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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.
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Spotlight On: Gospel Artist Nicois!!

Gospel artist Nicois!!
Gospel Artist Nicois!!

We here at the Staccato Beat Magazine got a chance to sit down and chat with gospel artist Nicois, and the result was a blessing!  I was blessed by her words and truly enjoyed the time we spent, and the fruit of the experience is the words you will read today!  ENJOY!

Li’el: We are here with the lovely Nicois!  First question: What inspired you to start singing, and what do you think was the key to your success?

Nicois: Purpose, purpose, purpose.  It’s kind of challenging when you have no clue what you have been put here for.  Once you find out what your gifts and talents are, and what God actually wants you to do, that’s pretty much your road map.  The key to  my success is really really listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Letting Him really show me about me and what he wants me to do, who my audience is and where he wants me to go.  It’s really really beating my flesh because sometimes it’s not what I want to do.

Li’el: How do want your music to impact people?

Nicois: Unification.  My job is really to unify people.  We are kind of like the most segregated folks on Sunday in the world.  My music should get us together, that’s what my music should do.  Bring us together.

Li’el: And what does your art do for you?

Nicois: It’s a release, it’s an avenue for my purpose.  It’s a way to communicate, and when I say communicate I am communicating not only with people it is communicating with God.

Li’el: And when did you discover this?  That this was your release?

Nicois: It was a release way before I started singing gospel.  I was singing when I came out of the womb.  So it’s been a release for me for as long as I can remember.

Li’el: Tell me about performing over in Africa?

Nicois: That was definitely a life-changing experience because when you get out of the states, the quality of life people think goes down.  But for me it went up because when I saw the people in Africa, because what they set their sights on in Africa is way different then what our aspirations are.  I got to be exposed to a life that is way different then what I would have experienced had I stayed in the states.  God showed me a lot over there, and spoke to me a lot over there.  It was definitely humbling and added value to me.

Li’el: How do you balance everything you do?

Nicois: I go nowhere without my husband.  Because he is my manager.  I have a Nana, who is my mother who lives with me and she is my rock when it comes to me being shared with everybody.   I couldn’t do it without the core people who are around me.  That’s my parents, my mother-in-law, my uncle and they love seeing me do what I do and that’s the only way I could do it.

Li’el: How would you like to leave your imprint on history?

Nicois: To know that I have fulfilled my purpose to speak to nations and get us all not necessarily on the same page but to work towards that when it comes to surrendering to God and getting to know who He is.  I want my music to be known for that.

Li’el: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to enter into the arena of music?

Nicois: Serve.  Serve.  Serve.  These days everyone wants to have a blog talk show, everybody wants to be an artist.  The limelight is what everyone is drawn to but they forget how to get there and that’s to serve.  Serve in your local ministry, make it happen for somebody else!  That way you get the knowledge and the insight that you need to maneuver in this industry.  You got to serve!  That would be my only insight.

Li’el:  And what is the best music advice you have been given?

Nicois: Be patient, and be you.

Li’el: What is the best life advice you have been given?

Nicois: Leave him alone!!  Yes!!

Li’el: Last question!  If you could leave your audience with one word, thought, or sentence, and they not get anything else from this interview what would it be?

Nicois: Life is showtime, but it’s definitely not The Apollo.  Meaning you’re on the stage, but it’s real.  And you get one shot at it.  Of course you get one shot at The Apollo, but your reward rests on what you do, what you make happen for God right now.  So it is Showtime, but it’s not The Apollo!

I know you learned a lot from this interview, just as I did!  Please leave comments for Nicois, and check out her music at www.nicoismusic.com.

Also, follow her on Facebook & Twitter: @NicoisMUSIC

~Li’el