Exclusive Interview: Swarvy + Suzi Analogue for Never Normal
If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that Philly-bred, L.A.-based producer Swarvy and NYC-based producer/songwriter Suzi Analogue both live within their very own world of sound. The two linked recently to bring us Love Affairz V.1, our 3rd tape release to Never Normal - a project full of lovely loops and melodies, and two visuals SMOKE, and I Must Be. Today they share their creative process on the sound, and just what makes them ‘Never Normal’. Press play on the tunes and read up!
1. How did the idea for Love Affairz Vol. 1 first come about?
Swarvy: Me & Suzi linked up a bunch when she still lived in Philly. She had some records at her studio space and we just went in and made a few of the instrumentals on the tape together from those sessions. On some of those late nights, Suz recorded some freestyles over those tracks we made, plus some more I was working on at the time. A lot of the joints ended up being raw love songs really, so she expanded on those ideas down the line as we chose/wrote more of the tracks.
Suzi: Yeah, Swarvy and I would just get up to jam out and make beats, there was no pressure to start we just really liked what the sounds were turning into.
2. Does this mean there will be more volumes? Whats the concept for the series?
Suzi: Definitely. Love Affairz is series of projects - I wanted to have a way to write new love songs, the world needs more real love. Each volume will have it’s own sound and be a way I can collaborate with some of my favorite producers.
3. How would you describe this album to one of your family members or high school friends who haven’t heard your work?
Swarvy: Dusty, meditative soul loops
Suzi : Soulful love vibes.
4. How did you approach this album differently than your other work?
Swarvy: It was interesting mixing the tracks with another person’s input and ears. That was really different for me because, even though I’m pretty comfortable working with other people during the creative stages of constructing a track, I’m usually finishing the mixing process by myself. She heard a lot of things that I didn’t hear right away. It was a good learning experience.
Suzi: It was my 1st time writing a body of love songs strictly, so that made it very different for me. At first I thought I would struggle, but the concepts just flowed. When it came to mixing, it was dope to mix together with Swarvy, I never get to do that- it’s usually an email back and forth thing.
5. If you could get anyone to remix a track from this album, who would it be & for what song?
Swarvy: Ahnnu -> Cold Daze
Suzi: Iman Omari -> Guarantee
6. If someone gave you a blank check to spend on making this album, what would you have done differently (if anything)?
Swarvy: Would’ve been nice to get it mastered by a good engineer at a studio with nicer gear.
Suzi: I would flesh our the recording and post-production process. Definitely try to re-create some of the loops we recorded with actual live instruments, that would be a nice touch with the sound we captured.
7. What do you feel is the ideal mood, situation or place for this album to be experienced in?
Suzi: Yup, and definitely have some low lighting going on. Or cooking- the songs are actually nice to cook dinner to.
8. Where do you see music culture going in the future? And where do see yourself in it?
Swarvy : I see a lot more artists and listeners becoming more autonomous. Artists—more often than they ever have in the past—are creating products on their own budget, writing their own songs, producing their records themselves, promoting on their own… And I feel like people that love music and go to shows are digging into sounds that they enjoy, rather than necessarily following only what’s played on the radio or TV or whatever. The internet makes all of these things more easily doable for everyone, and I see this becoming more and more prevalent into the future… We’re already doing this, so I see us still doing it, just better and more “in it” in the future…
Suzi: I agree. Music experiences are becoming more personalized into the future. That’s really great because musicians like us bring a really unique flavor that would be challenged a lot in the past, but now that everyone is just enjoying the unique music, tapes, and videos and supporting it - from all over the world. Now we have more of a platform for how we can truly create and reach.
9. What type of records inspire you the most?
Swarvy: Any record with great song-writing/arranging/orchestration/production. Really into late 70s/early 80s production styles lately. But even if the production ain’t great, great ideas go a long way. So anything with beautiful ideas and vibes attracts my attention.
Suzi: I either like really lush sounding music, or very thoughtful and spontaneous music - like orchestral to jazz, funk, and electronic. Good production is key, and I find myself leaning towards records produced by similar groups of people - even if I didn’t know who the producer was at first. It’s the energy I feel. I also listen to cultural records - Native American songs, gospel music, the audio from space missions, speeches and talks from Langston Hughes. I’ll listen through to find something special on every record.
10. What are your 3 favorite albums that people might not expect you to be into?
- Django Reinhardt: In A Sentimental Mood
- Bud Powell: Amazing Bud Powell, vol. 2
- Thelonious Monk: Monk Alone
- Artur Rubenstein - Chopin Nocturnes
- Funkadelic - America Eats Its Young
- Joy Division - Substance
11. As an artist, what things in life make you feel never normal?
Swarvy: How I dress, talk, think, create, perform…. my sleep schedule, how many frozen bananas I eat regularly… Too many things to name…
Suzi: My perspective. The way I find beauty in all things. My music, my attitude and style.
12. Any last thoughts?
Swarvy: I would just like to remind everyone that you become proficient at things that you practice [and that includes bad habits/attitudes, as well]. So remember to practice toward a positive goal, and be mindful of what you are practicing!…Also, frozen bananas are incredible.
Suzi: Be yourself, free yourself. Thanks to everyone tuning in. Thanks to those who helped make this project happen. Much love.
Love Affairz V.1 is now available on cassette + digtal on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon & more.
@suzianalog | @swrvy #LoveAffairzVol1