After the successful album “The One” (2015) and the birth of her baby daughter Lizz, Ntjam Rosie found herself unexpectedly looking back at her career and her life. She realised that she’s happy with what she has accomplished, but sensed a growing need for change and to reach a new artistic level. “I could keep doing what I was doing before. But I knew that I could do much more.” At the same time the question haunted her, “Why am I doing this? Money? Fame? To connect with people?”
In the run-up to “Breaking Cycles”, Ntjam Rosie departed from her trusted creative comfort zone. She felt the need to be stimulated and challenged again musically. She made a few tough choices and forced herself to take a different approach to songwriting. The question “Why am I doing this?” found an answer: to inspire people. “I hope that my songs will give people courage and inspiration. You can overcome anything, break through any difficult situation. But don’t forget that sometimes you have to put in the work. Set yourself goals, but enjoy the ride. If you forget that, a Breakthrough means nothing.”
The songs on “Breaking Cycles”, her fifth studio album, still contain the characteristic Ntjam Rosie ingredients, but this time written from the groove. She’s been inspired by 1990s R&B (Janet Jackson, Erykah Badu, SWV, Aaliyah), the 1980s soul of the South African Letta Mbulu, as well as the sound of modern alternative R&B (Kelela, Nao, Daniel Ceasar).
“Breaking Cycles” is produced by Vincent Helbers (Flowriders). All songs were written by Ntjam Rosie and Vincent Helbers. Richard Spaven (Jose James, 4Hero, Flying Lotus) is on the drums. London’s Robin Mullarkey (Jacob Collier, Laura Mvula) is on bass. Bart Wirtz and Teus Nobel provide the horn parts.
Breaking Cycles was released online worldwide on Ntjam Rosie’s own label Gentle Daze Records on 24 November 2017. The CD was for sale exclusively on the Breaking Beats theatre tour, which premiered 16 December in LantarenVenster, Rotterdam.
“Breaking Cycles” is the fifth studio album of the Cameroon-born Ntjam Rosie (1983) and the follow-up to “The One” (2015) which garnered praise from the critics of all the major newspapers and music publications. She released the single EP “Never Give Up”, as a funky preview to “Breaking Cycles”.
In the spring of 2016, Ntjam Rosie toured with the Artvark Saxophone Quartet in more than 20 theatres with the well-received show Homelands, which had a reprise in the spring of 2017. In the same period she performed in the successful theatre show We hadden liefde, we hadden wapens (We had love, we had weapons), based on the book by Christine Otten. On 16th December her first solo theatre tour, Breaking Beats, premiered in LantarenVenster, Rotterdam.
Ntjam Rosie has played on many stages and jazz festivals in the Netherlands – including the North Sea Jazz Festival – and has toured in China, Korea, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Suriname, France and the UK. She has appeared numerous times on DWDD, Vrije geluiden and other well-known radio and TV programmes. The albums Elle, At the Back of Beyond and The One have all been nominated for the Edison Jazzism Publieksprijs.