Her music may roam the skies but Eagle Nebula stays grounded…

“I understand that people need to have reference points to understand new things better. The sound, people are still trying to grasp where to put it.” – Eagle Nebula

I was first introduced to Eagle Nebula by way of her song “Funny” that stuck out as one of my favorite tracks on a Blind I compilation back in 2009.  The first thing that hit me was how strong the beat knocked and after I picked myself off the floor I digested her unique delivery and wordplay. Her lyrics are honest and nostalgic most of the time, reminiscing on a moment in some of our lives that was pure and amazingly unfolding in front of our eyes. Not laced with sexual exploits, profanity or stripper pole dreams that some of her female contemporaries fall victim to stay relevant, Eagle Nebula has a voice that I want to hear.

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“It’s the way in 7th grade I used to bump to Mobb Deep” – Funny

DJS: It amazes me that while you were in 7th grade being affected by Mobb Deep’s “The Infamous” I was a freshman in college having my own personal experience with that album.  Hip Hop is the soundtrack of our lives. What other hip-hop albums in your past had a major effect on you when they were released?

EN: I was fortunate to be in junior high school when a lot of great hip-hop albums were coming out around 1995-1997. I was heavy into each Wu-Tang release, but rocked Liquid Swords, Iron Man, (Only Built for)Cuban Links and ODB really hard.  I was really into Devine Styler, Del, Handsome Boy Modeling School and Bahamadia.  I love The Pharcyde so both Bizzare Ride and LabCabinCalifornia are major albums for me. Along with a healthy dose of Freestyle Fellowship, De La Soul’s Stakes is High and Buhloone Mindstate  and Tribe. I really fell in love with albums that had that early Jay Dee production on it. Of course, Fantastic Vol. 2 and J-88.

“As long as you split your stick of gum in half…” – Funny

DJS: You seem to be fond of remembering specific things from childhood. What other things from your childhood do you have fond memories of?

EN: I’m hella nostalgic in general, but the song you are referring to is off the album, Cosmic Headphones, which was created with a childhood friend of mine, so it was a nostalgic creative period for me. My most fond childhood memories are of my mother (a dancer) dragging me around to various art, music and dance parties in LA, all the while wishing I was at home watching TV. She would insist that I needed to see and experience these things and I’m so glad she did. Most of my great memories from childhood are centered around Leimert Park in the mid to late 90’s. It’s amazing how much those years shaped me.

DJS: When listeners first hear an artist, it is natural for them to place a genre on them or make a comparison in order to explain their sound. Have you ever been compared to any rapper and how do you feel about people categorizing sounds and making comparisons?

EN: I used to get MC Lyte or KRS One a lot in the beginning. I understand that people need to have reference points to understand new things better. The sound, people are still trying to grasp where to put it.  For me, it is more about a feeling than a sound. It’s a vibration that the universe wants to exist and it is manifesting through me and many others.  I’m just a vessel. Put it in whatever category you want, as long as the vibe can be felt there.

DJS: I recently made a tweet about how I feel that due to the type of rap that is being pushed by the industry it is directly affecting how women interact amongst themselves and with the public.  I feel that women today that listen to mainstream rap are very aggressive and can sometimes be negative. How do you feel about this opinion and do you feel that mainstream rap music affects women’s behavior?

EN: Mainstream rap plays a greater role in our culture than most would like to actually believe. Life is imitating art on a greater level than ever before because now, that art is everywhere all the time. In your computer, on your phone, blasting out of car windows…Songs are affirmations and we often get what we affirm. I think in addition to making folks aggressive, it has helped perpetuate a lack of sensitivity to what’s happening in the real world. It affects women in a lot of different ways, from the way we relate to one another, to our standards for our mates and even the standards we put on ourselves and each other. Everybody just wants the music video as their life. That’s a major cultural fail.

DJS: I see a strong cosmic influence on your style, where did that manifest from?

EN: I come from a Trekky Sci-Fi family. My brother is a Science Fiction writer and my dad used to play 2012: A Space Oddessy on loop when I was a kid. My grandfather was an astrologist, so I feel connected to the spiritual aspects of space as well. I think there is something in the water in LA that makes a lot of us have a slight space obsession. Plus, I’m and 80’s kid, so I want a flying car and a house like The Jetsons.

DJS: Let’s play a game of word association.  Say the first thing that comes to mind.

