Today, we sat down with our artist Lil Seltrah for an interview. Here is what he had to say:
First question…why go half and half as an instrumentalist and vocalist? Being in the rock umbrella yet also being in hip hop have very contrasting visions, so that must be a challenge for you.
Not at all. Hip Hop has a bad reputation, but its actually a genre of love. Its a blend of genres. Not to mention many of the most popular rap beat have samples taken from Rock, Metal, Blues, and Indie. I think the other reason its not a challenge for me at all is the fact I my self am mixed, and since I was a kid, I’ve taken an interest in all genres (Except country).
How do you balance the deeper lyrical content that goes into rock sub-genres and the more superficial lyrics of more urban genres? Is there a way to not adhere to the trends of hip hop by adding your own rock edge to that side of your music?
I honestly don’t think about it that hard. Im just my self. But hiphop lyrics get pretty deep if you listen to the underground and not just the artists you hear on the radio. I don’t think rock genres have deeper lyrics. I think its a matter of opinion and perception. If you don’t understand the lingo, I can see how someone would think urban genres are more superficial. But from where i’m sitting, hiphop is more real, and genuine than rock and metal. When i was in bands and doing my acoustic thing, nobody really cared about what I was saying. They never heard my message. And i felt misunderstood. Ever since i started working in hiphop my life has been getting better. I feel heard. People relate to my lyrics and tell me. I dont feel like just another cliche band doing the same thing as everyone else. Hip hop saved my life and gave me an outlet to show off how unique I am. The other genres ostracized me because I was different. Hip hop embraced me. As for adhering to trends. I never think about trends. Im just my self and that authenticity is what separates me from the rest.
Tell us about the alias Lil Seltrah. Where did it come from?
I have a big heart. So big I have some problems with depression. Sometimes I feel to much and it holds me back. Im also a really good person and an advocate for mental illness and domestic violence. Im the guy that always says what he thinks and stands up for what I believe to be right, no matter what. That put a huge target on my back for many years and it was emotionally taxing. So i started to build walls inside to protect my heart. I started being a little more cut throat. A little more “heartless” so i can work without distraction. Lil means “a little” Seltrah is “Hartles” or Heartless backwards.
Speaking of domestic violence, this seems to be an ever growing issue in both the music and sports world. Why do you think that is? Or is this more of a societal issue? And what steps can we take to curtail this for future generations?
I have no idea whats going on. The current state of the world is scary to me. There is a big part of me that just wants to stay from all people but thats no way to live. I think ego is a big issue in the world today. Its all about the self, and communities / family units are dying out and disappearing. Technology is connecting everyone in the world in an amazing way, yes. But at the same time is disconnecting us from each other on a more spiritual real world level. I really don’t have the answers though. If it was that easy the powers that be would be taking steps to fix it. Maybe they are the problem. Idk. Not going there haha.
I think communication is also a big issue. In this industry, I see communication (or lack thereof) being a massive weak point, and I personally struggle with that, since music is all about communication. And speaking of the current state of hip hop, do you see it ever evolving into a platform of true artistry in the mainstream again? Or is “mumble rap” here to stay indefinitely?
I already think its a true artistry. Hip hop is the ONLY genre that is being honest right now. These artists are talking about their true life style, sus or not. They are talking about their problems. I never hear rock artists talk about how taxing it can be to have an army of haters and then follow up with how they deal with that. I never hear rock artists talk about the mistakes from their pasts that haunt them. Hip hop is honest as hell. But again its a matter of opinion and perception. AND mumble rap only encompasses a few artists in hip hop lol. most of us are rapping, singing clear as day haha. Why hate on “Mumble rap” When Grindcore exists. I cant even tell what those dudes are saying, cant even read their logos.
Fair enough! Could go on for hours about this topic I am sure, but I digress. With hip hop then being such an honest genre of music these days, how difficult is it for independent artists such as yourself to stand out from the crowd? Does it mean you have to work extra hard to get the attention of higher ups? Or is there just a semblance of luck involved that no one can control?
I LOVE this question. There is a huge misconception going on. When i started rapping i was afraid. Im so used to being hated on for being different in metal and indie genres. It was really hard getting any traction. But something amazing happened. Hip hop embraced me. It has never been hard to get my music out. If you can be genuine, and not copy other people or try to be something you are not, you will flourish in hiphop. If you’re fake, yeah. Your gonna have a hard time and you’re gonna hate someone like me. The higher ups are paying attention, i’ll tell you that much. I’ve had some famous people in hiphop reach out to me during my lows, just to tell me to keep pushing. Real recognize real. I think the fact I’m a multi-genre man also helps me stand out in hiphop. There are some affiliates of mine who have been rapping their whole lives and I have already grown bigger than them
That’s excellent to hear. What do you think is a mistake that independent artists or bands are making that is currently hampering their overall success? What advice to you have to give to your peers as far as actions that need to be taken in order to achieve their dreams?
YOU CANT GET AWAY WITH COPYING SOMEONE. I cant stress this enough. The fans might not be well versed in the culture. But the rest of us can tell. If you don’t have respect, you cant get clout. Don’t be afraid to be genuine. You cant just do what an already successful person is doing and expect to glow the same way, because they already did it. They already cornered that market and supply the demand. When you do that its like your a lil mom and pop business with a humble little store tryna compete with Walmart or target. Makes absolutely no sense. Create a product there is no supply for, then create the demand and secure your own slice of the pie.
What have you seen from LiquidSound Records so far that has you confident that you are under the proper leadership and guidance for success, long term?
A level of professionalism that i’m not used too. The contracts you guys have drawn up for me really impress my clients. Gives me a sense of security. Being a smaller artists with less experience in the business side of things, have someone to draw up contracts for me and represent me is a hug asset. Im pretty DIY but this collaboration helps me take what I’m already doing to the next level.
Thank you for that. And finally, something we need to ask. Where do you see yourself a decade from now, in 2028? What will you be doing? Who will be your biggest supporters? What challenges will you face? And where will your music have evolved to?
In 2028, I’ll be making big moves. I really want to leave the world a better place than it would be in a parallel universe where i didn’t. I plan on making lots of money and doing positive things with that money. I plan on opening a franchise venue. An organization that gives realistic jobs to the homeless. And I want to start a program that gives troubles kids in the hood a creative outlet where they can learn new skills in music and art. I think creativity saved me. In different parallel where i didn’t have music and art, I’d be robbing stores to survive. I’d be on hard drugs. I’d be living with toxic people. I’d possibly be dead already.