by Zachary Corsa
Son.person wants to relate to you, to share something bigger through his art than just a sense of fleeting, shallow entertainment. Drawing liberally from nu-pop and hip-hop traditions, the humble Memphian is rooted in weighty concepts of home and familial connections, young love and growing up. Best of all, you can catch him and hear it for yourself on Monday, December 20th at The Clover Club. In the meantime, the man himself was kind enough to expand on his mission, and his place in the wider Memphis musical conversation, with answers to five quick questions.
Your work draws from a number of genre wellsprings without being entirely beholden to any of them in particular. How do you think your music reflects the art that most inspires you?
With my music being so diverse, springing elements from genres all across the board, I feel as though I’m doing justice to the background and upbringing that was my life before “Son.person”. I grew up always having a passion for music, and it was through the easy access that my generation has to music, that really benefitted me in my attempts of understanding and hybridizing the many sounds of Hip-Hop, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Blues, and even Soul to name a few.
But my influence didn’t stem from my own research and knowledge. Much credit goes to School of Rock Memphis, who helped shape many of the influential sounds you hear within my music. From The Grateful Dead, Maroon 5, Rage Against The Machine, and Steely Dan, the influence would not be so wide a range, if it wasn’t for their constant pushes from Individuals such as Landon Moore.
One of the biggest artists to name which I’ll credit for the influence of preventing me from staying in one lane, would be Tyler, The Creator. If you know, you know, but I’ll leave it at, Tyler gave me the courage to really take a big step in this industry
From what I’ve read, it seems like coming from a place of positivity and humility is really important to you, as an artist and a person. Could you elaborate on how that relates to your own drive to create and hopefully inspire others?
Growing up in a household to no one but my mother and myself, it was a hustle for my mom ti provide all she could for me. We weren’t in shambles but that doesn’t mean we were loaded either. My drive, and name at that, stems directly from the constant sacrifice my mom has provided and continues to provide to support what I hope to become a successful career within music.
I want to use the gifts I’ve been given as well as the tools that have been provided to go 100% and provide something positive for all people. As for my community, I hope that through my music and actions, I can help give off some light to Memphis and uplift the city physically and mentally however I can.
For someone who seems so grounded in a very real sense of home and place, how does Memphis itself, and Memphian traditions, play a role in the thematic elements of your work?
Oh wow, I love this question. I got my toes wet with this one on question 2 but let me dive a bit deeper.
Memphis is me is amazing, absolutely amazing. I love this city with my whole heart and it pains me to see so many individuals upset and discouraged with it’s current state. With that, I’ll say two things. I too am disappointed, the problems the city has dealt with over the past year are extremely disheartening to acknowledge, but that doesn’t mean we should sit, sulk, and tear it down further. This city is beautiful, and their so much creativity and opportunity to be discovered. Another piece of my music and hope as a Memphis advocate, is to provide influence and advance positive change to the 901 for all people, in and outside the city to see.
How do you think your approach differs from other folks out there hustling with their own musical agendas and focus? What can someone take away from listening to you (or seeing you perform) that they can’t get anywhere else?
For me, it’s always about steps. Formulating what you need to do, planning it out, and putting it into action. With all of this on top of the normal school routine, sure it can be difficult. But how badly do you want it? For myself, I can say I squeeze every ounce of energy my body holds to see my music and brand progress in the right direction. Some days will feel extremely rewarding, some days won’t. Sometimes you’ll want to quit, and some days you feel like it might just be your big break moment. Regardless, it’s good to understand this. Motivation, inspiration, luck, and virility will take you a long way, but disciple and a great blueprint will save you endless amounts of time and money.
Next year will mark 10 years since I began “performing” live with School Of Rock, and 12 since for the journey as whole when it comes to live performances. I use quotes because the skills I’ve developed for live entertainment have come a very long way from standing stiff on stage with my mic in hand. My music background has became as extensive and broad as one might find over the course of one’s life as well. I try to take an observant approach when listening to music and watching live shows. Understanding the auditory and visual aspects that go over best, crafting similarities while still making something new, and going through that trial and error process over and over is the key to what I’ve found to be most successful for myself. Through my speech and live shows, I hope that many can take away some of the most important steps I’m learning to work my way towards success, while also having a great, enjoyable time in the process.
Lastly, please tell us a bit about the folks you’re sharing a bill with at The Clover Club on Dec. 20, and what we can expect from them, and yourself, that night?
As you can tell, music has always been a large portion of my life. However, this year has really seen that blossom, especially in term of my personal career. This show is what I hope to embody all of that. All of the blood, sweat, tears, and time that has been the past 17 years of my life, I hope will be showcased on Dec. 20th.
As for the people, it’s all in part of that as well. I’ve brought together a wide array of Memphis artists and creatives whom I’ve met all within the past year. Charlie Couvillion being the first of these, and one of few I can credit to the shaping of Son.person’s sound. He’ll be DJing sets for myself, as well as White $osa, Duke Smith, and Jack Trillmore, all amazing Memphis artists who I can’t wait to have grace the state. Keokie is a rapper I became very close to after asking me to lay down some bars on a track of his. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but knew instantly “He’s got it” when we finished our first hit. As for Blu’Jay, it was a similar case, but reversed. I messaged him on Instagram, got in touch at his school’s studio, and since then we’ve been working together at FTK Memphis, advancing our artistries, providing ourselves as creative resources for FTK while using ourselves to uplift Memphis and it’s less fortunate communities in the process. Through Blu’Jay, I met King and Khan Kazi. Two more brilliant individuals with a drive and passion as fiery as my own, you’ll be blown away by what you’ve been missing out within the deeper Memphis underground.
All of these great people along with myself brought together for a night of celebration, enjoyment, and what I hope to be astonishment. We’ll be raffling off merchandise for everyone who attends and keep the live music playing continuously from 7-10PM. Join us for my last show of the year to experience my biggest event to date, and one I hope to be an exciting precursor for what’s to come in 2022!