Getting The Inside Scoop On Today's Hottest New Act, Urban Fu$e.
Let's take a trip around the world, shall we?
Urban Fu$e is an eclectic group of artists, whose locations range from around the world from the United States to Vietnam and beyond. Made up of several different talented vocalists and musicians, the collective which is spearheaded by songwriter Suzanna Lam, is truly a labor of love. The group's latest single "Splurge," has been garnering attention around the world with a strong message and presence in tow. One of the hottest new acts to emerge in the New Year, Urban Fu$e proves quickly that they have staying power and will rise above the rest. We had the chance to speak with the group, as they dive deep into the world of Urban Fu$e and beyond.
1.When you decide it’s time to make a new single or album, is it more exciting or stressful? I know that all of the members of the group are spread across the world, making it a unique collaboration.
It is very exciting learning how different cultures work. For example, we have a couple of members in Africa. Many people may not know this but the internet connection is a lot slower compared to that in America. Not only that, they also have power outage regularly requiring them to have a generator as a backup power source. To make the matter worse, the generator runs on gasoline and you guess it they also run out of gasoline. There were times when they had to stand in line for hours just to buy gas in the black market to power a generator so they can record and do stuff. The experience built us to be better as an international music team and to always remember to support one another regardless of the circumstance. We think, in a way, the hardship our fellow African musicians experience help us musicians here in America keep things in perspective. We often take things for granted here in America while many musicians with the same talents if not more on the other side of the earth struggle a great deal everyday to pursue their dreams of making music. We're very lucky to learn this from the get go at the very start of our group's existence because from this day onward it will only get better.
2. You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?
Suzanna: I write from seeing hearing things around me. I tend to write more upbeat vibe. My fav part of writing a song is the rewriting. That's when I force myself to detach from what I had come up with and be courageous to get rid of "stuff" I thought was good but turns out to be "garbage".
Dre Nathan: I draw inspirations from Nature and things happening around me
Nyu-Kyung: I draw inspiration from my mood at the time. If I am happy I tend to look for more upbeat vibes and the lyrics and melodies flow from there. My favorite part about the process is the writing portion. I love coming up with new ideas and feel very accomplished when I finish the track
Micheal-P: from what I see , listen and observe every day. My favorite part about the process is when comes the time or the moment I transfer and develop what I have in my head as ideas or thoughts into speeches and writings.
3. What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?
Nyu-Kyung: My fondest musical memories include driving to sports practice, at times, an hour long drive, as a kid with my uncle listening to all kind of music and performing for my friends in high school.
Dre Nathan: Playing music in church as a kid and playing in the school band
Micheal-P: In my house, because I feel at peace in my house.
Suzanna: listening to my uncle playing the guitar and falling asleep on my bed wishing someday I could do something like he did. That's why I keep telling my kids "Mommy is living a dream" LOL.
4. How do you balance your music with other obligations in life? How does it get effected if so?
Micheal-P: I work 8 hours a day on a job as a computer scientist and the rest of my time I'm doing music because music is my life.
Dre Nathan: I have a schedule and I stick to it religiously, one thing does not affect another, although I look forward to a time when it would be only music
Nyu-Kyung: As a college athlete I learned the importance of time management at a very young age. When I want to make music I make sure to schedule it in even if that means making some sacrifices
Suzanna: To me everything is very fluid, nothing is set in stone. That flexibility to change like a chameleon depending on the situation has proven to me time and time again that there isn't a balance I should strive for in my life in whatever I do. I just want to be alive if it means my life is out of balance. And that's OK with me.
5. When writing songs for the group, do you already have in your mind what the song will sound like when it is finished? Or does it often surprise you with a little twist in and turns?
Dre Nathan: always have the idea of how I want the end product to sound like, but at the same time, I keep an open mind during the process for surprises and unexpected twists.
Nyu-Kyung: When I write songs for the group we never know what to expect. We have a lot of great contributors to Urban Fu$e who help me take the songs in directions I would have never thought of by myself. There is always something new to do with every listen haha.
Suzanna: never the case. I'd start out with a basic melody and chord progressions on my piano. Then the same song goes through many revisions melodically and lyrically after a rough arrangement comes back. Most of the times, original lyrics and melody are scratched and new lyrics come up.
Micheal-P: I used to do my best to adapt my vibe in the song to bring something personal to wow listeners but I'm always surprised by what comes out at the end.
6. What is the main message behind Urban Fu$e, musically and the name as well?
We chose the name because of the multicultural fusion of our music, but also because we consider ourselves to be fuses in that we will spark the musical revolution that is to come. We have members come from Cameroon, Nigeria; US, Canada, England and Vietnam.
8. How easily do songs tend to come to you?
Micheal-P: easily and naturally
Dre Nathan: Songs come to me very easily.
Nyu-Kyung: Once I find a beat I like, the melody and flow cadences come immediately. As long as I am vibing with the sound, the ideas come easily
Suzanna: Not sure what the definition of "easily" is. If measured by time it comes fast in 15 minutes but the rewriting takes the longest amount of time for me. Sometimes days, weeks, months or even years. For example the Runaway song I wrote it back in 2015 and am still working on it now. So it's easy but not easy depending on how you look at it.
9. If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?
Nyu-Kyung: Michael Jackson - Man In The Mirror, Ruth B. - Lost Boy, Bryson Tiller - Self Made, Lil Mosey - Noticed, Notorious B.I.G - Juicy, 2Pac - California Love
Micheal-P: Heal the world of Michael Jackson,
Dre Nathan: Cant Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan lewis has to be there.
Suzanna: Let It Be by the Beatles and Man In the Mirror by Michael Jackson
10. For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?
Dance beat, good vibes, dynamic, melodic, and transparent.