“As a hip hop artist I want to show those that love this art that we are more than just rappers, producers, DJs, dancers, but we are artists.”

Check out the interview with RaShad exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
My history in music goes back to Birmingham, AL which is my home. I started writing music after the death of my grandmother who was like a mother to me. Poetry became the way I communicated and it evolved into music. I continued throughout college and into my professional career.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
I think the best way to promote yourself is to believe in yourself as much as possible. Don’t doubt what you have and don’t question what you have to offer. Figure out your space and find your voice then get out there. I think it’s important to engage your fans regularly and social media has made that easier.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
As a hip hop artist I want to show those that love this art that we are more than just rappers, producers, DJs, dancers, but we are artists. We change, we create, we feel, and we speak to hearts/minds of those that will listen.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The hardest thing about being in music is that there is always something else to do. It never really ends and even when you make money, you must continue to build and grow. Another thing that is hard is when you first come in people think mostly about the money aspect instead of really focusing on their craft which means you compromise your artistry.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
Raleigh, the music scene is cool because there are a lot of musicians in this city. I feel that art is respected and revered more in Durham, NC. There is always jazz in the atmosphere, but also rock, bluegrass, country, and even blues. I love that there is always something going on; plays, sports events, film, and music.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Artists need to learn how to build up their own platform. Artists build patience and don’t focus on being paid only because that doesn’t normally happen on your first project. Also, don’t forget that having a complete body of work is better than just having a couple good songs.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
Technically it should be considered a bad thing, but it’s not. When a family foundation pursued me because of my recent album A Conversation with Pauli Murray I knew that I was out there in the world because how would they find me unless I was searchable.

What is your inspiration?
My life is my inspiration. I don’t look up to other bands, but my favorites are A Tribe Called Quest and Outkast. My faith inspires me. Being a minister, I learn how to connect with people using both heart and mind. Being the son/nephew of a civil rights activist, I am inspired by the struggle and resiliency of my family.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
I don’t like absolute statements. I think people can be successful. I think that this world of music is too saturated with people that want to be musicians that should put their energy is other areas of their lives. I want daddy’s to be fathers and not rappers. I want mothers to be parenting instead of out here just trying to rap and be hard.

Where can we find you on social media?
Official website: www.rashadeasley.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/thomas-r-easley
YouTube: www.youtube.com/rashaadi
Facebook: www.facebook.com/rashadeasley
Twitter: www.twitter.com/rashadeas
Instagram: www.instagram.com/rashadeas