I met up with Aziza Love near the back gate of the media area. She was talking with several people just before I walked over. Our photographer Laura had been speaking with her and asked if we could maybe get a quick interview. Aziza was so polite and sweet about out last-minute interview. Her friend had just asked her to hand over her pass to the concert venue, to which she did not want to give it up unless she would get it back. She wanted to keep it as a memory, and who could blame her. They had just performed at a huge festival in front of a large crowd. I imagine she would want to hold onto that feeling for a good long while.
Michele Blue: How many albums do you currently have out right now? Aziza Love: So Triiibe who performed at Bunbury we have one album out that we released on 10/10 of last year and we are releasing another one this coming October on 10/10. I personally have a project, my name is Aziza, I released something called Views from the Cut and I’m releasing something in July called Bare Soul. There is a lot of music in the band, but we currently only have those projects out.
MB: Do you get a lot of studio time between touring, do you just focus on touring, or do you separate the two? AL: So we are based in Cincinnati, so this is our hometown but we are working towards our philanthropic, our ethics and our programs. That’s mostly what we are doing and then in between those times we are in the studio and creating music and more content really that is more artistic. A lot of what we do is just city programming right now. But we allow that to transform into music in I think in the coolest way.
MB: How do you feel about your audience interaction with you… do you feel that because you are local, do you feel it is a little bit more like “hey we know you” or do you feel like you sort of get that anywhere that you travel? AL: So, what I think is really powerful… is I think this is the first representation of the underground hip-hop scene that we’ve had here at Bunbury. This is my first personal time being at this festival. And I think for folks who look like me that have come from similar experiences and similar neighborhoods… they’ve kind of gotten a chance to see some positive representation of black culture or African American culture and art. Which I think can really be powerful to our youth. We do a lot of programming for the youth and expression. I think the crowd that we had here, nobody really knew us, which I think again can be very powerful because we are speaking such truths that we really hold dear to ourselves that are really about universal love and about empowering self and community. It is awesome.
MB: it is awesome! What else do you pull from when creating your music… obviously your backgrounds influence all of your work, but do you also pull from family and friends and other sources? AL: Absolutely. Really all that we experience. Whether that may be our relationship with self or our relationship family, our relationship with most high we believe in whether that is God, or Allah or whatever that may be. We pull from nature even. And we pull from the people. Whatever we see that’s happening in our society just right outside of our doors or even half way across the world even. We write about that. If we feel that we must then we write about it. And we can’t really help when the music and the art flows through us.
MB: Exactly. Is this your first festival? AL: We have done other festivals and we are actually doing many more this coming fall. Summer and fall actually. So, I think doing this festival here was a really cool kick-off to our Summer. We are going to be a Saylor Park Sustains next Saturday in Kentucky and then we are also doing play thing festival and then Residence festival in Pittsburgh. So, we are going to be kind of travelling a lot this summer, but I think it’s all beautiful. I enjoy doing festivals. I think we get to kind of create the Triiibe vibe with a little bit more people and in such a beautiful outside stage.
MB: I have been asking this of everyone this weekend. I have a 19-year-old daughter, so she is a little close to your age. She is away from home for the first time in Japan and alone. She had a little anxiety at first about everything. My question is wondering if everyone in your group supports each other or do you feel like you need to pull strength from back home - or do you feel like you support each other more? AL: So, I definitely feel like we support each other. I have been challenged with anxiety for the past few years and with Triiibe I feel like the art itself and the reason we are in this art is for healing. It really supports us moving forward and me moving forward. To feel like I have a community that just supports me speaking my truth. Even if that only means I’m talking about the sad parts of my life or the happy parts of my life - it’s feeling less alone and I think that is so powerful and that will take us to the local scene and that will take us travelling throughout the nation and internationally and even after we are all gone from this earth that is important that love transcends all.
MB: I agree, yeah. Do you guys have any goals as a band, like do you really want to go to the Grammys or do you really want to play at Madison Square Garden or are you just trying to do your thing and not worry about all of that stuff or do you talk about it at all? AL: So, we do talk about our goals. We want our message to be heard worldwide. Throughout the cosmos, and throughout time we want our art to be felt, heard and seen. But what we want most is for future generations to have some kind of remnants of our message. Which is to love self, to love this earth, to love one another, and to be the best version of self that you can be. So really our goal is for infinite longevity of this message of love.
MB: And I love that message… I really do! So last question here… do you have a favorite festival food, or do you stick to the catering tent and that’s it? AL: So, I grew up doing marching band, so when I was eating meat… the marching tacos. I don’t know if that’s just a Midwest thing? But you have the Fritos with the meat. But right now, just give me some banana chips and I am good.
MB: Thank you so much for meeting with me, can I give you a hug? AL: Of course! Thank you!