Jaz Frazier Vox, Producer Brandon Schlia Producer, Mixer
Years Active 2015 – Present
Latest Release “Scratch EP” – 2018
Current Album on Repeat “Bowser” by Jonwayne
Currently Reading “All About Love” by Bell Hooks
Words of Wisdom Admit your ignorance even if it makes you look uncool. You’ll never know what you don’t know until you make an effort to know, ya know?
How is everyone holding up during this time?
Me and Bran are holed up pretty good rn. We have all the supplies we need to not leave the house for a bit. Now, it’s just staying busy and not bugging each other. I’m exchanging video messages with friends on an app called Marco Polo. I downloaded Tik Tok so I could get really sweaty trying to learn dances secretly in my living room (I’m shy). Attempting to find my rhythm creatively. I’ve had a creative block the last year or so and am curious if this is my chance to crack back into things.
Inquiring Mind, Mink, Grits, Amoeba Boys, BINGO Ringer (Queen City Music Lottery band), Hot Tip, Mallwalkers
How do you balance music with jobs, partners, children, etc.?
Not very well. Lolz. As I mentioned before, I’ve been creatively blocked. I decided to quietly call a hiatus for Hop Hop back in November to relieve the pressure to create. It was honestly making me kinda sick to watch other folx in Buffalo releasing albums, EPs, singles, videos, shows, blahdeblah, and I wasn’t up to anything new. It was leading me to unhealthy comparisons around productivity rates that just weren’t helpful and certainly didn’t lead to making music so, I decided to quit obsessing over it and just stop.
I am heavily involved with an political organization Black Love Resists in the Rust (BLRR) and before I called a break on Hop, I was taking sign language classes, also working full time during the day, and trying to spend time with my partner and reserve time for friends/social stuff, care for my dog, and myself. It just didn’t seem possible. I was burning out. I quit my sign classes and slowed way down on music and poured myself into BLRR and other activist work and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing for the last six months to a year. It felt amazing to let go of the expectation that as a musician, I needed to be constantly creating. It’s doo doo. It’s a farce. I am a whole human and need to feed myself in many ways. I’m baby spoon-feeding music back into my diet. Here comes the aeroplane: Nomnomnom!
Were you anywhere before Buffalo?
I lived in Alabama most of my life before Buffalo, with about five years on and off in Florida’s panhandle (essentially still Alabama). I’m grateful I was able to see something different, especially have a full experience in the “North”, with Buffalo being my home for eight years.
Photo by Mark Duggan
Experience working with a label?
I have been loosely on Steak and Cake’s label since being involved with music, with Brandon as my partner for like seven fucking years (so wild!). The agreement was always, S&C will support me in whatever way I need, but if Hop ever garnered interest from a larger label, I was free to explore that. The beauty of S&C is the informal, yet steady services I’ve received like recording, producing, mixing, videos, promotion, all o’ dat. I watch Bran offer whatever he has to offer to so many people in the scene — I am just blessed beyond words to have an eager work horse like B to prop me up, because with my waxing and waning interests, I would not have built the platform, albeit modest, I now have with Hop Hop.
Anyone you’d like to collaborate with?
In my household, I am notorious for being tough to collaborate with. My musical language is pretty odd and not rooted in really anything except feelings and LORDT JESUS, that is not easily translatable. I know working in a team can be vital to keep momentum in a project, especially when one member is not a master in everything; a second party can keep you honest, can fill your gaps, can balance your apathy with moxie and vice versa when needed—so I would be really eager to collaborate in a meaningful way with anyone who won’t hate me when my interest starts sliding!
Right now because of NYS’s partial shutdown, I’m feeling the tug to make moves on collaboration and reached out to a friend of mine to start something really chill. I sent my first idea last night to her, so we’ll see where it goes.
What’s the next move?
In addition to reforming my relationship with Hop Hop, I want to learn to play guitar at a sufficient level outside of general Hop Hop stuff. I’m messing around with some folky-type covers like Connie Converse, Cat Power, and Carole King – The Three Cs.
*Interview with Jaz Frazier