July 25 2018

The Transformations of Sabine Blaizin

New York-Le Bain
We chat with NY DJ Sabine Blaizin before her next monthly 'Rekòlte' party on Thursday, August 30th.
LE BAIN: Tell us about Oya, the African Yoruba Goddess.
SABINE BLAIZIN: Oya is the guardian of the ancestral realm, the warrior Goddess, and she represents transformation. She is the air we breathe, life and death, the wind that carries us, and the lightning that clears the way. I chose to name my brand Oyasound in homage to my ancestors and warrior women who've paved the way for me to be my full self in this lifetime. Oyasound is representative of women who break barriers in the music industry. I am also a Yoruba tradition practitioner, and over the years Oya has guided and protected me on this creative journey.

You once said you’re "unapologetic in [your] black girl magic.” Can you describe your magic?
To move, change, and create at my own will and to not be afraid of societal norms or predetermined notions of womanhood or blackness. I can't tell you my magical secrets, of course, but the basis of it is being attuned with elements and forces of nature to offer goodness, healing, joy, peace, etc., to the world through music and more.
"The future is now."
As a DJ, you’ve called your style ‘global soul’ and described it as an “exploration of the vastness of our African diaspora music.” What are you discovering right now?
Global soul was coined by one of my musical inspirations, Ian Friday. I felt like it was such a good term to encapsulate the global influences and impact of the music I love to hear and play. At the moment, I am intrigued by various new styles of music from Haiti, like Haitian house music. Also, I'm exploring the history of afrobeat (the genre) versus the new sounds and artists leading the contemporary African afrobeats pop culture.

What do you see for the future of global soul?
I think the future is now. With the growth of technology and access to music, people can be exposed to and shaped by various genres from around the world. I think true music enthusiasts will respect and value the traditions of these genres while contributing their own innovative cultural styles. I see this as a way to preserve the soul and integrity these global sounds and extend their legacy—just as long as there isn't cultural appropriation and more cultural appreciation.
Sabine Blaizin's Electric Santeria 

How did New York build you, as an artist?

Haiti made me and NY raised me. I was raised in the Bronx and was heavily influenced by hip-hop history and culture. My creative peak was in the mid-1990s where I hung out in the Village and was an emcee, poet, B-girl, and capoeirista. I frequented various open mics and clubs. In the '90s you could find events where various genres were being played in one venue, like hip-hop, R&B, and house. I later gravitated more towards the house music scene and became an avid record collector, "club head", and DJ.

On Thursday, August 30th, Le Bain presents 'Rekòlte'
feat. Sabine Blaizin and Okai Musik
Special guest: Gardy Girault (Haiti)
The Standard, High Line | 10pm

Header photos by Shaira Chaer