Catching Up With EB

Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?

Me, I was born in Virginia, Fairfax County specifically. My family and I moved around a lot in this state and currently I’m in the heart of Norfolk. My surroundings have done A LOT for me because I figured that a bunch of older artists that I look up to (Pharrell, Clipse, Missy Elliott, etc.) all came from Virginia. Those niggas had nothing to do BUT be creative and break the norms of what was commercially right in the 2000s. Some niggas think it’s a boring state and shit like that but it’s not. You just need to be at the right place at the right time.

What’s your background like?

Really, to break it down, I’m a fifteen-year-old first generation African-American in my family. The ONLY person in my family born in America. All the rest of my relatives are still in Africa, trying to understand and get what they can get in the dwindling environment they were placed in. That shit is crazy, especially with these crazy ass politics going on with immigration and whatnot. My mom is from Nigeria with roots in the Margi tribe and my dad is from Ghana with roots from the Ashanti Tribe. A lot of niggas would often tell me that I should stop asserting my background and they could go without knowing. Like nigga, public schools don’t teach you this shit or your proper identity, so lemme find out and reaffirm what I am.

Who are your top 5 favorite artists?

As of right now, I’d say my favorite in no particular order are as follows: Quelle Chris, OutKast, Danny Brown, Vince Staples & Earl Sweatshirt.

What made you start making music?

I’ve always wanted to make music. My love for music existed ever since I was a little toddler raised in an all-African church. Beating on drums with no rhythm and attempting to sing songs with off-key polyrhythms was my thing back in the day. I had nothing to properly work with though, and no real ideas to base myself on. I was never really into rap either, but rather, those soundtracks you would hear in big-budget movies composed by some foreign dude in a thong. Eventually in 2015, while I was on YouTube one day, I stumbled across Tyler, the Creator’s music video for “Tamale”, and was instantly hooked with the idea of music again and one thing led to another.

Who are your biggest influences?

I got too many but here are some I can think off the top of my head: there’s all the listed top five artists I previously mentioned, Gorillaz, MF DOOM, Tyler, The Creator, Mac Miller, JPEGMAFIA, Jo Yeong-Wook, Yurie Kokubu, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, Dr. Dre, Kirk Franklin, and the whole Dirty Bunch crew.

What’s your favorite song at the moment?

Vince Staples – Jump off the Roof.

What keeps you going? How you doing mentally?

There’s a lot of things that keep me going with life and stuff. There’s my IRL homies that support me and are raw with feedback and my niggas Alxandah and YRNM always pushing me to strive to greatness when nobody else can see what I see. My mental state is…I really don’t know. The exact ideas and state are hard to put in words in something like this, but I find myself zoning out and isolating more than I did before. I feel like I’m out of touch with a lot of stuff but at the same time, not struggling to grasp my surroundings.

How would you describe your style?

I don’t exactly box myself in what my style is because I’m always experimenting, but I guess I’m just experimental hip-hop at the moment.

What do you hope to accomplish in 2019?

Produce a bunch of music for people behind the scenes and feat on some homie’s projects. I have something cooking with a close person by me coming out next month. I also wanna help the people most important to me with living properly. And I pray that this year I would truly find myself, and God would help me find a stable pathway for the future for my family and myself within the bounds of this music.

Keep Up With EB:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/im_ebokay

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/im_ebokay/

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/nothingfunnybutablackkid

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