700 Bliss is a collaborative project from poet/musician Moor Mother and beatmaker DJ Haram. Going strong for the last couple of years, the duo release their debut studio album Nothing to Declare very recently. Impressed by this record, we asked them the questions on our mind, to which they returned with short but fun answers. You can read the interview below.
How did you first meet?
DJ Haram: We met at an Afrofuturist Affair event in Philadelphia, Moor Mother had performed that night.
How did you first decide to collaborate 8 years ago?
Moor Mother: I believe Dj Haram showed me a beat she made and I wanted to rap on it.
Is there a tendency present in what appears first in your songs, the beats, or the lyrics?
The beats usually come first. After a demo with vocals is recorded the song really comes together in the effects and mixing process.
What were the easiest and hardest songs to shape into a final form from Nothing to Declare?
“Lead Level 15” was the hardest, “Nothing to Declare” was the easiest. “Capitol” was the hardest to arrange the vocals.
What can you say about the living, dynamic organism that is the Philadelphia club scene?
It’s a fun DIY scene where people have a chance to experiment and collaborate.
Nothing to Declare involves contributions from various talented artists. How do you find yourselves enriched or inspired by collectivity?
It is always fun and exciting when you get to collaborate with friends and bring them into new projects. We came up with an incredible array of experimental musicians.
Nothing To Declare is nothing short of political. Would you agree if I say there is more political enlightenment in individuals of the current times that is directly reflected in art? Do you think political underground music is the direct result of this zeitgeist?
Everything comes from the underground. Inspiration comes from the journey and stories of everyday people.
What are some of your favorite political records? Be it songs, mixtapes, albums…
The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B Du bois.
How often do you find yourselves concerned about your accessibility?
I’m not concerned at all.
What have you been listening to lately?
Sam Cooke & our record Nothing to Declare.
Zubeyda, I have heard that you’d really like to play in Turkey someday. What can you say about that desire? Maybe you’ll drop by as 700 Bliss?
My family immigrated from Turkey, I’d love to visit as an adult and learn more about the underground music scenes.
Let’s imagine we’re 100 years into the future at a Music Artists from History Theme Park. If you could personally choose one of the 700 Bliss lyrics to be written on your memorial stone, which one do you think it would be?
“Our silence is killing us revealing us.”
Is there a message that 700 Bliss would actually like to declare to future generations?