The music industry has always been somewhat about uniqueness and how one stands out among the rest. Up and coming hip-hop artist iamShazo knows a thing or two about being different and standing out. Upon realizing his niche for music and having a story of his own to tell, iamShazo embarks on his own musical journey. Take a look at his interview to learn more…
HCM. How did you come by your stage name?
iamShazo. I actually went through a plethora of names as a young artist. I started as Heavi D a long time ago. Soon after that I changed my stage name to OddZo because I’ve always been the oddball in the group whether it be with friends or family. Recently I’ve been through a rebrand as I’ve realized how authentic my name and just me as a person is. I decided on “iamShazo” because I want to be unapologetically me at all times and become a household name one day.
HCM. When did you discover your love for music and what made you realize you wanted to pursuit a career in music?
iamShazo. That is such a tough question. I’ve always loved music whether I’m hearing my dad play Jay Z and Outkast on the radio, or my mom listening to Mary J or Keyshia Cole, and even hearing the few people singing hymns in my grandmothers church. But I think I discovered my love for music through being in marching band, I played trumpet in middle/high school/college and hearing how parts come together to created an image through sound. When I realized that I had a story to tell and the means to express myself through music I am more set on chasing my dream than wasting my talent doing something I don’t want to do. I live and breath music.
HCM. To what or whom do you accredit your sense of style?
iamShazo. I feel like I can accredit so many artists because I listen to literally everything. Jazz, RnB, Hip Hop, Pop, Indie, etc. but to be fair Kanye, Eminem, Drake, Kendrick, and Cole are the base of all my inspiration growing up but I’ve evolved so much since then.
HCM. On your current/upcoming album… How did you come up with the concept for this project?
iamShazo. On my latest project titled “Self Improve EP” on all platforms is about my life after a recent breakup and the story of me trying to prioritize myself instead of becoming dependent on people and the anxiety of the past and what could’ve been. My upcoming album titled “Shazo Speaks” is going to be a great one. This will be the first project I give everything I have left. Long story short “Shazo Speaks” will be about my trials with depression and anxiety and how I developed from adolescence to now as an adult. Realizing that truly I was never alone but I just was lost in my own head but there’s always more to it.
HCM. What are some of your greatest challenges as an artist, and what is your greatest attribute when it comes to your work ethic?
iamShazo. Some of my greatest challenges as an artist has been knowing if my music truly is relatable because I always wanted my music to help someone or let someone know that they’re not the only one who is going through whatever they may be going through. My greatest attribute when it come to my work ethic is that I just have fun, whether I’m making beats, engineering someone else’s music or recording my own I always have fun. When I have fun it pushes me to continue everyday.
HCM. What impression would you like listeners to be left with after hearing your music?
iamShazo. I always want people to form their own opinion of my music whether they love it or hate it. But no matter what they will feel the passion in what I am saying and know if I can come out of dark times/depression then you can too.
HCM. Is there anyone you’d like to thank, any shout outs?
iamShazo. I’d like to thank my mother and my father for raising me to be who I am today. I’d like to shout out all my day 1 society bros Seven, kiante, Swa3, WimmVinci! Also I’d like to shout out my Alma Mater Elizabeth City State University. There’s so many people I could thank so I’ll stop there until after the album!
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