Nigerian singer and songwriter Tamaraebi combines velvety vocals with electrifying production to craft geniuine messages of the human experience. His sound is inspired by Nina Simone, Prince and Bob Dylan. His project Heaven’s Gate, conceptualizes philosphical themes of vice, virtue and human punishment told through a realist lens.
Both videos for singles “Hey Hey Hey” and “Heaven’s Gate” bring these themes to light while serving as an introduction to the R&B torchbearer. Yo! That Slaps had the opportunity to interview Tamaraebi to see how his nomadic upbringing shaped the sound and thought process behind this EP. Check out the interview and videos below!
Where were you born in Nigeria? Discuss some details of your upbringing.
I was born in a town in East Nigeria called Owerri, my parents were working there at the time. And then we moved to a city called Calabar in the south and then Lagos the commercial capital. So it was a lot of moving. My upbringing in Nigeria was exciting. There’s a unique buzz of life I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
As a fellow Nigerian, I have to ask: what’s your favorite Nigerian dish and aspect of Nigerian culture?
My favourite food has to be party jollof rice.
And my favourite aspect of Nigerian culture is the sense of community. Everyone is your cousin or aunty so weddings and birthdays are huge events.
How has your childhood experience of living in various places like Nairobi, India and Sudan shaped your worldview? Do you think it has had a profound effect and influence on your music?
Neither my parents are from where I was born so from birth we’ve kinda been a nomadic family. Living in different countries made me open to different sounds so languages /music, fashion, mindsets, cultures, food and people. I’ve always kinda been an outsider so I observe a lot and it’s made my music and personality quite free flowing.
As an artist, where do you think your biggest improvement has been musically?
My writing is something I started consciously working on a few years ago and it’s improved loads.
What was it like being scouted by Tinie Tempah and how do you think this has impacted your approach to music?
Still doesn’t even seem real! It was at a perfect moment as well. It’s really helped with exposing me to a lot of different creatives and musicians which only makes for more productive sessions.
“Heaven’s Gate” is a track centered around human dichotomy of vice and virtue with heaven as the focal point. Why did you decide to center the track around sin, redemption and the concept of heaven?
Wow you literally summarised the song nicely. I feel like every one is fighting some kind of battle and we all want to make something out of our lives and be someone or be loved by someone but more time nothing makes sense or goes as planned. So when I get to heaven’s gate I just have bare questions for God.
Your most recent release, “Hey Hey Hey” on the other hand, brings robust vocals and a realist approach to understanding that the world is less forgiving and motivated by personal gain. What was the creative process behind this song?
Yeah you’re right. Not every day tears, sometimes gangsta vibes. The creative process was quite simple. The producer played the beat and it reminded me of early 90s, big drums, old school hip hop Rick Rubin ‘Against the system vibes’ and we just went with the feeling.
Both “Heaven’s Gate” and “Hey Hey Hey” incorporate electrifying production and genuine messages of the human experience. What can listeners expect from your EP “Heaven’s Gate”? Thank you! Heaven’s Gate is an introduction to parts of me as an artist and I just wanted to be as honest as I could, exploring sounds and concepts I was into at the time.
Follow Tamaraebi on Instagram and Twitter @IamTamaraebi and check out his most recent single Innocence.
Foxx layers vigorous vocals over Vandal’s succulent beats. The Amsterdam tastemaker’s sounds are an eclectic bop. Foxx goes on to convey the endless, painful, thoughts surrounding infatuation.
The more you listen to “Be Mine”, it feels like you’re part of an intimate performance at a tiny café in the city. It brings us to a nostalgic space of trying to keep it cool with a distant lover. Her lyrics showcase the internal battle between heart, mind and being a passionate lover who is walking the tightrope of loving hard and being felt.
That’s why I say ‘you’re always away from me’ I’m talking about loving someone from a distance because we don’t get to be close like how I want to be. And its frustrating…. always. I talk about having a connection thats more than physical but when you never get to see each other you can feel helpless and unfulfilled.”Rachel Foxx on creating “Be Mine” with Jarreau in the studio
For those available, catch Rachel Foxx headlining Colours Hoxton with Jordss, Lylo Gold and Anthony Blaize in London on October 28th; doors open at 7:30 PM. Follow Rachel on Instagram @RachelFoxxInc and Jarreau @JarreauVandal.
Anonymous LA duo V & A (known as Emotional Oranges) have been crafting upbeat R&B songs with strong bass lines inspired by relationships — from moments of elation, jealousy, conflict and everything in between.
They recently embarked on a 17-city, one-month domestic tour starting in Vancouver and ending last Friday in Santa Ana with synthetic soul Montreal trio Chiiild as support.
I found out about the Oranges through Twitter after seeing the music video for “Personal”. When they announced their tour, I was ecstatic because The Yost Theatre has been on my radar since starting this site 5 years ago.
Upon arrival, the Yost grabs your attention with it’s large, vibrant signs. It was quite spacious, reminiscent of an early vaudeville theater with 1,000 person capacity. Once in the main room, attendees are greeted with a large stage and lots of standing room to get comfortable.
The show began rather fast with Chiiild captivating fans with live guitar, violin and synth. Their set was short, including live renditions of singles “Count Me Out” and “Back to Life”.
Soon after, the Oranges took the stage with blinding flickering lights and smoke to set the mood. Fans were singing along to a well-mixed transition series of tracks from The Juice, Vol.1 while providing a glimpse of Vol. 2 and throwing it back to Cassie’s “Me and U”. The crowd also got an encore of “Someone Else”, courtesy of a lucky fan.
As a duo, the Emotional Oranges thrive on crowd energy while making their sets reflect the catharsis-like effect of their music. V’s vocals are powerful and captivating while A maintains a smooth, mysterious persona. When seeing them live, it makes you wonder if they’re singing about each other. But we may never know.