Interview: Belgium-Based Urban Electronica Artist JoBee

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JoBee Project is an artist you need to know, originally from Poland but now residing in Belgium the multi-talented singer has the ability to take you on a journey through time and space. While she dabbles in soul, electro and gets hip hop producers on her project she is not limited to one genre. Not does she have a powerful voice, she’s also an activist and creator or all woman hip hop collective Supafly.

We sit down with JoBee and talk about her ability to fuse genres, putting women in the front and what lies ahead for the future.

Your album fuses so many genres together, is there one that sticks out to you the most?

Not really, I love them all, separate and together in a blended fashion. I used to be the leader of punk and grunge group, before I went into jazz education for several years. I do feel I am first of all a jazz singer, as that is how I started my training at the beginning of my musical journey, eventually experimented with electro, beats and trip hop or hip hop beats. It is a fusion indeed, and I really love it all. My melodies come from the heart, and the influences are countless. In Poland my album is listed under 'alternative' music and I love it, as I do see myself as alternative artist, even though at times it's 'too polished' and close to pop. I like to call it magic pop, cause why not?  

You run women's collectives and are an activist, how important is it for you to stand up for woman in the industry?

Putting women in music and arts in the front has been of key importance for me for years. Empowered women should empower other women, and that was my starting point when, in 2009, I met Jeanette Petri aka Jee Nice, the editor in chief of Anattitude Magazine (the first and only existing international Hip Hop magazine on print, to present the female side of Hip Hop culture), when she was about to finish the 3rd issue of her magazine. I was already at that time running my radio show on Fm Brussel radio, and thought I could help out to connect with other music minded people, as I instantly loved her work so much! Together we decided to throw a big release event in Brussels! We wanted to bring together a team of creative and motivated ladies with a heart for hip hop, exactly in the spirit of Anattitude. We got together the urban photographer Lizairo, CYMO-blogger & music manager Nadia-O, singer/DJ Fatoosan, music manager Vaneeshua and musician/DJ MikiGold.  It was instantly clear that we were on the same page when it came to the rich culture of hip hop. Our first event took place in October 2009 at Tavernier in Brussels and was a huge success. That’s when Supafly Collective was born as a collective and started a long-lasting and inspiring journey. In 2010 we got a weekly live radio show on BRUZZ, the capital’s largest radio station. I have been a radio host already since 2008, so I moved from Implosief to Supafly radio show. 

It has been a beautiful and enriching journey, it is so important to highlight the presence of women in music, and specifically in hip hop, oftentimes I am the only girl on the line up of music events, that has to change, that is my main drive also as feminist and  activist and artist, and I will never stop! 

What projects are you working on next?

A real bee is always busy buzzing and creating, so is me, JoBee! Future looks very bright! I am currently working on several collaborations with both female and male rappers, several producers, as well as on my own EP with a Belgian producer! 

You are about to hear more about JoBee in near future! New videos coming up as well, I am working with an amazing creative film director from Poland. Also, concerts and a new tour from spring! Stay tuned fly bees.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

If I could collaborate with anyone! The list is countless, but if I had to choose one living artist today that would be Flying Lotus! Yes! We met for the first time in LA in 2008, and I remember playing his tunes on the radio in Belgium when he was still unknown at that time, blew up very rapidly! Then we had a chance to hang out in Rotterdam with him and my Supafly crew in 2009- fly times- I wonder if he still remembers me! Need to ring him. 

Who do you listen to on repeat now and why?

My music is very eclectic. Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Rage Against the Machine rocked my teens and I was a punk band leader for years. Then I took a break and I turned to jazz and pop - I love Michael Jackson, Amy Winehouse, Erykah Badu, and Bjork.

At the moment I'm listening a lot to Bjork and Fatima, they are a huge source of inspiration. I also listen to a lot of rap. Princess Nokia and Cardi B are very inspiring characters because her music is a mix of hip-hop and punk. It's all the punk attitude! 

Any chance you'd come over to the states and perform?

Absolutely yes! I already did a tour in NYC in 2013 with over 10 gigs I miss and I think its high time to fly back! I love the States! See you soon! 

Connect with JoBee: Facebook | YouTube | Bandcamp