In Conversation : Czafari.
Czafari. has recently released her mesmerising new single ‘Make Up’. Influenced by artists such as Lianne La Havas, Erykah Badu, Arlo Parks and Joy Crookes, Czafari. explores her musical interests by specialising in alternative Indie, R&B, Pop and Soul. She is also a DJ within Selextorhood - a female & gender minority DJ/Producer collective. Czafari. has played at a variety of events, mixing Urban Jazz, R&B, Soul, Indie - Pop and House.
Where did your musical journey begin and how did it progress?
So my musical journey started when I was about 4 years old. My family noticed I loved music from around then and put me toward for any singing opportunity possible. My first singing memory was singing in a church choir but also a school talent show where I dressed up as Jamalia (who is also from the West Midlands) and sang her song “Superstar”. Looking back it was so so cringy but I remember loving every second! When I was 15 I was a drummer in a grunge/punk band with a few of my mates at the time. I know - a drummer! It was pretty cool because I got to express my love for bands like Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins but it just wasn’t what I wanted to do. Anyway, after that, I was studying for my A-Levels and made the decision I didn’t want to go to Uni anymore. I started to go to a local community centre where there was a music studio. The studio was manned by a guy called Airron and he produced music but was also such a great life mentor. He inspired me to write songs and get them recorded in the studio. Weeks went by and I decided to release my first ever single “Home” on Soundcloud back in 2016. I shared it with all my Facebook family and friends and everyone loved it. I wasn’t expecting anything at all. I then finished a bunch of tracks and then released my EP “Human Legitimation”. After that, it was doing gigs whilst working part-time at Nandos.
Describe your sound in 3 words?
Sweet Self-loving Sounds
Tell us about your latest single “Make Up” was there anything different in your approach to writing this project compared to your last?
So Make Up is actually a song about one of my best friends and before that, I tended to write about my own personal experiences. The song is about a situation about a break-up and how sometimes all you need is your loved ones to get you through shitty challenging times. I kinda realised it's a situation loads can relate to so why not release it.
What else can we expect from your upcoming EP "The Better Me"?
I guess more songs to make anyone listening, feel good. It will be quite different to a lot of my old stuff as it will have a bit more of an indie/bedroom-pop kinda vibe. As I get older I’m starting to realise exactly what kind of music I want to put out. I’m a massive fan of most genres but want to bridge the gap of more Black artists creating music that isn’t just R&B, Grime or Hip-Hop.
Is there one song in your catalog that has an extra special meaning to you and could you tell us more about that track?
I think it’ll be “Your Biggest Fan”. It was the first song I released after my two-year hiatus after having my daughter. I became a mom at 20 and the struggle was REAL. I wanted to write about the relationship I was having with my daughter, who was almost 2 at the time. Talk about the hardships but also the unconditional love that comes with it.
When writing and creating a song do you always have performing it live in mind?
Sometimes but a lot of the time when writing I imagine what the music video would look like. I don’t have many videos but I think it’s because I’m quite visual. It also gives me a sense of what the personality of the song is.
Who or what has been your biggest inspiration in your career so far?
I’m trying to think of one singular artist but I think it’s loads of musicians/bands rolled into one. Every artist Ive listened to and loved over the years has inspired me to make music. I LOVE music and the creativity and confidence that goes behind releasing music is inspiring. Constantly listening to music kinda pushes me to write and release tunes that make people feel good because that’s what most music has done for me.
Any words of wisdom for young aspiring artists?
Don’t ever make music for anyone else but YOU. If it feels good, keep at it, don’t worry about anyone else. (I’m still learning this too)
What's been a highlight in your work so far?
It has to be the time when I took part the Nandos Music Exchange in 2017. I had only done music for a year then. I stayed in London for few days to create a song with musicians from around the world. I was working with a group of artists from South Africa, Austrailia and the UK. It was amazing. We created a song from scratch in two days. Singer Ella Eyre also mentored us, giving us some advice around the track and tips around the industry. Our groups song was then played by Sian Anderson on BBC Radio 1Xtra.
So I’m currently working on my EP but hoping to do a little tour next year 2023. Hopefully supporting an artist. That would be so so cool! But other than that, it’ll be having fun and releasing more tunes. The aim is to keep the creativity flowing ;)