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Bygones

by Raiza Biza

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Esabee31
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Esabee31 After the superb previous albums and a semi-hiatus, I irrationally feared that Raiza Biza's style might be gravitating towards US rap.

So glad to see he stays true to his roots here - it is what sets him apart.

Love this album, it is fresh, fun and thoughtful at the same time. Been on repeat for a while, still deciding if I simply love all of the tracks or if there is a clear favourite. Not picking one for now. As I get deeper into an album, my favourites tend to change anyway.
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about

A hypnotic culmination of hundreds of hard drive demos, eclectic musical inspiration and collaboration, enter Bygones - a record striking the balance between the intricacies of electronic production and at times, melodic half-sung poetry, delivered with raw intensity.

The nine track record features cameo appearances from Sudanese-American rapper/producer extraordinaire Oddisee, Australia’s REMI and B Wise along with AmmoNation collaborators Blaze the Emperor, Embher, VULC, and more.

Speaking with a sense of urgency in his flowing baritone voice, Biza’s work has always carried a socially conscious heart, backed up by honest storytelling and captivating jazz/soul infused
production as the aura to his words. His new material follows a new sound arch, and with those changes comes a newly found freedom.

On Bygones, Biza found inspiration in the deeply written metaphors of the Marvin Gaye-era soul and the heart-hitting rhythms of 1970’s funk groups like Gapp Band. Binding his grounding in socially conscious thought and observational storytelling, he studies the human condition and the world around us - from his own experience.
Though this time, he admits, the record finds the balance between fun and seriousness. Rather than be ruled by the lyrics, the music plays an emotive part.

“I wanted to create space for emotional interpretation of the audience,” he reflects. “I’ve tried to find a balance between the things I’ve released in the past and the further left-sitting things on my hard drive.”

The newest generation of hip-hop has forced him to just do; and overthink less. “Being able to take that fun within the music and combine it with raw melody, you hopefully connect with people.”

He tells the angles of the human condition through high octane moments, the party life, through to the low, self-reflective moments found in tracks like ‘Stolen Youth’ and ‘Trouble’ where he teams up with Oddisee and Zenyth. Both tracks have gone onto become student radio network hits, sitting in the top 10 of the Radioscope Alternative Airplay chart in New Zealand for consecutive weeks.

A humble titan within the antipodean isles and Aotearoa’s underground scene, Biza has firmly planted roots, supporting the up-and-coming generation of local MCs and hip-hop producers. As the hearty driving force behind AmmoNation, Biza believes in the power of community and the sharing of knowledge. A voice from within the African-New Zealand diaspora, Biza has strived to bridge the gaps of understanding and preservation of his experience in New Zealand, while also supporting his fellow artists on the same mission.

“We, the African diaspora, we are no longer toddlers in the places we immigrated to. We have an identity and a growing presence.”

credits

released October 4, 2019

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Raiza Biza Hamilton, New Zealand

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