Spotlight on Ntjam Rosie, the new muse of the music.
Flashmag this month made an amazing discovery we will love to share with you. Ntjam Rosie is the type of talented musician hard to find around in these days in the defunct world of the showbiz. Deeply rooted in the tradition of jazz soul music and R&B her style is a reel cultural Carrefour where she switch African dialect French and English with a powerful suave voice. In the lines that follow she tells us more about herself; you will be amazed as we did when stumbling on her.
Flashmag: Hello Rosie Ntjam! We are happy to have you today as a guest of our column Arts &Entertainment can you tell us more about you? Your background?
Ntjam Rosie: I was born in Cameroon in 1983. Since the age of nine I have been living in Holland. My artist name is Ntjam Rosie. And not Rosie Ntjam. Africa first, always.
Flashmag: how did you become a musician what brought you to this career your childhood dreams of fame?
Ntjam Rosie: I became a musician because it is my calling. As a kid I was a dreamer, I loved the TV and radio. Music was something special to me. In Cameroon music is everywhere, always. It's a way of life.
When I came to Holland I still loved music, but it was much later in my teens that I knew I wanted to do, what I do for a living. It was hard for me to choose, since I’m attracted by a lot of things. Art, fashion, photography, philosophy...I like it all.
After graduating from High school and doubting for a year, God spoke to me. And I applied for the Rotterdam Conservatory. I got in and the journey really started.
Flashmag: what musician inspired you as a growing artist? Your idols in facts?
Ntjam Rosie: As a growing artist ANYTHING inspired. Growing up in the 80's and 90's, the artists on radio and TV inspired me. So you can imagine I am a big fan of Pop music. I was a huge fan of Madonna! But I am an esoteric soul, I am alternative, so is my musical taste. I am a fan of Oumou Sangaré ( Mali ), Billie Holiday, Djavan ( Brasil), Debussy, Chopin, traditional Bikutsi music from my tribe...from alternative rock, singer/songwriter to jazz Gospel R&B Hip Hop and anything traditional from anywhere.
Flashmag: you graduated from the Codarts conservatory in Netherlands a bachelor in music majoring in Latin singing and minoring in teaching one may think that since you’ have an African background you could be more prone to make soul or pop music why did you choose Latin singing?
Rosie Ntjam: I did not choose the Latin department, it chose me. You know in life, God's plan is inevitable. I considered myself as a pop singer believe it or not. But somehow the people at the Pop department did not buy that. They heard my compositions and advised me to take a look at the World Music department.
Unprepared I went, I got in and started a big musical journey. By studying Latin music I went back to the roots of Africa. I had the time to study the musical diaspora that emerged after the transatlantic slave trade. My thesis was inspired by this subject.
I was fascinated by Brazilian music. Why it sounded like it did, and why the mixture of styles belonged together.
I could talk about this subject for days! By studying, and going back to the root of Samba, Jazz, Pop, Blues, Gospel, and Traditional music I enriched myself like I never thought I would.
Because of my studies I got an enormous pool of inspiration to back up my composing skills. So that is why my music sounds the way it does. It is a melting pot of the styles I love. Not only musically but also, lyrically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically and form wise.
Flashmag: the year 2010 was really the year of your breakthrough at least in Europe since you’ll be laureate ofthe Music Matters Award giving you the title of music ambassador in Rotterdam during 2010 and the ‘MCN World Up! Award, as the most promising talent, during the first edition of the Dutch World Music Day. The jury will state your powerful voice and distinctive style creates an astonishing set full of soul and energy? What was your feeling after gaining recognizance of your peers what does it mean for you?
Ntjam Rosie: It meant a lot for me to win these prizes after years of hard work. It feels good to know that there are people out there that like what you do. Winning both prizes opened up many doors for me, so I am very grateful.
Flashmag: After you first record Atouba you have released lately the Album Elleunder your own label how was it for you to further your ambition of releasing an opus, I can imagine is not easy as a young artist to release an album specially if you’re not signed by a major company of production what is the genesis of your recording?
Ntjam Rosie: My first album was released by Indie label Appletreerecords. When we split our ways I moved on and decided to start my own company as a freelance entertainer. So my second album is my own independent release. It is not easy, but I love the freedom.
I wouldn't mind dealing with a Major record company. It just depends on how high the stakes are. And the kind of deal I am offered. It feels good to own my masters and to have a great team (management, bookers, international and national distributors) that is helping me getting my music out there.
It is my dream to become a big independent name. I am just getting started; there is still a lot to learn for me in this business.