  • Octavia Butler  The illest
  • Africa Tro Tro
  • Business That’s what this is.
  • Legendary aren’t we all?
  • Crab  um. I don’t bang homie.
  • California WEST!
  • Brooklyn needs more swimming pools and better schools
  • Headphones make sure they’re COSMIC!
  • Image warfare
  • Quality over quantity

DJS: One of my favorite things about your style is your beat choice.  I’m a beat junkie so production plays a major role into whether or not I dig a tune.  What producers would you like to work with and why?

EN: I’ve been fortunate to work with some really amazing and talented producers over the years. I appreciate working with artists who I can grow and build with. I feel it when our working together makes us both better artists. I like to work with people who believe in magic and newness over formulaic cookie cutter vibes. I’d love to work with Four Tet, Shabazz Palaces or Earl Blaze of Anti Pop cuz they are fearless and I love the vibe and the energy of what they do.

DJS: When did you decide that you wanted to become an emcee? What was the defining moment?

EN: Honestly, when I moved to New York, I couldn’t find a job, but people were always asking me to record or perform. I figured, that must be my job then.

Stay connected:

www.iameaglenebula.com
www.eaglenebula.blogspot.com
twitter.com/eaglenebula
facebook.com/eaglenebula
www.myspace.com/eaglenebulamusic


CHICS WHO ROCK: DJ Aura doesn’t want your labels just your attention…

The music industry, is like a country club of men that won’t allow you entry unless you have some luggage between your legs. On the outskirts of patriarchy lies a group of dope women doing dope things. There’s nothing sexier than women in control of their art. One member of this league of extraordinary women, is DJ Aura. I came across this sister while wasting away my free time social networking and I became an instant fan. She has an ear for flava underground joints and her spirit is genuine. Time for you to get familiar with DJ Aura.

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DJS: When did you decide that you wanted to become a DJ? What experiences led up to that decision?

DJA: Being a dj is something that I’ve always wanted to do I just never had a chance to learn how to dj. I can remember seeing the movie Juice for the first time. I’ve always loved music and been very obsessive over my collection. So a few years ago I happen to find myself at a “djing for girls” workshop. Once I learned the basics, the rest was history.

DJS: There are different types of djs: night club dj, radio dj, mixtape dj, ipod dj…. what type of dj are you and what challenges have you come across trying to express your art your way?

DJA: I’m guess I’m pretty old school. I dj w/ 1200’s. I will dj any where for $$, bat mizvahs ba mi LOL. Well I’ve dj’ed several radio shows, and I have my own radio show. I’ve spun at poetry ciphers, sneakers shows, art shows, and I have a monthly party. I post mixes & make podcasts. I guess I’m pretty versatile.

DJS: How do you feel about gender specific words such as “femcee” and “she-j”?

DJA: hmmmm She-J. I don’t think I like that term. What makes a female dj different from a male dj? Doesn’t art transcend gender? I’m not one for labels.

DJS: Let’s play a game of word association.  Say the first thing that comes to your mind:

SL1200 – Antique or an artifact that should be preserved
Social Networks – NECESSARY!!!
The 90s – Golden Era/ Cross Colors
Shoes – 54.11’s
Soft – Bunny Rabits
Nerds – Sexy
Natural – K.O.S. Knowledge of Self
Honesty – Authentic
Crush – Groove
Influence – Global/International


DJS: What influences you artistically?

DJA: Everything influences me artistically life, polictics, people

DJS: If you could open for any DJ who would it be?

DJA: If I could open for any dj in the world I would open for Kid Capri

DJS: What are your top 5 records to spin and why?

DJA: 1. Ascension by MaxwellI’ve loved this song since the 1st time I heard. I think this song welcomes people to the dancefloor
2. You Give Me Something by Jamiroquaiessential to any dance party
3. Golden Lady by Stevie Wonder I’ve always imagined myself dancing to this song at my wedding
4. Jump by K-oskinda pacifies the house heads
5. Shakatak by Night BirdsI feel this song lets people know they should be dancing together. This song transforms singles into couples.

DJS: Being a dj allows you to travel the world, meet all kinds of people and even open up other avenues never once fathomed. What would you like to accomplish with our craft?

DJA: It’s so interesting how music unites people. Everyone no matter what race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation dances. Music is essential to life in my opinion. I would like to see communities unify and people take ownership of what happens in their community. I would like my music to incite social change.

