A New Mashup Mix Perfectly Blends The Sounds Of Lauryn Hill & Nina Simone
One of Ms. Lauryn Hill’s biggest inspirations is Nina Simone. With mirroring emotions through the soulful cries in their delivery, the presence of Simone’s influence is undeniable throughout Lauryn’s singing catalog. The Fugees songstress embraced the likeness of her artistry to the late musician not only in song, but also in ways of handling criticisms from the press and general public. Despite stirring the social pot with their unapologetic ways in their style and demeanor, the two oft love-scorned singers remain favorites in the hearts of their fans for their music and their courage.
Recognizing the endless similarities in their art, Nashville, Tennessee DJ/producer Amerigo Gazaway captured the complementing styles of the two songbirds on his new mashup project Nina Simone & Lauryn Hill: The Miseducation of Eunice Waymon. The title nods to Ms. Simone’s birth name, before she changed it to earn a living playing the secular music some family members condemned. Having built a reputation as one of the elite mash-up conductors, Gazaway pulls highlights from Nina Simone’s legendary track record and stitches them seamlessly with Lauryn gems not only from The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill but also her unforgettable Fugees period.
Gazaway gracefully opens the project with a mix of the late Nina Simone’s classic “Feeling Good” with Hill’s cover version. Nina’s aching “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” somehow seamlessly intersects with a somber presentation of “Fu-Gee-La.” What is remarkable is how Gazaway matches the croons of both singers with precision. Take Simone’s “Ooh Child” rendition set against L-Boogie’s opening to “If I Ruled The World,” a union in audio that must have taken hours, if not days to align. Regardless of the investment, the mix glides as Amerigo unifies two icons, through song. Perhaps “mash-up” falls short of just what Gazaway has accomplished with his imagination and technical savvy.
To complement the blending styles of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone, the release is presented with artwork for each track embodying the attitudes of Lauryn Hill and Nina Simone on some of their respective album covers. Beyond mixing tracks, the mashup reintroduces the graceful art of the two misunderstood artists from a different perspective than their original separate releases. You cannot get this in Nina Simone’s catalog or Lauryn Hill’s. Somehow, after consuming this visionary mix, one wants more from each.