Check out our interview with San Francisco-based hip-hop artist Souleye who just released his latest album “Hunting Teardrops” this month.
Born in Massachusetts, he began rapping as a teenager, and has toured with multiple EDM and hip-hop acts including Bassnectar and BLVD, and as a solo artist. He’s released nearly a dozen studio albums, including SOUL SCHOOL (2019), WILDMAN (2017), SHAPE SHIFTING (2015) and IRON HORSE RUNNING (2013).
He and his Canadian-American singer-songwriter wife @Alanis Morissette, and their three children, call Northern California home.
Follow Souleye @souleye
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Tell us about your new album “Hunting Teardrops.” What inspired it?
When the Covid-19 lockdown first started, it took a while for me to accept the reality of what was taking place. At first my creativity was in a state of shock, not really inspired and a bit grief stricken from what was occurring.
About 3 months into the lockdown, I felt a wave of inspiration to get into the studio and express myself. The title hunting teardrops is a play on the hero’s journey. As a man being raised in a society where tears were hard to come by, with a father and brother who I rarely if ever saw cry, and as an adult now knowing the healing properties of allowing oneself to grieve and fully feel our feelings, it’s as if I need to go out into my own inner wilderness and hunt down these suppressed and locked away emotions.
And once I do, I can free them.
What’s the story behind your new single, ‘Time’s Game?’
I’ve always found time fascinating, how it blends together like the game of ‘Telephone.’ And how memories that I have had in the past now tend to blend with stories I’ve heard and TV shows or movies I have seen.
How would you describe the sound of your new album compared to your previous albums, such as “Iron Horse Running” or “Wildman?”
Musically there are more earthy elements and infused with more world instrumentation. It keeps the traditional hip-hop sequence and beats but opens up into a more experimental meditative vibe. Lyrically, I feel that content is similar regarding positivity and deep thoughts. I definitely pushed myself during some of the choruses with my singing style on songs like ‘Doorway to the Future’ and ‘Vision Board.’
What’s the best live stage you have ever played?
Performing in front of 10,000 at the O2 Arena in London was a really cool experience. Also performing in Tel Aviv, Israel was really special. To be honest any time I am performing, no matter the venue size or location, it’s exhilarating and fun to be interacting energetically with a crowd.
Do you ever get nervous before going on-stage?
Definitely! I always need to feel loose and have fun with the entire process of performing live and at the same time stay focused and prepared to put on the best show I can.
What is it like collaborating musically with your wife Alanis Morissette. For instance, on songs like ‘Ego’ and ‘Snow Angel.’ Are there more collaborations in the future for you two?
Working with Alanis is a true blessing. Her experience and expertise and witty sense of humor, and her impeccable timing and creative imagination allows for an almost effortless time in the studio.
What is the most fun and rewarding thing about what you do?
I love creating something out of nothing, starting with just one sound or one word and watching it manifest into a full song or a full album of songs. Once I put my heart and soul into a project I love to share my music knowing that it may touch someone in an uplifting or contemplative way.
I have another full-length album ready to go. I am in the process now of naming it and choosing the singles. I am really excited about this one.
Where can we follow you?
Best advice ever given?
To not read any comments.
Idea of a perfect Sunday?
Hanging with my wife and kids all day long.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Being in the moment with no resistance to what is happening.
What is your favorite healthy food?
What is your favorite cheat food?
What do you think of Social Media?
Social media can be a double-edged sword in my opinion. I think if I go to social media to fill up my cup, it may leave me feeling depleted. I love social media for its ability to interact with fans and check out other people’s lives, what they are up to and what they have been creating or being inspired by.