I am beyond delighted to announce the collaboration of Jaqee Nakiri and Sounds of Subterrania. Jaqee was born in Kampala and spent her teenage years in Gothenburg before she moved to Berlin in 2009.
But let’s start at the beginning. I was on my daily route between the post office and my storage space. Skipping through the different radio stations, I was annoyed by the dreariness they had to offer, as per usual. The tuner, or rather my ears, got stuck at the “Freie Sender Kombinat Hamburg” station – or rather at the song they were playing which had a cheerfulness to it that immediately got me.
A cell phone was illegally activated while driving, Shazam was asked, the song was saved, the car arrived at the storage space, packages were unloaded, a streaming platform was consulted for the recently played tunes – let’s cut to the chase – the song was called “Moonshine”. The following ten hours were there for one task only: to listen to Jaqee’s oeuvre.
With every listen I was feeling more and more euphoric and blissful.
Jaqee’s musical origin combines roots reggae, soul and African music. Above the minimalistic and yet exceptional instrumentation hovers this unmatched, beautiful voice full of power and piercing immediacy. What moved me the most, though, is the poetry in Jaqee’s lyrics, this lightness to chronicle without bitterness the intricacies of life in microcosm and questions in terms of civilization on a larger scale. Her lyrics return to the listener this spark of trust in oneself that one needs in order to meet life’s challenges.
Unfortunately though, most of Jaqee’s music has only been released digitally which is why I asked her to collaborate with me and to tackle the realization of her music on vinyl. We’ve spent a lot of time on the phone together, most often our conversations drifted off and we found ourselves discussing our society, racism and our own experiences. Jaqee helped me pin down events that I had previously observed – and here’s the link.
Her music does the same thing by giving the listener the chance to question and reform their own positioning, not by making use of canned patterns and solutions, but with small interpersonal encounters. It could be a glance, a dance. This communication on a connecting and personal level is what makes Jaqee’s artistry so approachable and special.
Whoever thinks now that this is a love letter, well you’re absolutely right. This is a love letter to a fucking magnificent artist and I would love it if you could spare some time to spend with Jaqee’s music.
Sounds of Subterrania
1. Hello (It's Me Are You There)
2. Water It
3. Fly High
4. Oh Sister
6. Kampala Traffic (Skit)
9. Kalangala (Skit)
10. My Life
11. Perfect World
12. Zola's Dance
13. All In
14. Don't Fuss
Jaqee - Drop of water
Jaqee - Moonshine
Jaqee - Dance