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Interview: Najjah Calibur

Najjah Calibur – “Celebrate” (pop)
https://youtu.be/Ndu3zL8jKUU

In sales, you don’t have long to build rapport with people or lure them into what you have to say. Charisma engages audiences quickly and authentically, making it impossible for them to walk away without buying what you’re selling. Najjah Calibur once excelled in sales, fully embodying those instinctive traits, but now he’s putting his charm to better use in the music business. Not only is Calibur performing his music at the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup, he’s hosting the whole event. With his contagious enthusiasm, it is no wonder he is an international, award-winning host, which carries over into his artistry as he thrives on entertaining a crowd. His previous single, “I’m Good,” was overflowing with optimism, yet he raised the bar higher with his new party-perfect hit, “Celebrate.”

There’s no shortage of positive vibrations coming from this song, and at this point in his life, Calibur has a lot to celebrate: hosting and performing in Qatar this November, being engaged to his lovely fiance, caring for his sweet baby girl, and other personal life milestones. And people near and far can finally celebrate coming out of over two years of pandemic disarray. The upbeat EDM track and uplifting lyrics materialize the joy of celebrating these events – and then some. Calibur’s excitement and zest for life will inspire listeners to sing and dance along. With such a short dance in the sun, we need to remember to celebrate every day and not take anything for granted, and “Celebrate” captures that advice to its maximum.

Calibur’s enthusiasm for life precedes him wherever he goes. Whether delivering “Celebrate” from a boat floating with a skyline backdrop, an epic poolside party bash, or on top of parked cars alone in a parking lot, his musicianship and confidence flourish. The 360-degree shots are awe-inspiring, perfect for getting all of Calibur’s surroundings in a unique, intoxicatingly creative way that lends something to the theme of celebrating who you are, wherever you are, and taking full advantage of living in the present moment. Ultimately, this music video shows what it means to let go and live it up with your genuine self on plain display, just like Calibur.

Talk about your musical journey thus far. How and when did it begin, and what areas have you noticed improvement?

Well…this could take a little while so let me condense this the best I can. My musical journey started out with my cousins, when we were 9 and 10 years old creating dance routines upstairs to then go down to the basement to perform in front our parents interrupting the party lol. The feeling of joy for a song that we liked and being able to express ourselves creatively  through it, really sparked something in me, a passion for not only creating but I guess I can say getting a reaction from our parents when we performed. Our unique and loving tribe, had social gatherings All the time, and with our huge family and extended family…we as cousins always had an opportunity to play the next hot song or show each other the newest dance moves and that’s where my joy and love for being creative began.

Moving on to our teenage years the same group of cousins were all about rap music and rhyming to the point where we formed a rap group in early high-school with some friends and began for the first time actually writing lyrics  and making songs! Being able to hear an instrumental and make our own songs over it was everything to us!! Now the only thing left to do was to actually test our material out at Talent Shows and that we did along with battling other rap crews and just having freestyle ciphers any and everywhere! An innocent and magical time for my love of music for sure!

My other love and passion for soccer took me away to a Division 1 N.C.A.A University in the states to play soccer but I always felt like something was missing. Two years in I left that dream to pursue music and co-founded a rock, funk, hip-hop blues band called “The BluesUnderdog”. I was the frontman for this fusion of genres and we right off the bat won many talent shows and within a year was on tour across the country with the Black Eyed Peas and with the biggest booking agency in Canada S&L Feldman. I actually thought this was going to be it, finally make it in music. However, this was not the case as our band dissolved eventually and that’s when I decided to go solo.

Fast forward to now I left music for a bit to concentrate on hosting went back to school for journalism and broadcasting and became an international award-winning host for FIFA but still again something was missing – the music. So over the pandemic I began to get real creative again and is now sitting on my 2nd single a dance/EDM/pop song “Celebrate” which is very different from my first single “I’m Good” which is a rock/alternative/pop song. I am loving being creative again as its truly food for my soul and I’m back playing soccer as well! LOL!

Areas I have noticed improvement on is definitely because, I was in a multi genre band I learned to sing and that has gotten a little better over time. Secondly my song writing process and focus on that for sure has improved since my band days along with now picking up the guitar and can play a little rhythm section type stuff to help write my songs especially. That being said if you don’t use it, you lose it so I must continue to work on my craft and there is still lots of room for improvement.

What makes you stand out among others in the music industry?

I’m not sure if stand out is the right word for me but people really feel my energy and genuine joy for what I do whether it’s music, or living life. My music is reflective of my life fittingly and I guess my energy is my intangible thing that is almost palatable to people I’m around or hear my music. I’m not the conventional type either so I would say being able to live in multiple genres genuinely separates me from others as well. I believe we can all stand out when we are being our authentic selves – that’s the gift we are born to display.

What ignited your creative spark for “Celebrate”? What inspired you to write and create this single?

Great question! Well two things came to mind when  I heard a beat Chandra “Chach” Raye was making. The guitar sample made me feel a release…and it just so happened that we got news that all lockdowns and restrictions in public were about to be lifted from the pandemic so I visualized the joy of people being able to go out and eat at a restaurant or go to a concert, or sporting event again!

