Music has always been a tool for black expression and limitless imagination. It serves as an archival point for the time it was created, inspiring other musicians to create honest music that resonates with the masses. The collective black consciousness accessed by artists like Solange and Janelle Monae has spurred this movement with their albums discussing inclusivity and representation in black communities. Both Solange’s “When I Get Home” and Janelle Monae’s “Dirty Computer” go far beyond the limits of traditional black expression. That’s why artists like punk rapper Rico Nasty are achieving success today. Years ago, Rico would have been deemed weird, she rocks thick black boots, and sometimes, a mohawk.
One artist who’s expanding the concept of black creativity is Haich Ber Na. Unlike many of his black experimental contemporaries, Haich Ber Na’s music is purposefully eerie, and borders on genreless — drums run around at different tempos and synths come and go. His world is ever-changing, it embraces elements of infectious dance production juxtaposed with clashing drums. The 17 min EP, “Everywhere’s Home” welcomes musical chaos, and that’s what sets his music apart. The organized chaos makes you ponder the idea of a “home” and what it means to feel at “home.” Haich Ber Na wants to locate his home, and “Everywhere’s Home” is his journey to finding it. But, in Ber Na’s world, home doesn’t take the form of a house, the idea of a home comes from finding a place you feel comfortable in. Additionally, Ber Na tries to find a home within the relationships he has with the people in his life.
Throughout the 17 minute ep, Haich evaluates his proximity to relationships. This idea comes full circle on “Forgetful,” where Haich Ber Na is clinging onto memories from a past relationship. The song opens up with a space-like synth and thudding drum, leaving Haich Ber Na to ponder about his ex-partner. Hoping that his ex-partner doesn’t forget about him, Haich warns before reassuring himself, “Oh, I know you won’t.” Towards the end, his last words [“Am I forgetting something?!”] transform intro screams overwhelmed by speedy percussion and a heavy cowbell. After “Forgetful” things take a twist, as his thoughts get deeper, and the song gets instrumentally emotional. Layers and layers of production melt together as Haich sings “Save Me” over hi-hats and reverb-heavy drums.
“Everywhere’s Home” is characterized by the failure to find a home. It’s life-like, the project is filled with drawbacks and there is no happy ending. Haich’s journey doesn’t ease his thoughts about the relationship, it represents how difficult it is to be black and be happy in this society. We simply live in a time where that’s not allowed. Haich never finds his home or his comfort place. Haich Ber Na’s vulnerability around his experience means that although he isn’t much of a talker, his simple songwriting does wonders. Ber Na is ever-changing, the turbulent production is a testament to his ability to wander sonically. With emotionally charged lyrics and production, Haich Ber Na’s journey to find his comfort place on “Everywhere’s Home” is an ode to the journey we’re all on to find where we’re most comfortable.