Flashmag: some say that the Majors company are formatting too much the music, that we have the feeling to listen to the same thing all the time even from different people what can you say about it does the treatment of music like a product of mass consumption undermine the essence and the creativity of artists?
Ntjam Rosie: The majors will never ever undermine true art. That is why the public speaks. Nowadays The independent movement is a growing one. My hope is big. We can never underestimate the audience. Even though the mass indoctrination is still alive and vivid in these times, true art surpasses all that.
Art over money is my slogan.
Flashmag: working in your album I can imagine it was easier for you to keep the upper hand in the final product since it’s a self-production because sometimes texts are rewritten as well as music by the majors, did you had to give in on some points? With whom did you collaborate for the making of this album?
Ntjam Rosie: "Elle" is my own production, I was the executive producer. I had the last word on any artistic decision concerning this album. That means countless sleepless nights!! I am happy about the process. My producers, engineers and team of musicians helped me a lot!!
Flashmag: how do you define your art and style? How were you welcomed by the jazz community? I remember you played along renowned musician like Erika Badu or Bilal how was it?
Ntjam Rosie: My style is gentle, cool, eclectic, easy, funky, soulful, and groovy. It is Africa, America and Europe. I grew up loving all neosoul artists. And I was a big fan of Erykah Badu and Bilal. It was an honor to meet both of them.
I guess the jazz community gave me a warm welcome, especially with this album that oozes more jazz harmony.
Flashmag: you left your home country Cameroon at 9, how is your music perceived there since it’s a country music savvy which has seen a lot of world talented musicians?
Rosie Ntjam: Good question ;-) My country has yet to discover my artistry. So I can honestly not answer this question.
Flashmag: what is your schedule for the upcoming months? Spectacle dates? An album in the lab?
Rosie Ntjam: I am touring in Holland at the moment. But I see the international community is calling, so who knows what will happen this year. I hope to tour all around the world this year. There are already some dates, so that is already going well. Next to that I write all the time.
I am not easily bored. My job keeps me busy. I am a lucky girl.
Here's my agenda for the tour dates:
Jan.19th Ntjam Rosie Club Tour ELLE
Ntjam Rosie Club Tour ELLE Luxor Live, Arnhem, NETHERLANDS - 8:00 PM
Jan. 21st Ntjam Rosie Live@Poppodium Romein ELLE_Clubtour
Ntjam Rosie Live@Poppodium Romein ELLE_ClubtourLeeuwarden, Friesland, NETHERLANDS - 8:00 PM
FEB3rd Ntjam Rosie live @Tivoli de Helling ELLE_Clubtour
Ntjam Rosie live @Tivoli de Helling ELLE_ClubtourTivoli de Helling, Utrecht, NETHERLANDS - 8:00 PM
FEB17th Ntjam Rosie & Band @Jazz Club MOODS Zurich
Ntjam Rosie & Band @Jazz Club MOODS ZurichZürich, Zürich, SWITZERLAND - 7:00 PM
FEB23rd Ntjam Rosie Club Tour ELLE
Ntjam Rosie Club Tour ELLE Lantaren Venster, Rotterdam, NETHERLANDS - 8:30 PM
FEB25th Cultureel Podium Roepaen
Cultureel Podium Roepaen Ottersum, Limburg, NETHERLANDS - 8:00 PM
MAR10th Ntjam Rosie @GOOIS Jazzfestival
Ntjam Rosie @GOOIS Jazzfestival’t SPANT, Bussum, NETHERLANDS - 9:00 PM
MAR31st Ntjam Rosie & Band @SeaBottom Jazz Festival (Agora)
Ntjam Rosie & Band @SeaBottom Jazz Festival (Agora) Lelystad, FL, NETHERLANDS - 7:00 PM
MAY12th Ntjam Rosie &Band @Amersfoort Jazz Festival
Ntjam Rosie &Band @Amersfoort Jazz Festival Amersfoort, NETHERLANDS - 10:00 PM
JUN3rd Daniel Clason Band ft. Ntjam Rosie @Jazz Time Keppel Castle
Daniel Clason Band ft. Ntjam Rosie @Jazz Time Keppel Castle Laag Keppel, NETHERLANDS - 7:00 PM
Flashmag:to close the talk a word towards the public? And where is your album available?
Ntjam Rosie: Thank you for supporting me. Follow me by social media. I tweet @ntjamrosie; I post (Facebook, blogger). I am very new age.My album is available onITunes, Amazon, Moods Music Atlanta and on my website. Check out my website and stay tuned. www.ntjamrosie.com
Flashmag: Ntjam Rosie Flashmag and its readership thank you, for the interview accorded to us.
Interview realized by Hubert Marlin Jr.