The joy of some sort of normalcy after two years was something to “Celebrate” as I realized how much we actually took for granted.  That coupled with the fact I knew there was a 90 percent chance I would be hosting the FIFA Mens World Cup in November. I also envisioned the stadiums filled with people from various cultures celebrating the most popular sport in the world and biggest sporting event on the planet and all I could think of was “Celebrate” – let’s Celebrate!

I got the files from Chandra she had started and brought them to Sheldon “S-Luv- Moore  who rest in peace because he just recently passed from cancer and we built more on the structure of the song before I sent it to New Jersey to DJ Mr.Traverso (Elvin) to give it an EDM rise and drop feel and to twist the sound a bit. I am grateful to work with all of them on my vision!! Especially Sheldon in hindsight as I miss him so much and grateful for the time we had together working on our dreams. Really cool now as I’m now less than a month away from hosting the FIFA World Cup in Qatar…going to be very special!

The song is loaded with good energy and positivity. Why is this important? How is the single significant to you, and how should it be received by audiences?

I feel like because we live in a world of social media now more than ever, we compare ourselves to others too much and that can be detrimental to one’s growth especially spiritually. We have a lot of first world problems that throw shade on what really matters in life. Our health and family and living free! This song is a reminder to be present  and no point in dwelling on the past when all we can change is today. A lot of us may seem good on the outside but are not truly enjoying life and celebrating the small and big things that we take for granted. Especially coming out of this two-year period where the world stopped, I felt the need to inject some good energy into the world. The single is significant to me for a number of reasons as I have a lot to be grateful for mainly overcoming my addiction to alcohol.  Two and a half years sober and also getting engaged to the love of my life and now becoming a Dad to my little girl who will be two years old in January! Rebuilding my relationships with friends and especially my family – Mom and Dad and sister – has been so fulfilling and rewarding!

To whoever is reading this and is doubting yourself, no worries I did too, but you can change your life around! I promise!! In regards to anyone who hears this song I hope it stimulates joy and endorphins and makes for a quick escape from life to reboot and reset the soul before going on with the rest of your day. I would love at your most celebrated moments weddings, birthday parties etc. or finding out you got a promotion at work that this song plays in the background! Indeed, this song for us all to feel celebrated for what we have!! Life is too short!

What was your creative vision for the “Celebrate” visual? What was it like working with the director, and how did the pieces come together to fully showcase what “Celebrate” is all about?  

I had spoken to a mentor of mine Marc Andre Debryune who happens to be an award-winning director about my project with Dan Barker(Bentham) . He knew this was a low budget video and suggested to get the most out of it try a 360°camera for cool effects! Once I saw a couple of references, I pitched the idea to Dan and we went out guerilla style shooting looking for some cool shots! We wanted to maximize the budget and hours invested by Dan. After all he went way beyond to see this video through because he believes in me and I am really, really grateful for that.

Working with Dan is very easy to do. We seem to be on the same page naturally so deciding where and how to shoot was a cool process. Especially guerilla style because that in itself is an adventure. Example one of the locations didn’t even know I was shooting because I had earbuds in and played the song through my cell so I could get a good crowd shot…stuff you have to be creative with as an independent unsigned artist who is just getting going in the industry again. I believe the cool 360 visuals with style of quick edits keep the energy up with the song itself and coupled with my high energy and the crowd scenes really leave you with a feeling of Celebration! I am Celebrating working with what I got as an unsigned artist and making the best of it, after all that’s what life is about!

If you could speak directly with your fanbase right now, what would you want to tell them about you and/or your music that has not been discussed yet? Also, why should music lovers unfamiliar with Najjah Calibur tune into your music, particularly “Celebrate”?  

I would say…first of all thank you for believing in me when I wasn’t sure if I should reopen this gate and go after it again. It always seems so daunting at the beginning of anything big you want to accomplish but Oprah says it best the only thing we have concern ourselves with is “What is our next right move?”. And that step by step you will get there. So I thank a lot of my organic followers or fans who would always plant the seed… when you going to do music again?

I will say this I have soooo much more to offer and I’m just getting started. The goal is to create enough noise to get with booking agencies and perhaps a label for distribution but either way I realize this music thing is an integral part of my wellbeing and I look forward to you hearing my EP when I drop it in the first quarter of 2023.

For those who have never heard of me before I’m not a man for the people but a man of the people in the sense that I have been through and continue to learn and grow from my life experiences and want to deliver messages of hope for the lost souls like I was out there and I really want to connect with you and encourage your realizations of greatness. Passion gets interrupted by doubt a lot, let’s stop the interruptions and just go for it! Let’s “Celebrate” ourselves and what really matters in life. I have so much music to deliver if anyone wants to join NajjahsWorld Ent you can reach me at NajjahClibur.com or Najjah Calibur on any of the socials. Stay connected and all the best!

 

 

 

 

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