Pop veteran NJOMZA’s candid depiction of the emotional whirlwind of a break-up is layered with a focused infusion of EDM and a further melting pot of sounds on her new EP ‘STAGES.’
On this project, NJOMZA aspired to tap into new blends of genres and sounds to open new doors for self-expression. The 7-track long journey on ‘STAGES’ traverses through acceptance, painful realisations, and unfiltered sonic therapy sessions.
After collaborating with fellow Chicagoans and globally known electronic music group Louis The Child on ‘Over You,’ NJOMZA’s sultry vocals discovered comfort in rhythmic baselines and atmospheric dance sonics. She describes the EP as ‘a melting pot of sounds’ that caught her blowing off steam.
NJOMZA is also known for her appearance on Mac Miller’s acclaimed 2016 project ‘The Divine Feminine’ on the track, ‘Planet God Damn.’ Her songwriting talents were also recognsied for her work on Ariana Grande’s GRAMMY-nominated ‘thank u, next.’
After two years, Noctis catches up with NJOMZA, discussing her new music direction, post-break-up tips, and touring with Dominic Fike.
Last time we spoke, it was around June 2021, how have you been?
I’ve gone through plenty of ups and downs since then. But overall I’ve been good. Focusing on the positives.
What are some of the biggest changes in your personal life and professional life, if there’s any?
I’m newly independent. It’s new territory for me. It’s exciting.
How does your day normally look like these days?
Workouts , studio, sleep, and repeat.
What’s your favourite song and favourite album right now?
Godspeed by Frank Ocean. It pulls at my heartstrings. I’ve been replaying “Cry” by Cigarettes After Sex non stop lately.
Is there an artist you think the world is sleeping on? Give us tips.
Me. Duhhh. Haha, but in all seriousness I’d say Sault? They make some incredible music.
What made you want to experiment with more dance music in this chapter?
I’ve always been a fan of EDM. It’s fun to incorporate it into my music. I just want to keep exploring sounds and finding new ways to express myself.
How did the collaboration with Louis The Child come about?
I got hit up to go in and write with them for the album they’re working on. It was awesome because we’re all from Chicago and I had been a fan of them prior to linking with them.
Could you talk us through your new EP STAGES? What inspired this concept?
My personal life. Going through a break up and processing all of the emotions that come with it. You’ll hear me go through all the stages of grief when you listen to it.
In terms of the sound and overall production, how would you describe STAGES EP?
R&B, pop with a dash of EDM. It’s a melting pot.
How do you deal with a break up? What are your go-to mechanisms?
Pour into yourself. Self care is crucial.
Any favourite post break-up soundtracks?
Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
What did your writing sessions look like for this project?
Like a therapy session. I was just blowing off steam in every session.
How was your first headline tour? What did you enjoy the most about touring?
Meeting my fans. It’s surreal to me every time.
If you can choose, what was your favourite spot supporting Dominic Fike?
Amsterdam! I loved it there. New Zealand too. The people were so nice and the shows energy was amazing.
Are you going to be playing any shows or festivals this year?
Definitely! That’s a priority for me this year. Keep an eye out for where I’ll be performing next.