Toronto, ON-based girl-duo, Najuah is made up of Hanifa and Jules, who grew up in London, ON. The two released their single, “Running” in January, and we caught up with them for our newest segment of Five Questions With. Check out the single below and find out more about these talented women.
Care to introduce yourself to our readers?
We are Najuah, a Toronto based girl-duo. Hanifa was born Zimbabwe and Jules was born in Kenya, our parents are Ugandan. We grew up in London Ontario, a mini-city, I guess you could say. One of the great things about growing up there is that we are influenced by so many genres of music. We would listen to Prince in the morning and then maybe in the afternoon you would hear rock blaring from our balcony and then in the evening it might have been some soul and hip hop or country. Music is the one thing, in our minds that had no boundaries. It’s for everyone.
Tell us a bit about your music and writing style.
When it comes to music we don’t believe in forcing things. It has to be authentic.
Hanifa: I love to freestyle a song and a melody first. Just whatever I am feeling at that moment. It’s actually how RUNNING was created. It has to flow and I don’t believe there’s one structure or way of songwriting. You write what you are feeling. The melody is very important too. If it is great you know it.
Jules: For me, I really pay attention to the little details and the instrumentation of the song. I like to put earphones and get lost in the music. For me, it doesn’t matter how good the song is if the production isn’t right.
Do you have any upcoming shows? For someone who has yet to see you live, how would you explain your live performance?
Yeah, definitely in the coming months, we will keep you posted. We love playing with a band, so you will definitely see this when we perform. We like to have fun and we create shows based on what kind of vibe we want to create. Sometimes we like something acoustic or big with sequin everything!
If you were asked to suggest only one of your songs for someone to hear, which would it be?
RUNNING! It has so many elements we love about music. If you listen carefully you can hear African drums. We want to add more of our heritage, being Ugandan into our music. We wanted this song to be a fusion of genres and an homage to the ’90s as well. It’s a modern love song because dating these days is complicated. Are we…or are we not together?
Canadian Beats is all about Canadian music, so who are your current favourite Canadian bands/ artists?
We love the Arkells, great guys! We think Drake is dope as well as Jessie Reyez, Tory Lanz & Daniel Caesar. We also like the Weeknd, he’s definitely a great Canadian artist. Let’s not forget the producers that contribute to great Canadian music, they’re artists, you don’t do it alone. Actually, a lot of the hits you hear on the radio wouldn’t happen without them. Doc McKinney, Noah Shebib, Frank Dukes, Murda Beatz, and T-Minus, all of these guys are incredibly talented. We think it’s cool to be Canadian and love that all the Canadian artists out right now embrace this. It used to be uncool, you know, which never made sense. Canada has a lot of great talent.
I’m Jenna, and I am the founder and editor of Canadian Beats. I have had a strong love for Canadian music, which started many years ago. I have a passion for promoting these talented Canadian bands and artists, and that’s how Canadian Beats came to be. I am so proud of what it has become over the last few years, with many talented music lovers and writers coming together to spread the word of Canada’s music.