Tag Archives: hip hop music

Sitting Down with the Man Behind the Movement: Yusha Assad

Yusha Assad, hip hop artist and educator
Yusha Assad, hip hop artist and educator

Saturday we at the Staccato Beat Magazine got the honor of sitting down with one of the people behind the With Great Care Movement, hip hop artist and positive thinker Yusha Assad.  His interview was deep and challenging, and I have decided to break it up into parts so we can soak up his words!!  Here’s the interview!! Li’el: What sort of drew you to hip hop and how do you want to draw others? Yusha Assad: I wanted to say it was first of all kind of like a natural connection.  As a youth I began the process of writing around 6 or 7 years old and I had entered into some young competitions for poetry.   But you know being introduced to hip hop as a youth and hearing it on the radio and seeing it on TV gave me an opportunity to apply the poems I was writing as a youth to music.  It was really fun. Content wise the music that captured me was the music that had more of a message that kind of spoke to the experiences I was having.  Of course, music at a really young age music is about fun, music is fun.  But as I got older and started to hit my teen years, experiencing different things in life, being able to hear the music that spoke to those moments was more important to me than just fun.  Essentially that type of music was fun for me. You know with music now how what I hope to do to draw people is essentially to do the same thing, to be able to create music that speaks to things that people are going through.  And not just struggles, fun experiences, troubling experiences, experiences of freedom.  Like those common human feelings and emotions that we have, how do we create music that taps into the fun of a person or the deep thought of a father or the struggles of a single mom, or the beauty of a husband and wife who have been married for fifty years.  How do we write about that, so it literally becomes the soundtrack for people? Li’el: What from your background makes you relate to others easily, and helps you to reach others? Assad: I mean I’ve lived so far a pretty balanced life.  I do come I would say a low-economic childhood.  Those experiences created a wealth of different opportunities.  Like the opportunities to go to the best schools were not always there.  So I have that understanding of what it feels like to be on the other side of education and being like dang I didn’t get the best education.  But at the time when growing up you don’t really know what you’re going through you don’t realize it until you see the other side of it.  Then you’re like dang I didn’t really have the best but I thought I did. And of course I’ve been to college, I’ve had love experiences, I’ve had loss opportunities and experiences in that manner.  I have a child as well so I can speak from the essence of fatherhood.  I think living a well-balanced life and speaking from the experiences I’ve had will allow me to relate to people as well.  But I’m also an educator, and then teaching my students and now I do adult education and being able to work with a plethora of people in the capacity that I have been giving my heart, time, energy, and knowledge I hear their stories as well.  It is important for me to write from their perspective to write their stories. I hope as I continue to grow in music that I don’t become like a studio rat, that I continue to live life so I have relevant content to write about. Li’el: And with your students, how do you attempt to relate to them? Assad: The biggest thing that I notice about my students is their aspirations.  A question someone asked me recently was if you were stranded on a desert island, what is the one thing you would bring with you, I wrote hope.  I would need hope.  Because with hope, with the will to survive I can make strategic moves towards surviving, but without hope everything I do is detrimental to my success.  And with my students, every song I write won’t be a student song, you know every song written won’t be a song I want your kids to hear.  Because I’m not just writing to children, I’m writing to people in general. But for me, the inspiration for my students is they get to see the person who walked with them, played ball with them, played Monopoly and taught them math, had those conversations about what does it mean to grow up in this world and be a strong man and a strong woman.  Even some of my students who are still with me now, most of my students who I taught it’s not a one year thing.  It goes on and on.  You know I still have a student s who is like a little brother. They get to see somebody who stood in front of them and say, “You know what I have this dream I’m going to go for it.”  If they can see me reach it, what is it for them to say that they can do it too. So it’s really just about making connections for my students and inspiring them through my work ethic not just my words.  It’s not just me standing in front of them saying “Go for your dreams”, they get to actually see me go for mine. For more information, and to check out Yusha Assad’s new single “Platt”, follow the links below:

Be sure to download “Platt” http://www.audiomack.com/album/yusha-assad/platton Tuesday, February 11th, 2014. View “Platt” teaser videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jcH8EI6YHs#t=14 Drop from Melanie Fionahttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge4inCf1wNI Drop from Datwon Thomas VIBE Magazinehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFJQ4ZZ81Cs

And for more information on how to support Yusha Assad, and ways to learn more and follow his movement follow these links:

  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/with-great-care-the-music-and-the-movement?c=activity   For more information please visit www.yushaassadmusic.com and follow Yusha on Instagram and Twitter @yushaassadmusic.

Stopping to Take a Break with Phresh Air!!

Photo Credit: John Cahill Photographer
Photo Credit: John Cahill Photographer

Hello everyone, after the release of his single Godzilla ft. AJ, I sat down with Phresh Air to interview him!  Here’s the scoop, straight from the rapper’s mouth!

Li’el: Hello, Phresh Air!  My first question I would like to start out with, is what was the inspiration behind one of your most popular songs, Mad Hatter?

Phresh Air: The inspiration from that song basically comes from experience.  People think that because you are not doing what the world is doing, because you are not getting drunk every day, and having sex, you’re not on drugs, you’re not breaking the law, you’re trying to please God with your life, you are living counter-culturally.  They say why do it, so I say, you might as well call me Mad Hatter!

Li’el: So what gave you the inspiration for the name Phresh Air?

Phresh Air: I had it before I became a Christian rapper, but now I use it to mean new breath, he’s given me new breath, new life.

Li’el: Where did you come up with the slogan Making Noise?

Phresh Air: I feel that noise is something that gets people’s attention.  I use making noise to get people’s attention so I can show them who God is.

Li’el: How do you come up with songs or what does the songwriting process look like for you?

Phresh Air: It comes in different ways sometimes I just start writing, I write and it comes natural to me because I’ve been doing it for so long.  Sometimes I’ll get inspired somehow and I’ll start writing whatever’s on my heart at the time.

Li’el: What is the favorite venue you have performed at to date?

Phresh Air: I would say the concert I had at Solid Rock, because I had so many of my friends and family members there, and all the people with me and praising God.  They got to hear my life story and my heart for God, that was really awesome.  That was live.

Li’el: What is your motto about your music?

Phresh Air: My motto is my ministry, “We exist to spark encounters with Christ through media”.  The same thing with my music, every time you hear my music, somehow you find a way to connect to Jesus.  Somehow, someway I want people to see God better.

Li’el: Have you seen or heard people respond in this way to your music?

Phresh Air: Yes, at the concert a sister in Christ told me my song Press On really inspired her and really encouraged her that we are saved by grace, and that we do not have to work to earn God’s favor.

Li’el:  What is the thing that you love best about what you do?

Phresh Air: I like the fact that it has eternal significance.  Before I was doing Christian rap, I was just making music and glorifying myself.  Now that I make music for God I change people’s final destination their eternal perspective.

Li’el: What is your advice to someone trying to become a Christian emcee?

Phresh Air: 1 Peter 5:6 Humble yourselves under God’s mighty hands, so that in due time he will lift you up.  That was one of my main lessons from God before I got the platform that I have now.  I had to humble myself so that God could use me rather than me just jumping up on stage doing a bunch of songs and hoping people like it.  Really seeing it as serving God and serving people, rather than just making music.

Li’el: If you could leave your audience with one thought, one sentence only, what would you leave them with?

Phresh Air: Live for Jesus, because there is nothing else worth living for.

I would like to thank Phresh Air so much for this interview, I hope it inspires others as much as it inspired me!  Check out his facebook page @ http://www.facebook.com/phreshairfromgod.  Also check out his new music videos in the Listening Room!