I think I first met Suaze from my friend Rashid Qandil. Which we need to get Rashid on here as well. I was looking for a new barber and Rashid had a fade that was smooth as silk and flawless. Rashid connected me up with Suaze and I found out he was in school to become a full time barber, but was working a corporate job still at the time. If my memory serves me correctly, which it does not always do, Suaze was just cutting part time on the weekends at that point. This is why I need to go back to writing down daily notes about my life. I remember most everyone I meet, but who knows how long the brain will hold that info so I will start writing notes again. Back to the post about Suaze. He and I just instantly connected. Besides being an gifted barber, he is a music producer, beat maker, musician, and family man. We had so many instant connections and good lord his musical knowledge runs deeper than the core of this earth. Suaze has turned me onto so many great albums and musicians around the world and especially here in Birmingham like Love Moor and Shaun Judah just to name a few. Suaze might possibly be from another planet. Thank you Suaze for always being a part of my family and the Club Duquette family. I am forever grateful for your friendship.
Suaze, Birmingham AL Barber, Musician, Producer and Vinyl Enthusiast. Suaze has had the pleasure of working with artists who have used his music as a backdrop as well as contributing live instrumentation for fellow producer’s projects. Suaze is recognized for his grassroots vinyl DJ sets, conjoining sounds including but not limited to hip hop, funk, soul and Jazz.
1) What is one of your favorite childhood memories and why?
I used to ride around with my dad in his 1972 Monte Carlo (the one with the rounde body) and we would drive from the east side of L.A. to Glendale listening to oldies. We never really had a destination but he would say we were cruising and it felt cool. Sitting in that long front seat and listening to artists who I barely recognized but later shaped my musical ear is a memory I hold dear.
2) What are five albums that have influenced you the most when it comes to how you approach producing a song or making a beat for someone? Are you influenced by visual art when writing music?
This is such a hard question but I will do my best and please pardon my long answers.
1. Stevie Wonder - My Cherie Amour : This is such an easy record to digest and it's just a beautiful record to drive to. There is a song called Yester Me, Yester You, Yesterday, and that record to me is the definition of emotion, which in my opinion is what good music is supposed to do (make you feel something). The chord progressions and the way Stevie belts out these lyrics feels so honest and real. I hope to recreate that honesty in my work one day.
2. Sade- Lovers Rock: I've been a Sade fan since I was a kid. I think she is the coolest lady and every era of her music is excellent. I sneak her records into my DJ sets pretty often but when Lovers Rock released I was already driving and I played it a lot, it just resonated with me. The production by Mike Pela is so clean and open that it creates a perfect canvas for her sparse lyrics. I try and keep my approach to music similar where I am just in the cut not trying to outshine the artist mainly here to provide a smooth canvas.
3. The Pharcyde- Bizarre Ryde II The Pharcyde: J Swift in my eyes is a musical genius and deserves tons of praise for his production on this record. I was so proud that these dudes were from the West Coast because they were so cool to me. They had a melodic approach to hip hop, they could dance and were instrumental in my then style choices with polo button downs and baggy chinos etc. Songs like Passing Me By and Otha Fish will forever live on in my rotation.
4. A Tribe Called Quest- Midnight Marauders: If I was asked this question as a teenager I would have probably said Wu Tang over everything lol and honestly there is so much hip hop that I am leaving out of the list but this record has stood the test of time with me. I play it and most of Tribes records A LOT. I love the vibe of this album from the back cover to the sample selections etc. Its so well done and I don't skip any songs on this album. Also this is one of the records that really made me dig for samples and taught me so much about production. 90's hip hop was beautiful because it reintroduced a whole new generation to Jazz music. My big brother Noyz put me on to this record and I appreciate him so much for that.
5. D'Angelo- Voodoo: This record is so dope and I would recommend this to anyone who wants to hear something soulful and melodic. Production by the D'Angelo/The Soulquarians and my boy Pino Paladino on the bass...You can't lose. I think anyone who has heard this record is inspired in one way or another. It's the perfect porch and a bottle of wine record. Trust me on this one.
Now that you got me going I could easily give you 10 more records but these for sure live with me and I always gravitate back to these.You asked if I am inspired visually but the answer is no, I wish my mind worked that way unfortunately it doesn't. My inspiration comes from moments in life, conversations,family, friends or even something as simple as the weather. Regardless, I consider myself lucky to be able to express myself musically it's always been my outlet and if I never release another song or project I will still continue to do it.
3) I know how much family means to you. What is your favorite family activity y'all all do together and What is your favorite meal to cook together?
During the first part of quarantine my oldest daughter Elena created "The Quarantine Olympics" which consisted of scavenger hunt, potato sack races etc. I think it's important to note that at the end of the week I won the gold medal lol we had a closing ceremonies and everything.. It was a nice time. Outside of this though, we love to watch movies together on our projector and just load the table with snacks. I know it seems simple but it's a great escape from everyday life for us.
I often help Enisa in the kitchen but if you leave it up to me, I'm making tacos or burritos. I recently learned to make tortillas by hand and my salsa game is kinda flames right now LOL so I put it to use often. Might pull up to Club Duquette with some fire Chicken Tacos soon, yall down or nah?
4) Who is one of your biggest fashion style inspirations and why?
I don't even know how to answer this. I don't really have a style inspiration. My wife is really honest with me and she tells me when some shit is wack. I trust her judgement and that has worked out for me.I always try and keep a fresh cut and my sneakers are always clean LOL. One thing is for sure, I never want to look dated and I never want to look "my age". I think if you are comfortable in your skin you can make anything cool. I used to only wear earth tones and be really basic to not stand out but now I like patterns and loud colors. I feel like we're in an era of "anything goes" and I'll be damned if my closet doesn't reflect that.
5) What is a perfect Sunday morning for you and if you had to choose where to spend it would it be at the beach or a mountain?
The perfect Sunday Morning lately starts with a city hike with my wife. We recently started walking from 32nd St to Vulcan and it's a damn trek but it's nice to tackle it first thing in the morning and it sets the pace for the day, I would say given the choice I'd choose a mountain. Coffee and Breakfast (brunch) are the best part of Sunday Mornings usually consists of my kids hanging around the house with good music playing most notably Pastime Paradise on Substrateradio.com 12:30 PM cst or my homie DJ Rahdus live stream at 1:30 pm "Shure Shot" ayyeeeeeee shameless plug......