“There’s so much great talent here, but in order for us to start a successful movement we must come together.”
Check out the interview with Menace The Savage & Deja The Artist exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Menace: I always loved music as far back as I can remember, but early on I attended a show of my younger cousin who had been rapping for a while. Once I saw him hit the stage and take command of the crowd I was hooked.
Deja: I started singing in church and my parents were a big influence because I went to sleep and woke up listening to music playing. Later on I started performing and writing my own music at age 15.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Menace: Two pieces of advice. Hard work beats talent that doesn’t work hard and remain authentic. Don’t try to fit in with any particular look or sound just because it is popular. Always stay true to yourself.
Deja: My biggest advice for the youth would be stay true to yourself, stay in your own lane, and don’t let the industry eat you up. Familiarize yourself with the business so as not to be taken advantage of.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Menace: Being an independent artist everything that has to do with your career is thrust upon your shoulders which is a big financial obligation if you are serious. I would say financial responsibilities and balancing your personal life.
Deja: As a female artist in the rap game it’s a lot harder compared to male artists. I try to overcome all of those obstacles and hope people accept me for me.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Menace: The internet is the best way to promote due to the mass amounts of people that you can reach, but call me a dinosaur if you’d like. I believe that another effective way to promote is still taking it to the streets.
Deja: I feel the best way to promote is independently first. A lot of money goes out but when you hustle hard you reap all of the benefits and it doesn’t have to be split ten different ways.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Menace: I’m from Cleveland and feel there’s a bunch of underrated and undiscovered talent here, but we lack a sense of unity. We’re too busy in constant competition with ourselves and not focused on the big picture.
Deja: I’m from Cleveland too, and I love my city. I feel the artists need more unity. There’s so much great talent here, but in order for us to start a successful movement we must come together.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Menace: A year from today we will have hit records in rotation at all the major radio stations, touring the country, and expanding our sound all over the world.
Deja: A year from now we will be performing on a world tour. Performing is my passion. I just have to grind harder to see the payoff.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Menace: My biggest inspiration personally has always been my grandmother. She has worked for years tirelessly raising her children and grandchildren as well and there are a lot of us.
Deja: My biggest inspirations in life are my mom and my dad, God rest his soul. I didn’t understand how good of a man he was until he was gone. My mother is genuine, caring, sweet, hardworking and pure, I aspire to be half of the woman she is.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
Menace: Not very fond of today’s music because 80% of it lacks any type of substance and sounds very repetitive and similar. No messages to inspire our youth and the artists who are pushing positivity are silenced by mainstream media.
Deja: A lot of music that is coming out these days is starting to sound the same. I feel people shouldn’t be afraid to step out of the box. Those who aren’t usually make history. The music we make, I feel, is relevant now and will still be ten years from now.
Where can we contact you and find you online?
Menace: Twitter – @1menacesavage, Instagram – @menacethesavage, Facebook – Menace The Savage, Youtube – Menace The Savage
Deja: Twitter – @dejatheartist, Instagram – @dejatheartist216, Facebook – Deja The Artist, Youtube – Deja The Artist 216