RESPECT | Video Premiere & Interview: Signif Talks France, Friction & All That Jazz
The video below is the now-internationally-known Signif’s “Late Night Jazz,” the first release from her upcoming project, Friction. Along with demonstrating how beautiful the city of Paris can be, the video also showcases how much of a global phenomenon hip-hop has become. The Milwaukee-born, New York-based MC has been doing her thing for quite some time, starting all the way back with her 2009 EP Beautifully Flawed. She’s back in the States now, after spending a little bit of time across the pond over in France. We had the opportunity to catch up with her and talk about her travels, her new project and most importantly, jazz. Enjoy “Late Night Jazz” below, and our interview with Signif after that!
So you’re based in New York, but you’re originally from Milwaukee, right?
If you’ll pardon the pun, how would you describe the transition? [The Transition is the title of Signif’s second project released in 2010]
The transition was fairly easy for me because before I moved to New York, I visited a lot. I was here three or four times a year. I was actually mad that I didn’t move sooner because I was enrolled in school then and I just wanted to finish. I didn’t want to drop everything, not thinking “Oh, I can transfer to a school here.” So by the time I moved here, I already had a couple friends that lived here and knew spots and how to get around, so the transition wasn’t difficult at all. It was just like a second home.
You have a lot of music out already, starting with your first EP in 2009. How do you feel you’ve grown as an artist since your first release through the present day?
I feel like I’ve grown. I feel like I have so much to do. Even now with this project. I don’t feel like I have a lot of work out, I feel like I can put out more. But then I want to take my time to craft things because I have so much more to say. It took me forever to put music out. Even that 2009 [release]. That was when I was doing open mics and I don’t really consider that a project. I got sick of people asking me “Where’s your material?” and me saying “Check me out on Myspace.” I just put a compilation of songs together, because I recorded so much music, but still wasn’t confident enough in putting it out because I still hadn’t found my niche at that time. I would say I’ve made a lot of progress, but sometimes I still feel like I can’t get tracks to come out the way I want to, or voice myself the way I want to. I’m kind of learning to take a step back, but not take too much time. It’s difficult because I’m like my biggest critic. A lot of people think it’s a lot of material. but I don’t keep up enough with this Internet age — people putting out multiple projects a year and all.
What producers have you been working with lately? I know Radio Raheim did the “Late Night Jazz” joint, but who else have you been getting it in with?
It’s a lot of planning in the works, but the album that I’m working with now has a couple of the regulars. Tay Lee, he’s responsible for “Drifting,” and the majority of the tracks on The Transition. JBM, I worked with him on The Transition and Embracing Rejection.Radio Raheim is new, but I have a few tracks with him. His music is really good, it’s really intense. He sent me tracks before, but I wasn’t working on anything and I did like half of a song on Embracing Rejection and it sounded so good. He was just always so supportive and sending me good music and he would say “I wish you would’ve made this a whole song.” I kinda felt like I owed him in a way. But he’s so talented, so right now he has the most tracks on this project. I think I have four songs done by him. You know, it’s ever-changing. I might have some stuff coming out later with other people. I don’t really want to put that out there, because I don’t want to say anything before it hits the air.