Music in tune with current events innately possesses a conscious need to speak on the ills and afflictions that people are suffering. And Devonte’s Theme by Emarr is exactly that, a powerfully direct song that pin points the wrongful victimisation of a certain people as the wrong perception consistently being reinforced by those in power. Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Mike Brown are all modern martyrs whose names and fateful circumstance need to be remembered and analysed. Ever intricately lyrical, Emarr satires the lack of true proactivity for the system to sort out society’s racial hypocrisy alongside real art often not getting the necessary props due to not being watered down for the masses. Devonte’s Theme is an strong statement in these modern times and is just a morsel of what’s to come from Emarr. Check out our mini interview with him below and stay locked for more music!
Q. Recent events in the US have heightened the general public’s awareness to issues that have existed for centuries. What do you think was a major catalyst in drawing particular attention to the topics you discuss in Devonte’s theme?
I believe it has a lot to do with the power of social media, we now exist in the sharing age where people feel the need to share things they find interesting. Not much has actually changed but I believe we’re in the age now where people can’t just hide from global issues anymore. I came across the image of Devonte hugging the police officer online and my initial thoughts were that this was set up and it was fake because it happened at a time when there was so much tension between the police and Black America so it was carefully planted as a distraction to the protests. Then I thought a lot deeper into the image and realised what it represents. The boy was crying and the officer was smiling and embracing him into his arms. Almost like what America does as a whole is be this authoritative figure that takes care of us but really it’s more like we are the child and not equals and will forever be perceived as such. So within the song I try to explore the idea of always being watched but never heard. Again with the media thing because Black America is associated with violence so if they keep sharing that then Devote will have to keep hugging police officers until we are perceived as human beings.
Q. Music is a powerful medium to communicate to people so do you think artists have a responsibility to include a message in their art?
Most definitely, I think it’s very important for artists to understand the power that music as an art form has. When you initially begin to create it’s personal and it belongs to you and your heart, but the moment you decide to share you have to take into account that your creation could inspire and affect people in a number of ways whether positive or negative. Depending on what kind of musician/artist you are, it’s key to always try to portray and deliver your message clearly. At least that’s what I try to do with my music as I grow.
Q. What do you think we as a community, both creatively and otherwise, can do to help stop injustices such as what has happened to Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown and Eric Garner?
I usually have quite dark views when it comes to change because of history. Change has never come peacefully and blood is always shed. Taking this into account do we really need to keep fighting just so more black boys can be murdered? I think eventually it could escalate to that if we continue to face these injustices. I believe the best we can do is to embrace each other culturally and educate each other and our children on the importance of life, not just black life or white life…but life as a whole and learn to value each other just as human beings, to better blur the lines that leave us labelled as a color. Because if you always see something as different you will place a value to it and when one value out weighs the other it tends to have more importance. Like precious metals and normal metals, they’re both metal but people get killed for the precious kind.
Q. How has your background, growing up in New York and emigrating to the UK, influenced your art?
New York City is everything to me, it gave me music, it gave me Hip Hop and to me it is the birth place of all my dreams and ambitions. To be honest when I first got to london, I hated it lol. But over time as I immersed myself into the culture and way of life here and made my new life long friends, i began to love london.
The transition has been amazing for me because musically I feel like I’m ahead…alot of what inspires me lies in the illusion of calmness; it feels calm but there is so much going on here its amazing. On occasion I see many similarities between London and New York, how I usually explain it to people is in London you have to look for “crazy” and in New York “crazy” finds you. Crazy could be anything from the people you meet to the experiences you have. But having to find myself here has added so many vivid layers to art and I’m forever grateful.
By Ranako Daley
The following two tabs change content below.
Latest posts by Ranako (see all)
- Review: Versus (@VsOfficialMusic) — SunBathe — May 9, 2015
- Review: SELVSSE (@SELVSSE) ‘Needs — Sasha Keable Rework’ — March 30, 2015
- Interview: @EmarrMusic Talks Devonte’s Theme — March 11, 2015