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Detroit native Hamzat Live is well known on the underground scene for his live improvisation and his Talkbox skills. He joins up with old friends Soul Clap Records with imaginative take on a Sade classic. We talk to him ahead of the release.
Interview with Hazmat Live
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us.
I’m very happy and honored to be here.
Are we speaking to you today from the City of Detroit today? How is your day going?
Yes. I’m on the North West side of Detroit, chillin’. My day is beautiful. ANY day that I breathe is truly a good day. I’m excited about my gig tonight with m y band the No boundaries Quartet. It’s all improvisation and we just play music from the heart.
What is the mood in the city right now? Are all restrictions lifted? Are parties and gigs back to full steam now?
I really think the mood in Detroit is “ Winter be gone..!” lol. It’s time to get the spring time vibes flowing. I’m ready for the day parties and summer nights. It’s wide open in Detroit right now. All restrictions are lifted. So yes! we are ALL working and parties are Safely happening in the D.
Are you a Detroit native born and bred? Which neighbourhood do you live in the city
I’m a born and breed Detroiter..!!! I grew up and still reside on the North West side of Detroit.
What vibe are the majority of clubs playing in Detroit? Is it strictly Detroit Techno? Or is the soulful vibe still very much alive..
Well, Detroit is the Deep house mecca as well. We prefer to jump into the deep in. lol. We play a lot of soulful, Deep house grooves and you know you can get fully “ Techno’d” in the D too. So, there’s always that. Disco ALWAYS moves a crowd on a Detroit dance floor.
What’s the best night spot, the best vibe to visit in Detroit for a great night out?
Well, I love Spotlite Detroit. https://www.facebook.com/spotlitedetroit This is by far one of the most unique venues that’s ever been here. It’s a place that truly supports the arts, music, and dance community all in one. I’m a resident there and Jessie and Roula go out of their way to keep the vibes fresh and unique.
As Hazmat Live, you wear many musical hats. A musician, songwriter, live performer, and producer. Which aspect would you say you are most accomplished and comfortable?
I’m truly a musician at heart. I’ve been blessed to be a part of the musical fabric of Detroit for 25yrs now. As A musician/producer I enjoy creating music from all genres. I’m Very comfortable behind a keyboard playing jazz standards or an all-improvised live electric set.
Your Talkbox vocal is incredible. I’d love to understand more about the Talkbox and how does it work?
Wooow.. The Talkbox is a VERY complicated application. Essentially the tone from the keyboard/Guitar when played is sent into the Talkbox(speaker). That signal is relayed through the tube and replaces the tone from your vocal chords with that of the instrument. You shape the words with your mouth. This process took me over 10,000 + hours to be a truly proficient Talkboxer. I have worked very hard to craft a unique Talkbox play style and patches. The Talkbox gives me a form of self-expression like no other.
You are known for your incredible live improvisation. Do you have a band? What is the set up in the live?
Thank you! Yes, I have a band called The No Boundaries Quartet. This is an ALL improv all night ensemble. We specialize in going to space and bringing you back to a soulful groove, only to drop you off at Dilla style hip hop boombap, just to be blasted into the heart of a ‘Bitches Brew’ style jam. It’s truly a unique musical experience.
Please check us out here:https://www.facebook.com/No-Boundaries-Quartet-NBQ-174855289739675
You are about to release your ‘No Ordinary Love’ EP on Soul Clap Records. Such and iconic record to cover. When and how did this idea come to you?
Well, I’m a HUGE Sade fan! I did a feature piece for Roland and Reverb in2018 Talkbox movement !!! Hazmat LIVE at Reverb.com and I wanted to have something that was unique and completely different than anyone had seen before to showcase the gear. This track give me so much room for interpretation. I had to get it out to the world.
Some might say, some records should not be reworked. What would your response be to that?
Ummm I love that fact that I don’t really care about what people think! It took a long time for to get to this place. I truly enjoyed remaking this record and for those who don’t like it or feel it should not have been Re-worked. Don’t listen it. Or hate on it?? Don’t really care. I know how unique this piece is and that there is NOTHIN like it on the airways. I’m glad it doesn’t fit into cookie cutter shape.
I guess you’ve been fans/ friends of Soul Clap records for some time. What do you think is so special about the label? Why do you think they’ve been going strong for so long?
It’s true! Charlie and Eli are really good dudes on a mission to make great music that make people move. WE ARE TRULY on the same mission. We met and instantly became homies. We have worked together on many projects, and it’s always been a blast. This is our most ambitious endeavour yet and I love how soul clap will take chances with musical experiments and make magic. We have more booties to move on the dance floor so stay tuned.
I think soul clap is going strong because they bring The party sonically and physically to the dance floor. Soul clap goes out of their way to find iconic artists and unique productions to collab with and give the listener/ party goer a true experience .
Antwon Faulkner adds a great new feel to the already stunning original. Are you thrilled with what he’s done?
HELL, YEAH I AM ! It’s definitely A true BANGER!!! Antwon truly put his heart and soul into this stunning ethereal offering. The detail and arrangement of this remix are really genius. It’s a masterpiece.
Tell us what other new material you are working on at the moment?
Well, I am scoring movies and creating improvised music. I’m in a place in my life where I’m kinda done playing other people’s music. I want to convey music from my heart to the listeners and give them an untainted piece of me. currently I’m working on some ambient, disco/boogie records, deep house, and techno offerings too. I can’t wait to share these vibes with you.
What else should we look out for in 2022?
In 2022 I’m looking to TOUR HARD!!! I’m ready to hit EVERY FESTIVAL and stage around the world..!!! Have passport will travel. Lol. I’m making records and enjoying every breath I take in 2022.
Artist: Hazmat Live, Antwon Faulkner
Title: No Ordinary Love
Label: House Of Efunk
Release Date: 2022-03-01
Turn it up & enjoy!