NJIQAHDDA - " Nji. Njiijn. Njiiijn. " Full-length CD digipack

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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 (among others).

About 80% of our lyrics, writings and teachings are made presented in our native Njiijn language. it is a language that we have compiled and executed solely for Njiqahdda. the language(s) we use are an amalgamation of multiple languages and textual source. the main points are derived from Nordic/Scandinavian/Germanic, Greek, Arabic and English languages and texts but there are also many others incorporated into it as well. Njiijn tongue is a very 'worldly' vocabulary as far as its roots are concerned, but when presented in the manner as you see it; its becomes ethereal, celestial and spiritual. our lyrics are made manifest in not only Njiijn tongue but we do occasionally delve into English lyricism as well. we usually just choose not to make the translations known (usually).

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.

I would not necessarily say that we intentionally obscure musical elements, because in certain aspects our musical influences can be pointed out with ease. but we never try to let any single part dominate our sound. i think that is one of the things that makes Njiqahdda stand out the most, our ability to unify so many different aspects and bring them together as a force of immeasurable strength and total individuality. but we cannot take all of the glory of our works; many of our brilliance is handed down from spirit achieved through meditation, focus and attentiveness to detail. the two of us are merely a vehicle to convey these much greater powers.

As far as the recording process is concerned; much of the praise can be given to our producer. his knowledge and golden ears are what refine our rough concept. we know what we want out of our music, but he is the one who helps refine and bring it all to fruition. but there are a few things which we can discuss; layering being a huge one. by adding many different layers and mixing them at different points in the listening atmosphere, it creates all kinds of different effects. this also works by using many types of equalization, compression and effects in all of the layers to give each part a certain voice and place in the musical equation.

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.

The music is certainly a way to express/teach/convey our philosophical stance. but we also leave it so open that the listener must learn to fill in certain gaps for their own. it becomes a more individual and personal affair in this manner. i would not necessarily classify our views as occult (although i am certain many will) just obscure and difficult to define. in essence our art is connected to a 'ritual' like classification, not in habit or obsession, but in learning, development, Meditation, Philosophy, History, Culture, Transcendence. Intellectual revelation and revolution is mandatory for all beings in the mode of progression. Education is a large step in this manner. The changing of life into something more, something better, worse, unknown...

Ultimately at the end of the day, what we do is primarily an expression of artistic endeavors and personal catharsis. this is a huge cleansing mechanism for the both of us, partially why it can appear so abstract and confusing most of the time. emotions are tricky to understand. even more when you are trying to express them publicly. simple words, language and musical genres cannot explain the things we experience or feel, that is why we are given to create a new medium and vehicle for expression.

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?

Absolutely. Njiqahdda 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.

The Negura Bunget compliment is absolutely flattering. we have never at any point thought of a connection between us and them. they are without a doubt one of the biggest influences on the music we make, we have both been huge supporters of those guys since the Zīrnindu-Sć album. easily one of the best black metal bands on the planet. but yes, we have a self-appointed attachment to the natural world and all of the flora within its grasp. the same can also be said for the attention payed to obsessing on personal improvement and transformation. we believe man should never become stagnant or comfortable is his own mind. this is when fault, fracture and discord come in. while no man can ever not be a frail human (we are all fools in one aspect or another) we can make a concerted effort to try and not be constant with our pitfalls. continual progression, learning and improvement is a key to the gates of this style of thinking.

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.

Or i would be reborn as some type of flying animal; maybe a falcon, hawk or osprey. to experience the full freedom of being hindered by nothing other than hunger, shelter and reproduction. the basic needs of life.

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.

The kind of person that would get the most out of our newest work (if there is any out there to begin with!) is intelligent, open-minded and unafraid of stepping outside of the box, outside of the norm. Not afraid to make their own decisions and is not easily manipulated by the opinion and will of others. One who appreciates individuality, uniqueness and artistic freedom. Those who choose to make a positive difference not only in their own lives, but those who they have relations with as well. Those who are not hateful for one another but look to make a change in this baneful existence for the generations to come.

Njiqahdda Links:


Njiin Arts

Pagan Flames Distributed CDs

Page Updated 9/9/11