DJS: What kind of advice could you offer to young girls who want to embark in a career that is male dominated?

DJA: I would tell any young woman who aspires to become a dj to define her sound. Only spin the music that inspires you. Don’t be driven by money; however, make sure you know your worth. Lastly, NEVER COMPROMISE!

DJS:  You just released the mixtape “Taste of Power vol.1”. What was the motivation behind that project?

DJA: I think independent female artists need more platforms to showcase their work. And I thought what other way to help this cause than by making a mixtape.

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CHICS WHO ROCK: Raye 6 “La Dolce Vita”

Upon first sight you may be distracted by the larger than life hair, the super sexy ensemble or even her fierce shoe game, but smoldering beneath the surface is a dessert of super thick and sweet soul.  With a voice reminiscent of Stephanie Mills, Raye 6 has a voice that can’t be reckoned with. Her talent has even gone international after visiting Japan, a country known for it’s daring fashion sense and limitless innovation, which seems to be a perfect match for Raye 6. Everything about her steez, screams star and I advise you to get on this train before it leaves the station.  If she keeps on pushing the way she has been: music, videos, pastries, lifestyle it won’t be long before Raye 6 becomes the name that everyone knows.

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DJS: You seem to always be “on”. I think I’ve only seen you dress down two times. Always being on your “A” game is a talent in itself.  What is your favorite outfit to wear when you just wanna lounge?

R6: Yeah it’s a talent and a burden. It shows you how society will only accept you when you’re “on”. When I’m not “on”which is rare, I’m at home relaxing in my birthday suit.

DJS: With the plethora of skimpy and sometimes complicated outfits that you’ve worn, have you ever had a Janet Jackson moment?

R6: With the plethora of skimpy outfits that I own, it’s inevitable that I have a malfunction right? But I haven’t and I won’t because all of my clothes are custom made for my body, so the only skins you’ll ever see  is what I allow.

DJS: Your whole style is sexy: from your music, your presence, your fashion, and even the name of your pastry business, “Eat My Treats”. Who do you find sexy today and why?

R6: I find Michael McDonald sexy because of that voice, The Obama’s are sexy because of the power and black love they possess.

DJS: In the movie, “Like Water for Chocolate” every emotion the main character felt would transfer to the food she was cooking. If a tear fell into the batter and you ate the cookie, you would cry.  I can only imagine what kind of reaction someone eating your pastries would have.  Give me 3 names of super sexy pastries.

R6: “Kiss my Cakes” which are my multi flavored giant cupcakes topped with handmade fondant lips, “Roses Are” which are my handmade rose cupcakes, “Va-JJ” which are my hand sculpted sugar vagina cookies.

DJS: You recently released the official video for “Universal Lover”.  Who came up with the styling of the video and how much of a role did you play in that process?

R6: I came up with the styling for the video. The hair the clothing the jewelry everything. Any vision I have is executed to the fullest by me. I know what I want. I know what attitude I want you to possess when you’re working with me and I know what I want you to look like. The creative process is easy when it’s coming from your own mind.

DJS: So your entourage, “The Bubble Girls” are beautiful companions that add to the whole appeal of your stage show.  What was the concept behind them when you were formulating the idea?

R6: The Bubble Girls were my imaginary friends when I was a little girl. They wore tutu’s and blew bubbles. So when I was thinking of an added visual stimulant for my shows I brought them to life.

DJS: I have seen a few artists become very closed and adopt an elitist attitude on their rise to fame. I must say that you are one of the nicest, most humble people I’ve encountered.  How do you stay grounded?

R6: I stay grounded by knowing that what I do is never enough. There’s so much more to accomplish so there’s no need to feel like “I’ve arrived!” I still am and will always be in “building” mode.

DJS: “Chocolate Mahogany Poppy” was featured on Sin City II because the song was so delicious. How much reality is in your lyrics?

R6: My lyrics are all reality, no painted pictures here.

CHICS WHO ROCK: Kimbra

The moment I heard this woman sing, I became an instant fan.  She brings up memories of Fiona Apple and Yukimi Nagano (two other phenomenal “Chics Who Rock”) yet she still keeps it original.  On this track “Plain Gold Ring” the harmonies are as sweet as Dulce flavored Haagen Daas.  I would love to see her live.  Her stage presence is captivating.  All this soul and only TWENTY!!! Lemme know what you think…