Interview \\ DJ & singer duo Bahia Haze reveal their spirit animals

DJ and singer duo Bahia Haze have recently hung out on Rinse FM, performed at Horizon festival and been selected by Gig Wise as one of the top six acts to see at this year’s Meadows in the Mountains. Ahead of Jazz Standard’s trip to the Bulgarian festival, Nina Fine talks to the newly formed duo about spirit animals and badass females in the music industry. 

\\ How do you pick your tracks for the mixes?

Bahia: We talk about the set and the vibe that we want to go for and then Haze usually does her thing and pours out a couple of mixes. It’s great because I get to listen to a lot of Hazel’s finds. She then bounces them out to me so that I can have a go at them and have a little jam over it, and I’ll let her know what tracks that I feel I can sing something over before we re-select the goodies together again. We like to get in the mood of what vibe we want to bring as it all depends on where we are going to play.

Haze: I’m constantly digging for tunes, I love building playlists for different moods & figuring out the journey of the set. We’ve got to spend a lot of time listening to music and sharing our finds to keep on the same page which is certainly no bad thing. We both have a varied taste & style we like to play so it’s amazing to be able to adapt depending on the gig, I like playing dark & bass heavy….Bahia can rap, sing, chant, chat. selecting tunes that showcase her range of vocal style is very fun. 

\\ You’re into jazz and soul; who are some of the badass female artists you are listening to at the moment?

Bahia: Dorothy Ashby‘s Afro Harp Album, Syd from The Internet, Billy Holiday and Erykha Badu. 

Haze: Betty Davis, Nai Palm, Akau Naru, Billie Holiday…. I’m inspired by the women around me. Eva Lazarus is one of the most badass artists I’m lucky enough to know! 

\\ What brought you two together? How was Bahia Haze born?

Bahia: Simply put, we got to know each other by meeting up, jamming together, doing mixes and free singing loud over it with mics and a glass or two of whiskey. We just had fun and thought why don’t we bring this to another level and try and get some gigs. I think we both were longing after a new way too push our creativity within us and why not do it together with a mate, and so universe put us two souls together and ‘bam!’. 

Haze: What she said… we met on the street at a carnival outside a big sound system and I was in awe of her voice. We soon figured out how well we bounce off each other creatively. We are learning so much together and pushing each other to break boundaries.

\\ Any fun stories to share from Horizon Festival earlier this year?

Bahia: My highlights where seeing Eva Lazarus who is amazing on stage; such energy and diversity and voice… blown each time. Nanci Correia‘s first solo performance; that was amazing to a background of mountains with snow and evening sun, with her clear and smooth jazzy voice and beautiful songs. 

Haze: Emerald playing back to back with Mumdance was banging. They are both incredible DJs. Eva Lazarus & Bahia chanting some voodoo witch magic in a Gondola going down the mountain in a storm – which I recorded – and who knows, might turn it into a garage banger eventually.  

\\ What excites you most about performing at Meadows in the Mountains?

 Bahia: This is our first time playing at MITM – actually, it’s our third set ever – so we are excited to be there. The surroundings and atmosphere looks absolutely beautiful and I’m actually just looking forward to playing to an early morning crowd in the misty forest having the sun peek through the trees, well…it’s going to be epic. A lot of magic is going down.

Haze: Meadows is a magic place, I went there to work in 2015 and I am honoured to be back playing with Bahia in the witchy woods. I want to take it wild and tribal and embrace Bahia’s chanting vocal styles. You can hear this in our V1 mix

\\ Where are we likely to find Bahia Haze at a festival if it’s not on stage?

Bahia: Most likely I’ll be taking it easy enjoying the festival and nature… laying in the grass, surrounded by my lovely friends and just ‘being’.

Haze: I agree. I want to take in the surroundings and embrace my inner ‘mountain woman’. I love the local Bulgarians. They are so welcoming and sweet. I would really like to spend a bit of time with them this year and learn some local culture. 

\\ Tell us your spirit animals that you may or may not embody at MITM. 

Bahia: My spirit animal is a Cow Mama filled up with milk ready to burst out a milky wave of sound. 

Haze: My spirit animal is one hundred per cent a cat. I’m going to be a prowling panther and lounge about purring with my cow mama. 

Bahia Haze play at Meadows in the Mountains on 9-11 June in Bulgaria.

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JS | Nina Fine

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