Interview- YahZarah pt 2

Guess who’s gonna be a mom!

Around the time we did this interview I guess Yahz would have been about a month along.  If I had known I would have had plenty more questions to ask.

I found this excellent interview of Yahzarah where she talks about anticipating being a mother and the life of motherhood while being a performing artist.

As we continue with this interview and wrap up the session, she tells you where you can find more of her music as well as her words of inspiration to everyone out there.


Part 2- Opportunity and preparation

– Where you can find her

– Words of advice

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Interview- YahZarah pt 1

I think YahZarah is everything many female vocalists wish they were.




Vocally gifted.

Spiritually sound.

It was some years ago when The Foreign Exchange first dropped their first album Connected, and one of my favorite tracks was “Sincere”.  When I finally saw the video for it my heart jumped like “Whoa!  Who is that girl!?”

Years later I finally got to see The Foreign Exchange live and Yahzarah graced the stage.  It’s as if she retains all the values of engaging the audience that they really only teach in performance schools and acting classes.  Thank goodness for Twitter giving me the ability to connect to her. I told her once she got to L.A. we had to do an interview, and that was that!


Part 1: This gift is not mine.

– How she fell in love with music

– Her inspirations

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The Foreign Exchange, pt 3

In this final installment, we talk about the state of mainstream music and how, in reality, the joke is on us.

If any of you are fans of Little Brother, Phonte’s original group, you know that around 2005 their video for “Lovin Itwas not accepted to be aired on BET because it was deemed “too intelligent” for BET’s audience.  The immediate backlash caused a denial from BET (even though they still didn’t air it), but it made people fully aware that now the gatekeepers were seeming to dumb down their material ON PURPOSE.  I suppose things were reconciled later once Phonte was included on the Hip Hop Award’s cipher, but not much seems to have changed overall.  Groups like Little Brother who don’t fit the mold of what’s “hot” right now hardly seem to get any mainstream support.

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The Foreign Exchange, pt 2

We continue with part 2 of the 3 part interview with Phonte and Nicolay.  In this part we talk more about their creative process.

It’s interesting to see people who say “Thank you” when being told their style is unique and different.  It’s actually probably one of the best compliments you can give any artist.  Every artist’s goal is to create something that adds to the pot of greatness to blend in with the history, but stand out enough to be noticed.  The recognizable aspects of the artist (“branding” so to speak) is what makes the listener already know when the product is hot.  “Oh this is a Premiere beat…this sounds like a Timbaland beat”.  And when the recognizable voice comes over it, it creates just the right unison.  Phonte’s voice and flow are like no others I can think of.

Part 2: The Process

– Nicolay on his production style and sound

– Phonte on writing & “The Jay-Z Method”

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Interview- The Foreign Exchange Pt 1

It was around summer of 2004, I was visiting a friend from college.  I was about to start grad school at UCLA and he was going to law school at UCLA, and we were talking about being roommates.  Before I left, he asked,
“Yo, you heard that Foreign Exchange?  It’s the new album from Phonte of Little Brother and this cat Nicolay from the Netherlands.”

He played me a few tracks and burned it for me to play on the way home.  As soon as I put that CD in my player and heard that amazing intro, I was zoned out.  The music was everything I’ve always wanted to hear.  It was melodic, but still funky, and hard hitting.  It had different changes.  It was that next level I was looking for.  And I always knew Phonte could sing from little things he did on The Listening album, but now he was doing full songs as a singer.  I wore that CD out that summer.

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