The following is an interview with Njiqahdda, an act which so suprised us with their brilliant compositions of pure underground genre-blending black metal, that we instantly asked them to join the Pagan Flames roster. Their latest full-length digipack CD is available now through Pagan Flames as well as from the band themselves and a few other respected distros. The music of Njiqahdda exudes tendrils of such beautiful meloncholy and tranformative power, intelligence and creative darkness that our faith in this ever-expanding, (yet somehow stagnating!) underground scene has actually been restored.. We believe the black metal supporters of today are too intelligent and multi-faceted to be content with merely the "one-dimensional" attitudes of hatred and chaos portrayed by too many black metal acts of today. Though these ideals definitely have their purpose, there remains an empty void, a craving, for personal tranformation and growth and a desire to increase one's personal power. We believe that Njiqahdda conveys this desire in a true manifestation of mystical proportions. While many "experimental" black metal acts end up sounding contrived and forced, Njiqahdda achieves an atmosphere that is honest and true to its intentions with a very organic and natural sound that unveils new mysteries upon each listen. Read on and decide for yourself.
Can you expand a bit on the band title (pronounced Njiqahdda = Nee - Gee - Kaa - Daa) and the language(s) used in the lyrics?
The name Njiqahdda has many different meanings.
so to pinpoint one specific origin may be a bit difficult. but maybe one
of the best ways would be to break the word down into its roots. Nji =
power, strength, truth, divinity. Qahdda = leader, follower, disciple,
vagabond. to combine the words and their multiple meanings is what creates
the many different meanings; leader of power, follower of strength, disciple
of truth, vagabond of divinity. essentially the word is a term for one
who is enlightened not by their own thought but the thoughts of the powers
within our earthly dimension. nature, life, spirit, consequence, and time
The music seems to grow upon each listen. It has many black metal aspects, engaging ambient interludes and sometimes you even explore the funeral doom style. Are many of the musical elements intentionally osbcured only to emerge more and more after each listen? How is this achieved in the recording process?
Without a doubt our music is something that must
be absorbed with much attention. if one is looking to just put a Njiqahdda
song at the bar and 'rock out' not only will the complete meaning be lost,
but they will look like fools as well. the art we create must captivate
the listeners attention 100%, or they may miss a very important part of
the whole. this is something we practice quite often; while the individual
pieces are extremely important - they ultimately are unified to bring
more strength to the whole of the experience.
Can you expand upon the mysticism that is apparent in the music? Is the music a way to express/teach your occult attitudes? Does the music form some direct part of a ritual or spellwork? Or is the music primarily a method of personal catharsis and artistic expression?
The mysticism you speak of is partially apparent
by the incredibly obscure and abstract nature of our art. visually we
barely ever show our appearances (especially the drummer), our language
has yet to be fully explained in detail, our artwork is super dense, layered,
abstract and colorful and our music is somewhat of a reflection of all
of those details. we choose to create questions in the listener; life,
emotion, relationships, religion, enlightenment are all open-ended and
question to proper interpretation. good art should also be.
While most black metal acts can be easily categorized into either fostering destruction/hate, or into the restoration of ancient traditions and values, Njiqahdda seems to follow neither of these pathways. Would you agree that Njiqahdda is mainly concerned with personal transformation and growth? Would you compare your attitude to a band like Negura Bunget, who claim an intimate connection with nature and obsession with personal transformation?
is much more of a personal affair in terms of the ultimate ideology. We
have no issues with those who continue the true and original concepts
of black metal. but for us its different for two reasons; (1) we believe
there are more than enough projects who glorify these concepts already
and (2) we do not feel that the uber-religious and natural fanaticism
fit what we do and/or are trying to accomplish. we have always believed
that if one wants to make a change in this world, it must always start
at the root. to begin with the one who desires to make the change. once
the personal change is accomplished, then you can try to make others see
your point. the ultimate test in life is the continual change and adaptation
of one's personality/being/soul into what it is meant to be or chosen
to be, for virtue or villainy.
What type of human or human behavior do you respect above all others?
That is a difficult question to answer for the most part, only because humanity and its behaviors, for the most part are despicable and filled with iniquity. But the qualities i find most endearing in humans are the ones that most people will never possess; honesty, compassion, understanding, empathy, open-mindedness, the willingness to be a good person even though its not in their nature. But with all that being said, no one is dear to me and i am not so accepting anymore. i have been betrayed and spit upon far too often by those in our 'righteous' culture of humans. words cannot express my disappointment and disapproval.
If your consciousness could be reborn as anything at all in the universe, what would it be?
If i had the choice, i would choose to not be reborn
at all. for life is nothing but a series of trials, pain and disappointments
as a human. but if i had no choice, it would be to be reborn into a human
with 'earthly power' (money, status) so i could make some actual impacting
change in the world. its much harder to be a catalyst for change when
you scrape by to get through life and struggle for the most basic societal
needs to survive.
Can you give the listener a glimpse of the concept and atmosphere behind your upcoming full-length (also, what is the full title)? What sort of person do you think is prepared to get the most out of this recording?
The newest Njiqahdda manifestation is titled 'Nji.
Njiijn. Njiiijn.' It is 4 LONG tracks of the sound we are somewhat known
for - but taken to a new level of extreme. The basic concept is about
the continual attainment of enlightenment and evolution for human kind.
Whether that is achieved mentally, physically or spiritually is up to
the listener. But as in typical Njiijn fashion, it will be very abstract
and obscure so that each person can create their own concept of what we
are trying to convey.
Page Updated 9/9/11