UPA alumni and upcoming DJ’s DJ, Sabine Blaizin is blazing through New York city’s nightclubs, bringing the African diaspora to the masses in the form of addictive and soulful dance music.
Sabine, you were recommended by Val Jeanty and were awarded the UPA scholarship to the first ever Ghost Program at the UPA. Since then you have been our most beloved DJ at our events, bringing such amazingly soulful and honestly danceable music, can you give us a brief background in how you met Val, and your background as a DJ?
Thank you! It was a pleasure and honor to be part of UPA. I’ve always admired Val as a strong, talented, unapologetic Vodouisant. We ran in similar circles in the underground NYC music scene but never had the opportunity to work together. UPA gave us the opportunity to understand each other’s musical mission and techniques a bit more. Val is such a great inspiration as she uses frequency, energy, and spirituality that provides a unique style of her own. My own interest in DJing stemmed from my interest in combining traditional African diasporic sounds with electronic music namely House music. At the time I started DJing in 2004 I was going through my own spiritual journey as a practitioner within the Yoruba tradition. The deity Oya (gatekeeper of the ancestral realm, warrior woman, changemaker, & more) was a prevalent force that helped shaped the concept of my brand Oyasound-representing fierce woman in the music business with the intention of creating and showcasing innovations in music from the African diaspora.
There is a real originality in the pallet that you use. Please orientate our readers on the styles of music that you play currently.
I currently play mainly Afrobeat, House, Deep House, AfroHouse, Haitian House, Afro Tech, Deep Tech.
You are very drawn to deep rhythms, tell us a bit about the various rhythms that you have come across in life, i know that you recently went to Cuba, Jamaica and, of course, Haiti.
Yes, rumba, salsa, rara, konpa, and various Vodou rhythms such as Nago, Petro, Yanvalou, Ibo, Kongo has been a great influence.
In what ways are you able to communicate to people through music, and do you prefer sound systems at clubs as your platform?
In addition to being a DJ I also curate events which I like to call “experiences”. Definitely, my start and mainstay has been the club but I also like soundscaping, sound art, and installations. So I’ve had the pleasure of transforming various physical spaces indoor and outdoors like homes, art galleries, lofts, factories, parks, classrooms, theaters etc.
Do you have any projects coming up that you are excited about? If you aren’t already, will you be doing your own radio show? podcasts?
Yes, I have an EP release end of January in collaboration w/ fellow Haitian artist Okai Musik. I currently have DJ mixes on Soundcloud. An Oyasound podcast would be cool. I’m currently working on my 4th edition of my Lakay Se Lakay: Ancient Future Haitianist series called “The Revolution” in collaboration with Wear Your Voice magazine. On January 20, 2018 11am-8pm, the anniversary of the 2017 inauguration and the month we celebrate the Haitian revolution, we celebrate a day of resilience and transformative healing through Haitian tradition. There will be a film screening, traditional Haitian dance & drum workshops, vendors, and AfroHouse dance party at Starr Bar in Brooklyn, NY. RSVP: http://bit.ly/haitianrevolution More info: www.oyasound.com
Lastly, can you tell us how your experience at the UPA helped, and in what ways you feel it is needed.
UPA has helped me dive into the various aspects of production with the great unique backgrounds of the instructors. It was taught from a historical, contemporary, and innovative concept. I’ve built friendships and colleagues that I look forward to collaborating with more in the future.