by Joe Thunder
It was a big year for the Hip Hop group from Colorado Springs that go by the name of The ReMINDers. The group consists of a husband and wife team: Big Samir and Aja Black. Their rhymes and melodies are a perfect match like peanut butter and jelly. One listen to their debut album ReCollect will convert anybody into an instant fan. Unda$tream caught up with the pair to hear their success story in their words.
Unda$tream: The two of you had been rapping both together and individually prior to 2005. What made you decide to form The ReMINDers?
Aja Black: It all just came together as we grew closer. It was just a natural relationship that developed in so many areas, even outside of the music, that the next logical step for us was to start using our artistic abilities to express ourselves.
Do you remember the first conversation about forming The ReMINDers? How did it go down?
Big Samir: Yeah, after a handful of collaborations, we realized how well it came together so we decided to put work on a mixtape and we promoted ourselves as Aja Black & Big Samir are the ReMINDers.
In 2008 The ReMINDers release their debut album ReCollect, now a Colorado Classic. Tell the people what can they expect when they pop in this album?
Samir: Everything from old school Hip Hop flavor, soul to reggae and good vibes, I mean one minute Aja can spit raw then next minute she sings from the soul, so it’s everywhere. On the first song I sing the hook and she raps so we always switching it up… it’s a well rounded record for lovers of music
What’s your favorite track on the album and why?
Big Samir: “Outside my window” there are so many messages in it for people to be themselves, take responsibility & being aware of the times we living in, plus I have a lot of fun performing it.
Aja Black: I am very happy with all of the tracks, but I would have to say that “The Way It Is” was my initial favorite, because it uses a universal theme of conquering hardships by accepting reality and moving forward, so it transcends genres.
The two of you also dropped a video “Outside My Window”, directed by Sulton Sharrief. Would you elaborate on the video and tell the viewers how you hooked up with director Sulton Sharrief?
Big Samir: We met Sutlan in Chicago then linked again when we performed at the hip hop congress midwest summit in Michigan last year. The video is what most up and coming artist can relate to, you wake up, work all day, get ready then go do a show… we shot it in three hours with only 18 minutes of film, Sultan is amazing, look for his movie ‘Bilal’s Stand’ it was sold out on the screening at the Sundance film fest.
Now The ReMINDers are no stranger to the road. Ya’ll have done shows from Atlanta to Denver, and even over seas from Germany to the Czech Republic, but one place that sticks out to me is a little place in Harlem, NY better known as the Apollo Theater. What was it like to perform in a place with so much history?
Big Samir: We have walked by the Apollo so many times over the years and watched shows from there on TV but being on that stage is actually the first time I was nervous to perform in years. If you notice on the footage, my voice shakes a little when we first come out. During sound check, we were just so excited to be there, when the lights came on and you see rows and rows of people but you can’t really see them it was a trip. Plus it was a benefit for Haiti and it was NY with K’naan, The Last Poets and many more were in the crowd so it was a great experience
Who could ask for a better scenario then rocking at the world famous Apollo Theater and opening for the Mighty Mos Def? I’m sure the crowd was bananas. What was going through your mind as you stepped on stage and grabbed the mic?
Aja Black: We have actually performed with Mos a few times, and it is always a
pleasure to have the opportunity. As far as the Apollo, I was so
hyped about the whole performance, weeks, days, even hours to minutes
in advance, that much to my surprise, when I held the microphone and
stepped on the stage, all of my anxiety disappeared, and I knew I was
doing exactly what I was meant to do.
Now it seems like sky’s the limit for The ReMINDers. What can we expect from ya’ll in 2010?
Big Samir: Still Touring, trying to reach as many people as possible, we just did a Festival in Chicago (Takin’ it to the Streets) where we opened for Brother Ali on the hip hop stage then went on to open for Mos Def on the big stage, there was about 20, 000 people there… We are slowly recording new music but still pushing the first record
Any Last words/Shout outs?
Big up everyone who support us and allow us to do what we do, all the organizations, universities, promoters.