A chat with Jenifa Mayanja...

Jenifa Mayanja is back with a forthcoming project on Sole Aspect. The EP is called ‘On The Edge Of The Horizon' which drops on June 24 2024 vinyl-only.

For those that are not familiar with Jenifa, she is a multifaceted creative artist with numerous accolades to her credit. Known primarily as a DJ and music producer for the last 25 years she is also a vocalist, and the owner of the beloved indie label Bumako Recordings. This label, cherished by spiritual deep house listeners, serves as the main outlet for Jenifa’s work, which includes three albums and numerous releases since 2007. (bumakorecordings.com/bandcamp).

Currently, she also mentors music professionals, offering guidance and support to individuals and small groups as they navigate challenges and build fulfilling careers. (themusiclifementor.com). Additionally, Jenifa is an aspiring writer, working on a non-fiction self-love manual for musicians. and a collection of short fiction stories. She also holds a residency at Public Records in New York, with her Back To The Deep party. With so much happening, we thought it a good time to catch up with Jenifa to learn more about her musical influences...

Larry Heard: Sceneries Not Songs Vol. 1

What else can be said about the man whose music set the standard for what we call “deep house”? From my personal experience, it’s impossible to think about my work as an artist without referencing Larry Heard. One of the most compelling aspects of his music for me is the straightforwardness of his melodies. His vocal production is clean and heartfelt.

Jon Hassell: Aka/Dabari/Magic Realism

I cannot remember how I discovered Jon Hassell’s music, but it was later in my musical journey, well before I started making music seriously. Jon Hassell, a trumpeter and composer, melded Jazz, Electronic, and Indian music to create incredible ambient soundscapes. What I love about his music is how he expresses soundscapes not as one long continuous hypnotic piece, but as layered and nuanced compositions. This is something I strive for in my music, creating layered soundscapes that allow different melodies and instruments to shine individually as needed to complete the piece.

Michael Jackson: Off The Wall

I am a Michael Jackson super fan! I honestly believe that I wouldn’t be as involved with music professionally and personally without the influence and inspiration of Michael Jackson’s music. My relationship with music began when I was 9 years old in primary school in Uganda, when some kids performed a dance to “Off the Wall.” I was already in love with disco, but hearing Michael Jackson’s voice, rhythms, and melodies affected me on a cellular level. I admire his songwriting and how he crafted melodies, working with collaborators like Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton, and engineer Bruce Swedien. I always strive for great melodies and lyrics in my music.

Kerri Chandler: Atmosphere

When I started seriously buying house music on vinyl, I began paying attention to the sound of a label or producer. One producer that hooked me from the first track I heard was Kerri Chandler, especially because of his distinctive kick drum sound. When Kerri moved from a sparse house sound to layering more pads, chords, and melodies, it was game over for me. I have an incredible memory of hearing “Atmosphere” for the first time on a sound system in New York around 1993—pure magic.

Wally Badarou: Echoes

Wally Badarou, a composer, keyboard player, and producer from France, co-wrote and played on many Level 42 records, which I also love. He influences me with his approach to composition, production, and melody. I love his beats and rhythmic structures, which carry echoes of his African heritage infused with a breezy Caribbean influence.

Pre Order ‘On The Edge Of The Horizon' on Juno

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