I always love when artists are able to properly tell their story for the first time. Such is the case for Chicago artist Nehemiah who is not only a full-time banker but also a creative individual doing his best to let his voice be heard. With only a few songs to his name, he's already been impressing with crisp content and collaborations alongside artists like Elton Aura, Phoelix, Leaf Set, and more. As he prepares for more upcoming content, I spoke with him about his influences, his upbringing, and what we can expect down the road.
What's your story?
Thank God for the burbs first off. Oswego showed me a great deal of privilege many African American youth in the city of Chicago are deprived of. So I'm extremely grateful to have experienced that growing up. Now I've recently graduated college and I'm living on the westside of Chicago with my family. I'm currently working full time as a personal banker and as a musician but I literally struggle everyday with that. It's like my mind and soul are in one place musically and my body happens to be trapped at a desk for eight hours. It really blows but I've seen my dad and mom be Superman and Superwoman my whole life, so I don't have a choice. God's in control and it's taken me this whole year to be content with that. I'm glad I understand that in some capacity now, cause now I've learned to just create and be myself. At the end of day, I not only want to be respected as a musician but as a decent man. So it makes me extremely happy that my music has become the soundtrack to my true designation and nothing else.
How long have you been taking your craft seriously?
I've always taken my craft seriously since I was 14. My brother just recently passed and now my music means so much more to me than when I was younger. I've always been surrounded by so many great men and woman that have imparted value into my life. My brother Erskin was one of the biggest advocates for me and my other brothers (Ant, Zay, Josh, and Zo) and I intend to do everything I can to make him proud.
What's your ideal creative space?
My ideal creative space is probably my engineer Jasper's couch or in my bed. I feel I'm the most creative when it's just me and my thoughts and of course Jasp to make these ideas come alive.
What are some books/movies/music/video games that have inspired you?
I've always been inspired by Kanye and his approach to life in general. He attempts to make people aware of there true value. Regardless of how it comes across he's an example of freedom. My hope is that everyone finds freedom inside themselves. Especially me cause I'm a headcase more than half the time.
What's the rest of the year and going into 2017 looking like?
The rest of this year I'll be starting my first solo project and also doing a couple surprise features for some locals. So I'm excited about that. Plus I start rehearsals with my band at the top of the year so I'm extremely amped for that as well. But other than that I got a feature I'm doing with the blog 119 for their Countdown 2 Midnight tape. So be on the look out for that.
Do you have any advice for artists working on their craft?
Respect yourself. Love yourself. Do right by people. That's it.
Any final words/thoughts/shout-outs?
I'd love to shout out every person that has been helping me along the way. But I can't. There's too many. So I'll just say I'm so happy to be around some of the coldest musicians in the world and actually call them family. That's rare, and I'm thankful to have y'all in my life. Lastly my girl, she the one that keep me sane and I attempt to be worthy. So thank you Crystal.