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FAUZIA’s “Change 4 Me” Draws Strength from the Black History of House Music

For FWD Transmissions’ inaugural edition, the Londoner produces an exclusive track that oscillates with the rhythmic energy of a smoky, vintage dance floor.

In our newest content format, FWD Transmissions, we aim to support creatives in the aftermath of COVID-19 and to throw the spotlight on BIPOCs in the industry. Electronic Beats will commission a track from a producer and bespoke artwork from a visual artist, both to be debuted exclusively across our channels.

“Imagine giving birth to something so beautiful, impactful, insightful, incredible/ But you don’t see that this belongs to me all because of the powers that be,” croons FAUZIA in the opening of her EB track “Change 4 Me.” It’s an earnest response from an artist intent on reminding the world of dance music’s Black roots. The production, which starts slinky and mellow, only to oscillate with increasing energy, reveals the Londoner’s vulnerable and contemplative facets while exploring the ebbs and flows of living amidst a political revolution.

Artwork from Brazil-born, Berlin-based artist Gabriel Massan accompanies “Change 4 Me.” His visual interpretation channels the “positive and colorful feelings” he experienced while listening and reimagines the track’s bright, synthetic accents as emissions from abstract shapes, which Massan sculpted and saturated in vivid, incandescent hues.

  • FAUZIA - Change 4 Me

FAUZIA has spent the last few years carving out her own lane. Between her residency on NTS, running the club night Shook, and playing throughout the U.K. and Europe solo and as part of Rinse FM regulars 6 Figure Gang, she’s been quickly dubbed one to watch. Simultaneously, the artist has been quietly crafting her own sonic world, as heard on compilations by R&S Records and HAUS of ALTR. Recently, she also self-released a collection of tracks featured in her Discwoman production mix, which she recorded shortly after finding a home on the roster in February. 

The vast array of sounds FAUZIA explores in her tracks—from club-ready edits to techno and jungle—is her way of combating the music press that so often pigeonholes Black artists. “As soon as you put anything out, people are so quick to tell you ‘this is who you are,’ and I don’t want that to happen,” FAUZIA expresses to me. This is partially why, this time, she chose to veer into an unexpected deep house cut. 

“Change 4 Me” is largely inspired by resisting this mis-categorization of Black artists and the whitewashing of Black-rooted genres. During the track’s production process, an acquaintance, who overheard FAUZIA playing a short snippet, automatically associated the track’s house sound with a white-led music platform, which FAUZIA has chosen not to name but believes is another industry establishment that has long appropriated Black music and culture. Frustrated that the origins of house and techno are so frequently disregarded, she decided to clarify her stance on this erasure in the track’s defiant opening line. 

FAUZIA originally intended to create a fast and energetic track, but ultimately decided to compose something more stripped back and reflective of her current ruminative mood. The track features a vocal sample from one of her favorite soul songs, Change For Me by Eric Roberson, who served as a main inspiration alongside artists like Actress and Kyle Hall. Her final composition feels like a slow flashback of hazy party memories, and there’s a prickly warmth reminiscent of an old vinyl record. In the background, a twitchy 808 rattles and slices through a mist of synth pads hanging suspended in the air, like limbs articulating a rhythm on a dance floor enveloped in glowing smoke and flickering lights. 

FAUZIA wanted to produce something her audiences wouldn’t expect. In spite of her ever-evolving, protean approach towards music, her intention remains steadfast. She explains, “I need people to know that this is Black music. Just don’t forget that it comes from this place.” 

Tanya Akinola is a freelance writer whose work has featured on platforms such as Resident Advisor, Boiler Room, DJ Mag, Mixmag, gal-dem, Dazed and more.

Gabriel Massan is a visual artist based in Berlin. He has previously collaborated with NTS Radio, Kaltblut Magazine, and designer Lucas Leão.

Fauzia’s “Change 4 Me” was mastered by DJ Swisha.

Published July 24, 2020. Words by Tanya Akinola.