french beatmaker Yann Kesz and Lorett Fleur. How do you met and how this collaboration is borned ?
He just hit me up on myspace soon after I put up my first few tracks, then he released the song on his EP the next year.
18- Can you tell us more about your travel to Africa ? What did you feel ? Do you want to come back there ?
I have spent a lot of time in West Africa, particularly Ghana. I was there off and on for 2 years as a student, a teacher, a traveler, and a menace! Then I went back this past summer. I could write a book about the things I felt, this is the super abridged version.
My emotions ran the gamut of anger, joy, sadness, love and back to joy. I remember going into a slave dungeon that was converted into a home for a British businessman and his wife. They let the British flag wave from the highest tower, the cannons, rusted and worn, were still pointed at the surrounding village. The bathroom where the women were washed before they were raped was the wifes bathroom. The room where the rapes took place was the main bedroom. The female slave dungeon was now crowded with dirty dishes. Now, of course, West Africa, and all of Africa at that, is much more than that particular legacy. It is in Ghana that I learned how to be free! Everywhere I went, people would just say, “feel free”. At first, I was like, what are you talking about because in my culture, we’ve got to always be doing something, always on the grind, you know. In Ghana, I learned to have patience, to take my time. Things move slower and I had to adapt to appreciate it. It’s like, today, I am going to the bank, or I am going to a friends house, or going to the Market.
I loved that my Gap and big hips were a sign of beauty there. The women taught me that being beautiful was my inheritence. You know, the West’s idea of beauty is really on some bullshit!!!
19- There is some artists (painters, graphists, photographers…) out from your musical universe with whom you want to work ?
I remember being angry about the various oppressions of government and religion, but I feel that in the USA as well, I just became more aware of it there. Then there was that time I went swimming in a waterfall, and the dancehalls on the beach, and the good food, and those taxi drivers that want to cheat you because of your dollar (when it was worth something J). My greatest memory is the sky, how it stretched in a way that made it obvious that it was greater than the earth. And the air, how thick and warm it was, like a womb.
like working with folks who want to do real things!!! Not just talk the talk. Walk the walk, dance the dance! Honest folks open to creating new things and adding to this tapestry of life!!!!
20- Do you have projects for 2009 ?
Yeah, there are a few collabos in the oven, but I don’t want to jinx them!!!
21- Can you make us a playlist with your 20 favorites joints ever please.
Well, right now it is:
- Gang Starr : Manifest
- Gza: 4th Chamber
- The Pharcyde: Passin Me By
- De La Soul: Stakes is High
- Method Man & Mary J. : All I Need
- The Roots: Silent Treatment
- Charlie Mingus &Langston Hughes: Scenes of the City
- Alice Coltrane: Lovely Sky Boat
- John Coltrane: A love Supreme
- Rick James: Ghetto Life
- Chaka Khan: Fool’s Paradise
- The Eurythmics: Sweet Dreams
- Soul For Real: Candy Rain!!!!
- Gang Starr ft. Inspectah Deck: Above the Clouds
- Slum Village: Fall in Love
- Tribe Called Quest, Jungle Brothers, Busta Rhymes: Scenerio
- Ice Cube: Today was a good day
- Prince: Let’s go crazy!
- Cameo: Word Up
- Slave: Watching You
- Hiroglyphics: 93 till infinity
but, that could all change tommorow.
Ok, Thank You Nebs!!!!See Yah!!!
Tanx Big Ad pour le coup de main!!!Peace!!!