Sunday, November 30, 2008

Shaya: Fallen Awake

Shaya is the epitome of a dedicated determination. This rapper has persevered through a childhood marred with disappointments and hardships as the following would suggest, “Basically, ‘family’ to me was little memories of court-appointed visitation.” With that said, his upbringing may in fact not be any different from the typical rapper. However; where he does differ is his intent to be very personal on his debut, Fallen Awake, something that seems to be lost within this art of expression. Under the tutelage of Ian ‘I.D.’ Davis, the A&R responsible for Little Brother’s ascent through the independent ranks, Shaya hopes to deliver what he calls thinking man music. I recently caught up with this rapper via email to find out how he hopes to convey his music.

ER: What it do Shaya, How are you?

Shaya: I'm good fam, just blessed.
ER: What are you up to these days, any promotional tours in the works?

Shaya: Just bracing myself for this summer with the release of Fallen Awake. Besides that just staying busy in the studio fam, ‘bout to go in and work on my follow up. I am always tryin’ to stay ahead of the game.

ER: What was life like growing up?

Shaya: Life growing up was rough, but fair. I had my share of ups and downs like anyone else. ; some more than others I can't complain though. I let some of that out in my record, of which you have been able to hear. But I'm sure I'll be bringing more to surface the second go round. You know, getting more personal.

ER: What is Thinking Man Music?

Shaya: Thinking man's music is the embodiment of beats and rhymes telling a story that you can listen to and relate. It's not some ring tone, club, radio friendly stuff. Just real heartfelt and honest that the listener can take something away from and better themselves with. Not too many artists do that for their audience anymore.

On “Proud,” a very sincere track, you spit "pops always said I had the talent to do it…" What did you mean by that when your past might suggest otherwise?

Well, as you might know I have been doing music for 10+ years or whatnot. Had my share rejection and uncertainty about the rap game as does anyone else getting doors slammed in their face. I never really had anyone really close to me say they liked my music other than my father. So on Proud I threw it in there that my father always said I got the talent to do it. ‘Cause he was the only one encouraging me to keep with it and pursue my musical aspirations, which kept me from falling prey to my upbringing and or past.
ER: What was the inspiration for “Speed of Life?”
Shaya: The inspiration for “Speed of Life” was just that; the speed at which life travels is the fastest thing known to man. When I heard the beat I really dug deep into myself to say some things I been dying to say for the longest time. On that song I touched on the most personal things in my life. Being a single father, relationship with my mother (who's struggling with multiple sclerosis and crack addiction), music being so hard to break, my personal beliefs, and opinions about the life I lead and others around me. It's a very personal piece and I tailored it to stand out with a message as does most of my record.

Are you happy with the independent situation or if a viable opportunity presented itself at a major label would you opt for the latter?

The independent game is where I'm at right now and I feel blessed that I was given the opportunity to make something of myself and reap more of the benefits being that you see more funds and less financial constraints independently, although I would take a major label contract if given the right deal. That's some exposure indie acts can't get off the jump.

ER: You are from Santa Rosa Cali, yet your album has such an east coast appeal, why or how is that?
Shaya: Right. I was born in Santa Rosa, California. But was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana from the age of 2 yrs. old to 12 yrs. old so I heard more east coast records (LL Cool J, Run DMC, Whodini, Curtis Blow) than any west coast emcees. Although I have been influenced by the east coast I am west coast to the heart. I think the east coast references come from them always droppin thought provoking music.

ER: Who would you say are your greatest musical influences past and present?

Shaya: My greatest musical influences past and present are Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, 2pac, Nas, Pharrell Williams, of course Snoop and Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, Pharcyde, De La Soul and also Jay-Z.

ER: What do you hope to accomplish with your debut?

Shaya: I hope to accomplish being heard. With just that I believe my music will speak for itself and give the people as well as the music industry something innovative, original, and honest.....Thinking man's music.


Shaya- Impeccable Concepts

Shaya- Industry Life

Shaya- Welcome

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