Today, we sat down with our artist Eno Abasi for an interview. Here is what he had to say:
1. How has your hometown shaped who you are as a musician today?
Harlem has shaped me to be artist that I am in so many ways. New York is the epicenter of the world, Harlem is the epicenter of New York, and so in many regards Harlem is the epicenter of the world – responsible for contributions in music, fashion, and other facets of entertainment. My passion, my flare, my bravado, all is the byproduct of the city – more specific Harlem, the birthplace of black excellence.
2. If you could single out one artist or band that has influenced you, who would that be and why?
Nas, for sure. He’s the Mc’s Mc. One who can touch on a myriad of subject matter and still provide such vivid imagery with his words. I view him as the complete artist, who never had to sacrifice who he was, and always got his point or message across. I definitely feel like a student of his artistry and can only hope to provide that same impact with my music.
3. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would buy?
Man, I don’t know. I guess once my family is straight, I’ll look to build a studio and fully equip it, so I never have to worry about making music again. I’m talking top of the line MPCs, computers, mics, etc. Once that’s taking care of, I’ll look to service Harlem’s youth in some kind of way. Continue my legacy through the leaders of tomorrow.
4. What is your advice to fellow underground musicians in regards to remaining discipline in your craft?
I hate the term “underground” for real. Are we categorizing the music? Are we saying that the artist is yet undiscovered? I just feel like my music is on par or surpasses artist that are discovered or celebrated currently today. That’s just my take on the term.
To answer your question though, I would say identify your sound and develop it. Knowledge of self is so applicable for artistry not only to make sure you stay true to the craft, but also to differentiate yourself in an industry that is so cluttered with artist that all sound the same. Many have failed as other artists, so why not try to win as you – an artist the world has yet to experience. To me that’s the most rewarding, and all one can hope for.
5. Do you have any songwriting or recording tips you’d like to share?
Only make music when you’re inspired and/or passionate about it. When music is forced, you can here it in the product. Take your time if you have to. Some of my favorite track or songs I ever wrote were songs that I had incomplete for weeks that I would ride around the city with – looking for inspiration to help complete the song. Headspace is so critical; so don’t worry about deadlines, just focus on providing the best product that is a result of you passions and inspirations.
6. How does your family and close friends feel about your music career? Have they always been supportive or have there been issues in the past?
No one ever believes. That use to bother me earlier in the process, to the point where I wouldn’t even tell people I rap. To be fair, everyone and their momma says they rap, so I get it from that prospective. In all honest, the more I realized that I making music for my soul and my completion and not other’s validation, friends and family started to appreciate it and started to support. I would advise any artist to make music for themselves, complete your creative bucket list and be happy with the results, regardless of the support you receive.
7. If you could open up for one famous artist or band, who would that be and why?
I would say any artist rocking a sold out MSG show. There’s something so special about that building. All the greats have had legendary moments there, and I would love to be able to touch the city and have the city return that love right back.
8. If you could have a dinner with one musician who is no longer living, who would that be and why?
Probably Tupac. I think one of the saddest things about Pac’s death is that he died at 25 and never was given an opportunity to mature and grow further as a black man. I can only imagine the viewpoint or prospective that he would have toady – looking at the landscape of the music business today. I would love to pick his brain and learn from his words of wisdom and hopefully gain more jewels in the process.
9. In your time with LiquidSound Records, what is the number one thing you have enjoyed the most? Also, what is your advice to those artists who would be interested in joining the roster in the future?
I love that it’s a genuine support system that’s only vested interest is to see their artist grow and flourish. It’s a true partnership that helps to cross T’s and dot I’s. I‘ve learned a lot in my time working with LiquidSound about the music industry that I never knew at all. Definitely appreciate all the tools and tutorials I’ve been given.
10. In ten years, where do you see your music career?
I never really thought about it. It’s not about awards or money. Don’t get me wrong, no artist goes into making music not to be acknowledged, but for me, it’s more about being influential. What’s my impact on the game. I know what it felt like to hear a Nas or a 3 stacks when I was younger. Hanging on to every word, looking for metaphors and clever word play. It made me fall in love with the art form so much. Will I have that same impact on artist that come after me? Will I be able to say that I enriched their lives and their level of artistry? For me, I want to be able to pass that baton of creativity to the next generation. I hope that’s my stamp on rap in 10 years.