Back in February, THUMP interviewed Suzi Analogue, the Brooklyn-based DJ, producer, and Never Normal label boss born Maya Simone Shipman. Named for two female African American icons—Maya Angelou and Nina Simone—Shipman has long taken her cultural identity to heart, from recording herself reciting feminist manifestos on cassette tapes to vocalizing the representation issues she faces as a woman of color in the music industry.
"I have an invisibility complex," she said. "Time and time again, you see lists and you're not on there. You read stories from musicians you've worked with, and somehow you're conveniently left out. It's not about getting credit; it's about someone recognizing that you actually exist in that creative context."
Now, Suzi Analogue is making her presence known with her new track "Visible," which features New York vocalist Rahel. It starts out as a woozy, R&B-tinged beat, until the attention-commanding sound of sirens swells to the forefront, while Rahel brings the message loud and clear: "Trying to make me feel invisible, but I am not invisible / trying to make me feel forgotten, though you're thinking of me often, I know..."
In an email, Shipman tells THUMP that the collaboration with Rahel spawned this past summer as part of a series of songs that reflect "strength." Speaking on the invisibility complex she mentioned in her February interview, she explains, "We are really embracing the complex with this track, and flipping the message with our own sound for the future. We are also connecting our backgrounds that have modern roots in NYC but international beginnings—all of that is in the sound."
"At this point in our lives we have work to make, and it's important that we make music with intent," adds Rahel. "We're just too smart and well-versed to do otherwise."
Listen to "Visible" below; it's out today on Never Normal Records.