The great thing about music is discovering new songs, and even new artists that you otherwise may have never known about. If you follow the writing I do here on Respect-Mag.com, you’ve probably already peeped the affinity I have for sharing music, as well as interviewing artists that are most likely way under the radar, but shouldn’t be. This particular interview sees me chopping it up with an up and coming emcee from Maryland (by way of North Carolina) named Micah Williams. If you weren’t previously hip, maybe you will be after reading this.
Rather than come up with some clever rap moniker, you just went with your real name, much like Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar did. What made you stick with your own name?
Firstly, I want to say thank you for interviewing me. I really appreciate all the support. It means a lot. I actually used to go by a different name when I first started making music. It was “J-Quiz”. It came from “J-Quizzle”, a nickname my dad gave me when I was about 8. It’s pretty funny, I agree, but later I decided to go by my full name; around the beginning of this year. I had been thinking about changing it for a while and then my mom told me she had a dream I went by my full name, which I thought was weird. But honestly I wanted to give people more of who I am; the person inside. So that’s why I use the saying “Who is Micah Williams?” Because I want them to find out.
You’re from North Carolina, but moved to Maryland, correct? How did that transition come about?
I lived in Greensboro, NC my whole life and in the middle of my senior year my mom was just like, “Hey your dad is getting a job promotion. We’re moving to Maryland”. I was like “what?” I have to leave all of my friends and go somewhere I’ve never been. It was crazy. I didn’t want to go, but I knew If I stayed I would be stagnant. I wanted to move; just not to Maryland. Like, that was never my plan, but I’m glad I did.
You’re only what, 19, 20 years old right? How long have you been making music?
Yeah, I’m 19. I would say I’ve been really making music since 14. My cousin had a studio in his room at my aunt’s house. He’s a rapper also and I would always be over just hanging out. One day I was just like “let me record. I can do this”. So he’s the one that got me into actually making music.
Who does Micah Williams make music for?
I make music for the kids who just want to be themselves, like what they like and not really care what anyone thinks about them. I was always considered “weird” or “different” when I was younger. So my music is for all the kids who feel alone and who aren’t conforming to what society thinks we should be doing as teenagers. Do what you want and be happy. That’s all that matters; and lastly for myself because it’s a way for me to honestly be who I am and use it as an outlet to blow off steam and express my thoughts and feelings.
Musically, who has inspired you up to this point?
I can say I’ve been inspired by a lot, but the biggest influences are N.E.R.D./Pharrell, KiD CuDi, Kanye West, Childish Gambino, Frank Ocean, Theophilus London and Andre 3000. I’ve been listening to a lot of Beach House, King Krule, Lykke Li, The XX, Skye Ferreira and Of Monsters & Men also. I honestly listen to anything I feel like resonates with who I am as artist. Anything I can grab inspiration from.
Your video for “The 27 Club”, which was featured on this site, combined hip-hop and fine art in a really cool way. How did that come about?
Well me and my homie Marc Enongene wanted to shoot another video after “Tree House”, so I told him I would record a song and only release it with the video. I remembered watching Andy Warhol’s “Hamburger” video a while ago and thought it would be cool to recreate it and pay homage to one my favorite artists. Marc liked the idea, we shot it in two takes, and everyone reacted differently. That’s what we wanted.
Along with the “The 27 Club”, you also have a joint out called “Roses and Violets”. Can we expect a full-length project from Micah Williams soon? If so, what can we look forward to?
Yes indeed. One of my most favorite songs I’ve released. You can most definitely expect a project aorund Summer or Fall of 2015. I’ve been working on it for a while and I t will be called The Wild Ones, which basically means to be carefree, fun, rebellious and young. It will be my first official EP. A lot of the meaning comes from the movie Where the Wild Things Are. That’s one of my favorite movies *laughs*.
Lastly. Of all the up and coming artists in music right now, why should we listen to you? What do you have to offer that another artist might not?
I honestly I don’t want to say I offer anything special, because we’re all different and we make music differently, but I will say I have a message and it’s not the cliché you may get from other artists. KiD CuDi taught me to be myself with his albums, so that’s all I want to do for kids my age and younger; it’s a must. We need that. So I would say that is why you all should listen to me.
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