"HER VIOLIN ADDS SO MUCH TO MY MUSIC" - BEYONCE
"…MESMERIZING TALENT…" - AFROPUNK
"…MIND-BLOWINGLY TALENTED VIOLINIST…" - THE COVETEUR
Ezinma (eh-zee-mah), also known as Classical Bae, first picked up the violin when she was three-years old. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska to a Guyanese father and a German-American mother, Ezinma's mixed cultural and ethnic background influenced her musical upbringing and helped mold her into the versatile artist she is today. Growing up, there was a melange of music booming from the stereo: Parliament, Bill Monroe, Bob Marley, Van Morrison, Billie Holiday, Earth Wind and Fire, Bob Dylan, and Roberta Flack to name a few. These artists-along with her classical study of Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart-were influential in Ezinma's development and continue to inspire her today.
In 2012, Ezinma moved to New York City to pursue her professional career as a classical violinist. In New York, she performed with string quartets and orchestras at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden. While classical music will always be a passion for Ezinma, she felt a strong need to present the world with a different side of her and a new context for the classical violin. Since then, Ezinma has collaborated with jazz, R&B, pop, hip-hop and electronic artists such as Beyonce, Stevie Wonder, Mac Miller, and Clean Bandit.
Ezinma's style cannot be limited to one genre. Her music is a blend of virtuosic melodies and orchestral soundscapes with hard hitting beats. This fusion, this juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated worlds, allows Ezinma to connect with diverse audiences and communicate her passion in a way that is uniquely her own.
Violin sensation, Ezinma, releases "Drummer Bae," (Decca Records) an imaginative medley of cherished Christmas melodies. The holiday single was produced by Brandon Korn (Travis Scott) and Steven Epstein (Wynton Marsalis) and its available everywhere now. You can listen to "Drummer Bae" and watch the accompanying video here.
Ezinma's style is a blend of virtuosic melodies and symphonic soundscapes with hard hitting beats-a classical-fusion that is cinematic, orchestral and anthemic. This fusion, is fully showcased on "Drummer Bae" as Ezinma expertly weaves together, in her own unique way, classics such as "Little Drummer Boy," "We Wish You A Merry Christmas," and "Joy To The World." Her EP, Classical Bae, is set for release on February 6th and it succinctly displays her talent as she reimagines music from the classical greats (Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi) with her own hip-hop infused style.
The Internet's viral violinist wants the world to see beyond her social media persona.
This feature is one of a two-part Ray-Ban series that highlights the brand's connection to timeless, authentic artists who display courage and creativity in their work and output everyday. More than just musicians, these icons-in-the-making are also thought leaders, purposefully using their art to build people up, support their global communities, and to help people clearly see the best in themselves. Read on to see how they're accomplishing these goals in style.
On an overcast Monday, violinist Ezinma, affectionately known as Ezi, invites Complex into her Brooklyn home to talk about her life as a musical renegade. With an engaging smile that spreads ear to ear, she sits back in an accent chair, donning a pair of light gray Ray-Ban Clubmaster Oval Optics that complement her yellow outfit, and beams, "Let's go!"
Now world famous, Ezi has played alongside some of music's biggest artists. But things weren't always like that for the virtuoso. Born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, the classically-trained Ezi never "in a million years" saw herself as a world class musician. In fact, she never dreamed of becoming an artist at all. "Growing up in a place like Nebraska, you don't really see artists," says Ezi looking out the window. "I had no concept of what it was to even be a musician. To be honest, it [was] always a struggling artist thing, so it was something that I never, ever imagined could've been possible."
While Ezi began playing the violin at only three years old, it wasn't until the age of 19 that it became clear the classical instrument had to be a part of life-professionally and personally. "I was at the University of Nebraska, studying biochemistry and math," she recalls. "I was doing pre-medicine because I thought I was going to be a doctor." But halfway through her pre-med track, Ezi realized medicine didn't match up with who she really was nor who she wanted to be.
"I think the universe has this weird way of working so that you keep being pulled back to what your purpose is," Ezi continues. "I was doing medicine because my dad, [a] typical West Indian dad, was like, ‘That's not a real job, to be a musician. You need to be a doctor or a lawyer. Maybe a dentist, maybe a dermatologist, but those are your choices.'"
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Known as a "classical babe" and revered for her collaborations with artists including Beyoncé and Yo-Yo Ma, Ezinma utilizes her classical training to create music that marries music of opposite worlds. her latest single, "Vivaldi Springs Forth", is out now.
Anna Heflin: Your latest single, Vivaldi Springs Forth, is overwhelmingly joyous and uplifting. Why is now (October 2020) the best time to release this track? What would you like for a listener to get out of it?
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