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PopCulturez Q&A Fridays: Sonny Bama – Taking Rap Back With Southern Values

SonnyBama4PopCulturez.Com: Welcome to PopCulturez, can you start by introducing yourself?

 

Sonny Bama: Hi, Thanks for having me! I’m Sonny Bama, an artist and musician from Mobile Alabama. I do Hip-Hop, at times tastefully blended with various other genres of music. I’m a guitar player, not very good at it, but I have a love there, and I try to incorporate live instrumentation into my music whenever possible.

 

I’m just an average, regular dude from the south. My music’s honest and is a reflection of myself. Its my story, my testimony.

 

 

PopCulturez.Com: Who or what inspired you to get into music?

 

Sonny Bama:  I don’t really come from a musical family, although some of them dabbled in their earlier years.

 

My Grandfather taught me to read and how to play basic guitar chords at around age 5. My father was a drummer and a radio DJ in the 60′s and 70′s.

 

I began my career working as a radio DJ. While working in radio I was able to do production. I loved the production side of it!

 

Being the youngest of two other siblings I had a wide variety of exposure to different types of music growing up. I was part of the cassette clubs, I would be playing N.W.A, Too $hort and The Ghetto Boys on my Walkman, then learning Pink Floyd and Guns n’ Roses tunes on my guitar.

 

Momma liked Motown and Dad liked Willie Nelson, I liked it ALL!

 

 

PopCulturez.Com: What are you working on right now, can you tell us about that?

 

Sonny Bama: I’m currently finishing up my first official solo album, titled ‘The Long Way Home.’  A little over a year ago I released a free album, titled ‘Change,’ that was well received online and in the streets. That album gave me the momentum and motivation to keep pursuing music.

 

‘The Long Way Home’ doesn’t reach to far from my first project. The content is similar, but with bigger, more talented production. ‘Change’ was almost entirely self-produced, this time around, I wanted to produce the foundation of the album myself, but invite some really talented musicians from my city to come help with their musicianship, vocals and writing.

 

‘The Long Way Home’ comes sometime in late April or early May via Select-O-Hits Music Distribution, and will be available worldwide on all digital online retailers.

 

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PopCulturez.Com:  Bringing hip-hop and Country together is not something that you hear often. What made you decide to create such a sound in your music?

 

Sonny Bama: Like I said, Im a music fan!

 

I’m not scared to do whatever influences me in that moment. I love country music and Hip Hop, though I’m not a “Country Rapper.” I know some people may get confused when they hear a country song I did and then hear a more Southern-rap aggressive tune from me. I dont wish to be boxed into any one lane. However, I think people will find that I keep the overall content consistent. I’m always the same ol’ Sonny Bama no matter if I’m rapping over a Bluegrass sample or a dirty southern 808-driven rap beat.

 

I never wanted to exploit genres of music. I think a lot of that is being done today, artists blend two genres together because they think it will be cool, but really have no roots in either genre. I find those records “cute,” but not authentic.

 

I try hard to do it [blend genres] as tastefully as possible, I’m a hip hop artist, so lets keep it ‘Hip Hop’ without tarnishing the genres. Also, as powerful as music is, I find it an injustice to ones-self to limit yourself to only one form of music. Some people are fans of Country music and Hip Hop, but may be too embarrassed to admit it in public.

 

I find that playing these records out live with my band often brings out the true music fan in people, as if they get more than what they expected and hopefully more than they paid for. If I’m lucky, they will leave a fan of Sonny Bama!

 

 

PopCulturez.Com:  As a musician, what would you like your legacy to be?

 

Sonny Bama: I want my music to be a vehicle to reach people. I feel the music industry has been overtaken by nonsense, and the positive message in the music is missing from todays mainstream. I dont make records in an attempt to have a #1 hit on radio – although, it would be dishonest of me to say I dont enjoy the exposure, the accolades and the success. Every artist wants to be noticed for their work, I just want to make good honest music. Songs of the struggle, overcoming addiction, working hard, and trying to make a living, helping eliminate racism and discrimination, getting people involved in politics, and just waking people up to the truth!

 

Coming from southern Alabama, the heart of the civil rights movement and the bible belt, I’ve seen a lot of bullsh*t and also a lot of good people. People from all walks of life, young and old, sheltered or highly-cultured, black or white, gay or straight, religious or not…

 

In these tough times, I just want to make honest, authentic good music to help you through your day. I believe the most honest records have become the most timeless records, so I hope my music lives on forever after I’m gone. Rather, my music reaches the ears of one or a million, if I helped someone, my job is done.. I’m satisfied with that!

 

 

PopCulturez.Com: If there was just one message or lesson that you could leave for future generations, what would it be?

 

Sonny Bama: READ!

 

Read lots of books and try to become as educated as possible, not just in your field, but all around.

 

The more you know the better your chances are of becoming successful and making a difference in this world. Chase your dreams, be a risk taker, be early to rise and work on long after most have blown out their candles and retired to bed.

 

A friend and mentor once told me, “Get off your dead ass and on to your dying feet! Money ain’t for nothing and chicks ain’t free!”

 

 

PopCulturez.Com: Finally, where can people catch you, either in-person or online?

 

Sonny Bama: I can be found online at http://SonnyBama.com, follow me on twitter http://Twitter.com/SonnyBama and join Facebook page at http://Facebook.com/SonnyBam.

 

I do have a full band and we play out live often. We are planning a tour in the summer. Probably the States first, then overseas by the fall.

 

 

PopCulturez.Com: Thanks for your time, but before we go, is there anything more that you would like to add?

 

Sonny Bama: Thank you for your support, Go pick up The “Long Way Home” album and most importantly… ROLLTIDE!!