NguzuNguzu. Their name is as fun to pronounce as their beats are danceable, with a sound that’s been called, ‘sad, sexy, scary.’ The R&B influenced duo got together after meeting at art school in the mid 2000’s and they spent the next few years cutting their teeth in the LA music scene, spinning at what were called Wildness parties, until heavy weights like M.I.A took notice. The busy LA based duo comprised of Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda took a moment to talk with us in a session we like to call gchats with drummers.
Tom Tom: I’m so excited to be talking with you. How old were you when you discovered you were drawn to beats/beat making?
nguzunguzu: I was 20 and Daniel was 3. P.s. – Daniel is here but I am typing.
Tom Tom: Oh ok cool, whats up Daniel? Wow that’s a pretty wide gap in ages and then you came together a few years after that in Chi, correct?
nguzunguzu: Yes! in 2006
Tom Tom: I wanted to ask you about working on a song from another artist, namely, the Ciara remix, which I really liked. When you remix do you just listen and do your thing or do you try to keep in mind what they might want to hear?
nguzunguzu: We do our thing, when someone asks us to remix; they give us that permission to do our thing.
Tom Tom: Is it more challenging, do you think to start with something that’s already been created or fresh from your own mind, a completely new song?
nguzunguzu: It all depends, some remix projects make sense and are easy to work with, others are more challenging because you’re trying to make this thing work that you wouldn’t necessarily try otherwise.
Tom Tom: I read that Bjork used to carry around a little recorder to sample sounds she heard and then use them later in songs. How do you guys remember something interesting that you hear that you know you’ll want to use sometime?
nguzunguzu: If it’s good, you’ll definitely remember it! We love to use all sorts of sounds and dig for them. We download files and record sound stuff like that.
Tom Tom: Does the beat come first for you, or do you like to work a melody or soundscape first?
nguzunguzu: It all depends we try a million different approaches, its quantum!
Tom Tom: Have you guys considered performing with a drummer for live sets? If so, who?
nguzunguzu: Hmm… not really, but we do play with Total Freedom on electronic drum pads!
Tom Tom: Cool. Can you tell us about your most fun show so far?
nguzunguzu: Most fun show so far…………definitely the Fade to Mind party in Los Angeles. We played as The Caw with Total Freedom and Kingdom. It was an improvised set, so amazing. Prince William Girl Unit and Bok Bok played that night too!
Tom Tom: Have a great day. Great talking with you. Thanks again!!
nguzunguzu: No problem! Thanks!
For more information on both of these beat makers, like them on Facebook or hit them up on Twitter. NguzuNguzgu has no planned shows in the LA area at this time, bummer for us, but their EP is slated to drop later this year.
Words by Mindy Magana Guest Contributor