10 Questions with Yeshuwa Myers
-written by Nat Richmond
How were you first introduced to Music?
I was probably first introduced to music when I was at Villa Maria Elementary. I was there from daycare until 8th grade and took extra curricular piano classes in addition to the music classes we had in our regular classes when I was in like, 3rd or 4th grade until 7th grade. I initially wanted to play guitar but I learned that piano would be easier to learn at first and introduced me to the basics. When I did eventually get a guitar in my hands, it turned out that the strings weren't a good feeling on my soft finger tips. Good thing I stuck to the piano! I played in several piano recitals, playing songs that I would study for months before the big presentation for all our families. It was always nerve-racking but I always loved the feeling it gave me. This was the planting of the seed of my artistry. I was first introduced to hip-hop when I would listen to the local radio station, Star 104, in the morning on the way to school. Eventually I started getting my own CDs too. The first one being Gwen Stefani's "Love. Angel. Music. Baby." and then my first burned CD was Kanye West's "College Dropout" and "Late Registration". When the real album actually dropped, my "Late Registration" CD was nothing like the real one, but by then I had become an avid Kanye West fan and had an appreciation of the underground tracks. I began writing poetry around 6th grade and started really listening to the lyrical craft that artists like Kanye, Tupac, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and other artists I liked had. I hadn't paired my poetry to music though, making or recording music at this point seemed out of reach. At this point, I'm just a kid in Erie, PA who likes really good music and finding songs and artists before they became mainstream. I can still remember when a friend of mine showed me his setup he had when he was recording music. I'll leave it a mystery to how the first studio I was in looked but the engineer & artist that I knew there was a huge inspiration to me. He was one of the first people to put the idea in my mind of "if someone else can do this, so can I". We became close friends and I still have a lot of respect and look up to this artist as the first one who introduced me to the idea of recording music. You may know him as Jordy The Traveler. He added the soil to the seed of my artistry.
Do you play any instruments? If not, are there any you'd like to learn?
I do play instruments! I took piano lessons at Villa Maria Elementary. I actually still play piano and through a process called MIDI it allows me to virtually play any instrument you can imagine! This is how I'm able to produce all of my own instrumentals and beats for my music that you can hear today! I also played clarinet for the VME school band. I think it would be pretty cool to learn how to play the Theremin. They look pretty neat to play.
What artists have inspired you?
I am a huge Ye (Kanye West) fan. I feel like a lot of what he's done has shaped the music industry; from his beat production for Jay-Z, to introducing the world to Kid Cudi, to the albums he's created are so impactful that it's impossible to not give him credit as a genius music producer and artist. Kanye West's most impactful album for me would have to be "Graduation" or "808s & Heartbreak" and I think any Kanye West fan can agree that those are two great albums by him. "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" was also a notable Kanye album. My favorite Kanye song would have to be "Homecoming". (I knew about this track from my burned CD of "Late Registration" and was disappointed when it wasn't on that album. I was super pumped when it was on "Graduation", and it feels like a graduation worthy track.) Kid Cudi is amazingly creative and has a vibe on a whole new level. He's impacted my artistry and creativity in a major way. I love his style, flow, way of singing and rapping, his way of expression, and his personal genuinity. I think Kid Cudi is a great dude and as a reflection, his music is stellar too. Kid Cudi's "Man On The Moon: The End of Day" will always have a special place in my heart and playlist. I even loved his mixtape "A Kid Named CuDi". This man had talent right out the gate with "Day 'N' Nite", which is such a vibe. My favorite track by Cudi would have to be "Sky Might Fall" or "Soundtrack 2 My Life". Last, but probably the most impactful contemporary musical artist that influences me would be Wiz Khalifa. I had Wiz small amounts of Wiz in my playlist at first, but I have been a fan since "Youngin' On His Grind" and "Say Yeah". His style grew on me quickly and soon I was a huge Wiz fan. My one friend called me a "Wiz Khalifa Disciple". His representation of Pittsburgh and his music had a huge impact on me. Wiz was another artist that was so close to home that I knew that I could do the same thing, or better. I have a huge appreciation for Wiz. Short Wiz Story (One of several): I was actually supposed to meet Wiz with this pair of VIP tickets I had to "The High Road Tour" in Phoenix, Arizona. I had heard earlier in the day that Wiz was at a local smoke shop the day of the concert and meeting some fans. Which meant he was in Phoenix and I was hype for this show. When I got to the venue I asked where the meet and greet was going to be and they said that it was a few hours ago, before the concert and was at a smoke shop in the city and my heart sank, but I had another plan already in action. So I go to the show, still super hype, every artist's set is fantastic. While Snoop Dogg was performing his new song (at the time of the show) called "Legend" I pushed my way through the crowd of packed people, security, and smoke to the front of the stage and threw my resume on stage when Wiz was performing his part in the song. I recall Snoop picking it up and setting it on the DJ stand. I didn't get a call back, but it was definitely a legendary moment. Wiz Khalifa's "Taylor Allderdice" mixtape will always be my favorite full project he's dropped, my favorite Wiz albums would have to be "O.N.I.F.C.", "Kush and Orange Juice" and "Blacc Hollywood". My favorite Wiz track is an endless list, he's just such a groovy artist with such a fresh style, beat selection, lyricism, flow, and performance presence. My top 3 favorite Wiz tracks would have to be "Young, Wild, & Free", "Paperbond", and "The Kid Frankie".
What's your favorite song out of your entire catalogue? How did you create it?
