This week’s spotlight focuses in on Suzi Analogue, the eccentric producer who has been steadily holding it down in the underground beat scene for over 10 years. Her name is a flip of RZA’s “Bobby Digital” moniker, a character in and of itself that plays in an exaggerated world of hip-hop, urban scenes, and childhood memories. Fusing her unique flair with the vast array of genres in the underground culture, Suzi’s work is a sprawling collection of bedroom and club music. Throughout her career, she’s been able to effortlessly break down barriers between footwork, neo-soul, and hip-hop, making for a journey of a discography including a wide range of artists from DJ Earl to Onra to Junglepussy and more.
Suzi’s background stems from a relatively normal origin story; being born in Baltimore, her musical taste was established in the church, singing gospel and making some early tapes as a kid before discovering the community of hip-hop artists living and working on the internet. From Baltimore, she switched over to Philly for college, where she began to meet the artists that would set her career in a more fruitful direction and solidify her unique style of music.
As a member of Klipmode, the collective that contained MNDSGN, Devonwho, and Knxwledge, Suzi began diving into the world of experimental hip-hop, collaborating with who would become some of the biggest names in the underground. From there she went on to collaborate on an EP with the like-minded TOKiMONSTA under the moniker “Analogue Monsta.” In 2013, she launched her own record label, Never Normal Records, and has been steadily releasing tracks from a mixture of artists within her circle, all with a similar affinity for the genres Suzi fucks with.
Since then, Suzi has appeared in a variety of places, speaking out on being a woman in a male-dominated industry, promoting cultural exchange in a strong and wholesome way, and producing a long list of music spread across the internet. You can distinctly hear Suzi’s gospel roots in her voice; the way she sings is sensitive and brooding while still keeping a sensual R&B fashion that places it firmly in the modern age. Despite the slow-paced, radio-friendly tracks that Suzi sported during the beginning of her career, her more recent projects are super speedy 150 BPM+ tracks that blaze through dance music subgenres at a rapid pace, bringing out the intensity of the genre while keeping it friendly with its ’90s-kid-show style.
Suzi’s Zonez tape series is a true showcase of where her talents lie, sporting some of the most fringe music that hip-hop has to offer. She describes these tapes as “audio mood boards,” combining off-kilter sounds and intentionally experimental tracks that depart from her usual style of producing more accessible club and urban tunes. Suzi comes into her own on these tapes, digesting her influences and spitting out these eye-catching and flamboyant combos of footwork, bounce, dancehall, hip-hop, and R&B. The footwork influence is palpable and has grown with her music, to the point where her most recent tape is mostly footwork.
With the release of the fourth tape in the series, Suzi’s journey as an artist seems more realized than ever before. Her style has come together in this very cartoonish, wholesome, almost twee style that footwork doesn’t really see very often. You can see it play out in her video for NRG NRG which puts her against an 8-bit backdrop while these rising melodies play out in a cacophony of 808s and familiar rhythms. In the scope of her overall output, this seems to be the essence of her presence with her style being refined to this comical and fun-loving character that’s taking the genres she works with to bold and forward-thinking places.