BRASH! is kicking off the month of May with singer, songwriter and much more!….Semaj The Poet. This artist took time to give us an exclusive on his inspirations, humble beginnings, as well as great advice to all up & coming artists! Check out the interview below:
B!: How long have you been pursuing music?
Semaj: I have been pursuing music my entire life. By the time I was 8, my father started teaching me piano and since then I was hooked.
B!: What inspires you to write music/poetry?
Semaj: What inspires me to write is a better life for my family and seeing the crazy things around me. There are so many things underneath the veil that I want to know about. There are entire worlds that only a select few gets to witness and I want to dig so deep that I end up at that door.
B!: What artist(s) have you written songs for?
Semaj: I have written music for myself, Dominic, and Rossi from HBK. I also write and shop around everything from pop to RnB songs.
B!: Tell us a little bit about your latest project, “The Weather Underground”
Semaj: My latest album, “The Weather Underground”, finally feels like I found my sound and who I am as an artist. It took time to focus and hone in on what I was really trying to say and what type of feelings I wanted to portray. I wanted it to sound like the devil’s heartbeat; not in an evil aspect, but something different, something dark, something that intrigues but we perceive as dangerous. I want to be able to turn a song into something you can touch; something that wraps around your mind and forces you to listen to it. Whether it’s a deep song or a club song, I want it to feel like a stranger but somehow familiar.
B!: What avenues to you use to reach your fans?
Semaj: I use every way I can to reach my fans through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud. I do tons of shows, including performing at fashion events. I always have free demos and albums for sale.
B!: Which performance thus far has been your favorite?
Semaj: My favorite show so far was my Raw SF show where I took the time out to have choreographed dancers as well as models walking to my music. I can’t wait until I have a bigger budget to really explore what types of productions I can put together. And to create something that people will leave but always remember. It truly is an art form and a privilege that we artists get to impress our view of the world onto others.
B!: Through your music and poetry, what message do you want to send to listeners?
Semaj: The message I send to my listeners is reach for something bigger. There is more to life than fashion and money, but that doesn’t mean you have to look like you don’t care about your appearance, just be yourself, whether you’re black, white, purple, green, or brown.
B!: How do you prepare for a performance?
Semaj: The way I prepare for a performance is zone out and listen to different artists such as Lana Del Ray, Yanni who is a greek composer, Disney songs, I also meditate and pray that this show will be the show that changes it all. 9 times out of 10 it isn’t but by the law of math my chance gets higher with every show that it will be. If you shoot from half court 5000 times, though you will miss a lot it’s only a matter of time until you hear that heavenly sound you have been waiting for: “swish” all net baby!!
B!: What’s next for you?
Semaj: What’s next for me is my Generation U radio interview in LA, another radio interview at Damadhouse in SF and another radio interview with DJ Jemstein in SF. I am also working on being the face of the “Farrel” clothing line which is funded by a few heavy hitters. I just want to make a living doing what I love. I am hoping down the line to get sponsored by Nike, Reebok, Champion, Monster, Vitamin Water or Herbalife since I’m really into fitness and want to break into acting eventually.
B!: What advice would you give to new artists fighting for a chance?
Semaj: The advice I have for new artists is be yourself and don’t be afraid to be different. I have spent my entire career being out the box and it’s just starting to pay off. Be persistent, this is not for the faint of heart. Handle criticism well and don’t take anything personal. Rome was not built in a day and heroes don’t become Gods without sacrifice.
Make sure you follow Semaj the Poet on Social Media!