Local Creators: Kzmiblzf

Photography+by+Yusuf+Kazmi%2C+Graphic+design+by+Obi%0A

Photography by Yusuf Kazmi, Graphic design by Obi

Georgia Abdow

Kzmiblzf (kaws-me-bloo-sef)–whose name you might have to read over more than once–is a local hip-hop and R&B duo from Silver Spring, Maryland. With only three singles released, Ahmed Kazmi and Obi Igbo have managed to establish themselves as a talented and driven duo with a growing fanbase in the DC metropolitan area. They’ve performed at Songbyrd Music House and have an up-coming show, presented by Wave Check, at the National League of American Pen Women (NLAPW) on February 29. You can find their music on Apple Music, Spotify, Soundcloud, Tidal, and Bandcamp.

http://open.spotify.com/artist/0KxvaLCUmA8ZjgmcW3iwUf?si=aOf5r0SvSLKwjvcJ833uwQ

I met Kazmi and Obi through the administrators of Wave Check. I attended a meeting regarding their up-coming show at NLAPW and got to know them. Prior to this meeting, I was recommended their music by one of the administrators who speaks highly of the duo. I listened to their three tracks and was immediately impressed with their musical talent and production skills.

When I reached out to Kazmi and Obi for an interview, they were eager to comply. We spoke about their coming to be as a duo, where Kazmi noted, “We were in different places in our lives when we were working on music separately. We had our reservations of the idea of being a duo, and it actually happened so organically. We just thought, ‘If we’re really gonna do this thing, then we got to do it.’” It was the time to put ideas into existence, so they joined forces to work on their first project, “Are We Here?” which they released in 2017.

“Are We Here?” was the first song I heard by Kzmiblzf. It has a rhythmic R&B vibe that kept me listening–not to mention Kazmi’s strong vocals and Obi’s way with words. We spoke about the development of the song. “When we were making the song,” Obi recalls, “we were kind of like, ‘Hey, wait, I didn’t realize we just made this song and it’s so good. We’re making it so fast, so it’s like, ‘Are we here?’’” To me, it seems reminiscent of their coming to be as a duo, in that they put something into existence, which turned out for the best.

Kzmiblzf dropped their second track “Time & Time” in 2018. It has an ambient opening and is complemented with a sax melody that drew me in immediately. The song is extremely catchy, but the lyrics spoke to me on a different level. I wanted to know more about what this song meant to them. “It comes from the idea of feeling that there are external aspects of your life that are going to be preventing you from doing with you want to do,” Kazmi notes. “It could be anything stagnant like a job or relationship. The song dances on the idea of keeping it moving.” Now, every time I listen to this song, I hear it differently. I even noticed smaller details like the ticking clock in the beginning of the track, which alludes to the idea of time and “keeping it moving.”

The duo released their latest track “Tell Me” this past year. Despite its catchy melody, the elements of the beat and Obi’s powerful verse make it my personal favorite. I asked about the inspiration behind the song and Obi spelled it out for me. “It’s about feeling like you need validation, confirmation, or a reason to do something from something external,” he notes. “When really, the process of finding that reason should come from inside.” I noticed that Kazmi and Obi play with the ideas of external and internal forces in their lyrics. This consistent aspect of their music creates a cohesive flow when they drop each single.

As you wait for their next project with anticipation, you can keep up-to-date with them on their Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They intend on preforming at more local venues, so don’t miss out on an opportunity to see them live. Kzmiblzf is on the rise, so check out their tracks and show your support for the up-and-coming duo.