Interview: @EmarrMusic Talks Devonte’s Theme

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
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