To celebrate Black History Month and beyond, every week in February 303 Magazine will be sitting down with Black Denver musicians to highlight the incredible art they consistently turn out, as well as sharing a curated playlist from each musician to expose the ears of our readership to music that matters. To quote from the late-great Ossie Davis, “Any form of art is a form of power; it has impact, it can affect change. It can not only move us, it makes us move.”
This week, 303 chatted with soulful savants The Reminders. The married duo consists of Brussels-born emcee Big Samir and Queens-born emcee and vocalist Aja Black. Their chemistry is palpable, as showcased by their 2019 work Unstoppable, where classic hip-hop verses flow with steady, hopeful R&B licks. There’s even some French intermingling in their lyrics. Their 2021 single, “Keep It Together,” with Crl Crrll was an emotive ode to the devastation felt over the past few years. Despite the heavy subject matter, the track manages a healthy balance of lofi beats and cascading vocal mastery that at once, calms the nerves and piques the brain’s interest.
Listen to The Reminders’ curated playlist below and check out their music here.
303 Magazine: When did you start making music? What drew you to music as an art form?
The Reminders: Music has always been a part of our households — it was a natural thing to sing along, dance and be active in the arts. As we became adults, we were immersed in musical environments, cyphers, studios and parties. After high school is when we began recording, developing our talents and slowly building a career.
303: What works by musicians of color inspire you in your own work?
The Reminders: All of it! There are so many to name, we genuinely are inspired by the great and new musicians.
303: What does your creative process look like?
The Reminders: It varies. We sometimes hit the studio and create from scratch, other times a producer will send us an instrumental and we create around a theme, or during our travels, we learn so much and document the experience which later becomes a song or concept.
303: How did you go about curating your playlist?
The Reminders: We took the songs that are in our current rotation, mixed with some classic songs we absolutely love. Reggae, soul, R&B, hip-hop… This is just a taste because we could go on and have a 12+ hours long playlist.
303: Who are some of your favorite artists of color in the local scene?
The Reminders: The Grand Alliance, Chef Ietef and Felix Fast4ward.
303: Do you think music and art can affect change?
The Reminders: Absolutely. If the intention for creating is pure, the emotion will be felt and therefore can inspire and motivate change.
303: What do you think the future of music looks like?
The Reminders: The future of music is amazing — lots of artists have been developing their skills and creating amazing art, challenging themselves to new sounds, ideas and collaborations. Very excited for what’s to come.
303: What’s next for you as artists?
The Reminders: We have more singles on the way and have been pushing ourselves creatively — we can’t wait to share some of this music with you all soon.
Check back next week for the next edition!