That would be a hard pick for me. All of my music reflects different points in my life that brought the song out of me. Some of my songs are even like, a deeper thought that I unknowingly had and a message that later on I find out is a message to myself. My music is deeply spiritual and close to me. I feel like a lot of people miss my wordplay but it's for a deeper listener, you know? I have another short story for you (One of many): There was once a time I was at a super low point in my life and things weren't going good. I remember that night I had prayed that if I made it through that night that I would do whatever I needed to change how my life was going. I was visited by God that night and He spoke with me. I can't really recall the whole conversation but at the end of it I found myself standing in front of a desk, I remember. It had a stack of paper on it and was like a music signing deal or like a contract of some kind. God explained to me that whatever I was to be successful in that God must also be successful. I page through the contract and at the end there wasn't a place to sign. I remember asking for a pen but I was told that I would be taken on my word as we believe and trust in the Word of God. Needless to say I made it through that night, but when I woke up I started on fulfilling this promise. Even though the promise didn't necessarily pertain or specify to music, the agreement is on "whatever makes me successful", so I apply this in every facet of my life, my music included. So with that being a main drive behind my music, it's hard to pick out a specific part or song because it's all part of the story that's building. My favorite track would have to be the one I'm currently creating and enjoying the process. It's important to not only be driven by the finish line or the end product, you have to enjoy the full process in whatever you're doing, that's what really makes the whole thing worth it.
Are there any artists that you wish you could collaborate with?
I only have a few collaborations in my catalog. I have a certain criteria for artists I collaborate with. Stay tuned for more of those tracks when they come out!
How do you feel like you impact the Music culture here in Erie?
I would like to hope I have a positive impact on the music culture in Erie. I love the support I get from my friends and people I meet through my performances. I love when I get to show new people my music and they enjoy it like I do. I think all artists would love to reach more people but it's all part of growing as an artist. The positivity in my music brings an awesome crowd and I love to see it growing and people having a good time. My music is spiritually driven, and I love to uplift the spirit of people; my music is a direct representation of who I am and the way I am. I feel like the connotation of being labeled as a "rapper" is unfortunately somewhat negative. I even feel like being a "rapper" and a "hip-hop artist" have a lot of similarities but are also different. While I listen to and enjoy both I'd think that the positivity/uplift and spirituality in my music puts me in more of a "hip-hop artist" category, in conjunction with my singing also making it not "Rap" but more "Rhythm and Blues" or "Pop" in some instances.
What are your future goals?
My future goals are to keep making music, stay positive, and to continue doing what I love for the people I love. I have a lot of friends who support me and they're my motivation, including the friends of mine who have passed. I'm currently working on the release of "Epiphany", my next album, working on making more merch for my website www.YeshwuaMadeIt.com, and coming up with other creative ideas that I am eager to show everyone. Look out for my album "Epiphany" dropping on March 3rd, 2023!.
How do you overcome creative blockages?
Getting out of the studio and experiencing life. My music is a representation of my life and whenever I encounter a creative block it may be due to me being in the studio too long or over complicating the process. Sometimes the best thing I can do for myself is to take some time for myself and relax; rest my mind, ears, voice, and self. Meditation and prayer I've found help with this too. Prayer helps me align my thoughts and aim for a specific goal while asking for guidance and meditation relaxes my body and mind so that I can focus and welcome these thoughts and ideas. I find importance in counting breaks as part of the work process. When it all works in tandem together it functions like a well oiled machine. It's never good to work through any kind of exhaustion, whether it's physical, mental, or emotional. When I record music I think of it like a movie or a picture; when you snap the camera it's going to stay that way, forever, and the same goes with recording music. It's important to capture the feeling and vibe, if I'm exhausted then that's the feeling the vocals will have. I've seen some folks use techniques like this as part of their art though too, and that aspect is kind of like painting. Some people may use a certain color or technique in their painting or sound in their recording that may work better for some than others.
How has Music positively impacted you?
Music has definitely saved my life in more than one way and more than one time. I'd listen to music when times were good and bad but it usually made me feel better in whatever situation. It was there for me when nobody else was and also when everyone was with me in the crowd. I’ve even made songs that later on I listen to and it’s almost like a message to myself, from myself. It’s a really trippy experience. My music is filled with spiritual references, so the messages I hear in a later listen resonate with me in an interesting way. Music is powerful and if it's used properly you can inspire people for generations through it. Music has definitely inspired me far enough to create my own and anything that captures someone so deeply to make it a part of their daily life is a strong force. I have a vision for my music to help heal and treat people who have mental disabilities. Music can be used to recall a certain time, feeling, place, or memory for people who have trouble remembering certain times. I've heard of people who are believed to be unresponsive having a response to a song that they have an attachment to. There are currently more studies being done on this, but I find music therapy very beautiful and intriguing.
Any final thoughts?
I'd like to thank Nat at Erie Arts and Culture for giving me this opportunity for this interview on this platform. I would like to thank all the people who I have riding with me since the first mixtape to the folks who heard of me for the first time by reading this Q&A. I'd also like to thank the people who doubted and the people who believed in me, all forms of love have their place in the story we're all building and we're all a part of. I hope you all check out my latest track, "Bounce Back" which is streaming now on YouTube (Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc.), and I hope to hear you all bumping "Epiphany" when it drops on 3/3/23. And if you don't take anything else from this I hope you remember this: It's Like That Cuz Yeshuwa Made It! The first part of staying blessed is realizing you've been blessed the entire time! + God Bless +