Discover Artists That Joined The 11th IMAs: Wem
HOMEBASE: New Jersey / Los Angeles / New York
DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE: Hip Hop and Rap
CATEGORY ENTERED: Rap/Hip-Hop
SONGS SUBMITTED: Life Is What You Make Of It
ALBUM SUBMITTED: N/A although I have a debut mix-tape that was downloaded over 15,000 times called The Unexpected hosted by DJ Ill Will.
LABEL Name OR Self-Released: Heartbreaker Records (Independent)
PLEASE LIST THE ARTISTS FEATURED ON THIS RELEASE: Wem
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME? WERE THERE ANY CONTENDERS? Wem was a nickname given to me when I was younger. I moved from Brazil when I was 4 years old and Wemerson always gave my teachers and peers problems so I started telling people to call me Wem. Over time everyone (aside from my mom) called me Wem. When trying to think of a “rap name” I decided that none would fit better than Wem. Like my name, my music is very personal. I try to always give my audience 100% of me no matter how vulnerable I come across or how non traditional it may be for a genre such as hip hop.
DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE: My latest release is a song called “Fast Life”. It’s my approach in explaining how my life has changed so far. So much has happened in the last year since I released my debut mix-tape. I’ve done shows in several states, worked with some of the industries top artists and producers, and have slowly began to acclimate myself to all of it. Not to long ago I was working on my Bachelors degree in Psychology at Rutgers University and now, after I graduated I am fortunate enough to be able to continue my career in music. This song also touches on my issues with women and the struggles I have in committing to just one. Reason being that I’m currently 22 yet I’ve always dated older girls and when the age gap is significant (last girlfriend was 29) it becomes hard to be on the same page with topics such as marriage, having kids, etc.
DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS? The range of instruments I use are endless. I feel so many hip hop artist fail to advance in hip hop especially because their latest album sounds exactly like their first. More than an artist I’m a person and people experience different things every single day. For me not to capture that would be a waste so any time I get to work with creative people that can offer different sounds or ideas I get really excited. We’ve used everything from live instrumentation, sounds using household props, and we even occasionally sample other sounds we like too.
DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT? No, all funding is provided by independent investors or occasionally out of pocket by myself.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO THE 11TH IMAS? I was looking for something that is credible and has a reputation established. Once I was presented with the long list of reputable industry personnel that have been involved with the IMA I knew it was the best choice for me. I was really excited when I heard the news and I am also very happy to be a part of it.
WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? My fans represent who I am, and the word that comes to mind is “diverse”. I have fans from all different age groups, races, religions, and backgrounds and I am very fortunate to not have appealed to just one group of people. I have seen everyone from business suit wearing investors to people who dress and appreciate hip hop culture at my shows. I have had a lot of different experiences in my life and I am able to relate to people on a large scale. I have lived through all social classes and above all I am a very genuine person by nature, my fans can defiantly feel that and my music represents that entirely, I would hate to be one-dimensional.
HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? WHAT’S THE STORY? One of the artists that I look up to the most is Prince. I have an impeccable amount of respect for him because of his level of dedication to his music. To be able to play, constructs, and create timeless music like he has consistently through out the years is something not only that I value but I also strive to do myself. I have never hung out with him unfortunately but to be able to would be an ever-lasting experience. I have met many people from the hip hop industry and all have been very accepting of me in the industry.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? I have had a few that I am proud of. Having DJ Ill Will host my very first debut mix tape was an honor because he usually only gets behind artist that are big heavy weights in the industry such as Drake, Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, and many more. It shows that he believes in my progression early on and that feels amazing. I have also been featured in magazines such as YoRaps and have been published/done interviews for 24HourHipHop which was rated on XXL Magazines as one of the top 20 hip hop websites in the country. I’m also proud of the people that I’ve worked with, Jahlil Beats from Roc Nation, Johnny Juliano, I.D Labs, to name a few.
ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU WISH YOU WROTE? I write every song I put it. I don’t believe in having anyone write for me. Personally it would insult not only my intelligence but I think the intelligence of my fans. I like having control and telling my story, writing has always been my way to vent. I’ve kept over 8 journals where I write experiences and ideas down. My mind works in weird ways and I am defiantly a non traditional thinker so I don’t feel anyone in this world would be able to capture my stories better than I can.
WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? People always assume I listen to just hip hop but I listen to a wide variety of artists. Prince as mentioned, Phil Collins is incredible to me, Chicago, even rock like Motley Crew gets played when I need to clear my mind. I don’t really listen to hip hop at my house or in my car. I had to force myself to stop or else I’m just digesting my competitor’s ideas and concepts.
NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING: I support anyone that takes pride in what they do and work really hard at it. With so many rappers you would think it would be really easy to find some that keep it completely authentic and the honest truth is that there isn’t. I also appreciate those who are up and coming and are battling against the odds to make their dreams happen. I could sit here and say I was always confident but I wasn’t, there was doubt at the beginning of my career. Confidence manifest from a result of success so to those who keep pushing and keep working on their music everyday I have the utmost respect for.
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM SHOW LINEUP? My dream show line up embodies many different elements. I would love to bring back instrumentation into hip hop. I hate going to shows to meet with people and all you hear is bass and people yelling on stage. I want there to be music. I also like to help with designs and ideas of sets and what will happen and I’m a visionary in the sense that although my ideas seem to come out of no where I’m a big believer in following my instincts and it has never failed me. Any show that will leave my audience speechless is a show I would be proud to be a part of.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS… “Ever-changing” I feel that so much happens every year that it makes artists stay on their toes. Personally I am not a fan of going to clubs and drinking and partying all night long. I do it probably once a month if that. I am so focused on my music that I wouldn’t want to look back and think, “damn I should have done more”. I work very hard and my music speaks for itself.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE WORKS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR? I have a lot on my plate this upcoming year, I have my sophomore mix-tape being released early 2012 that will be an incredible musical experience. I also have a few shows booked next year and the way things are headed ill be booked for a lot more. I want to start getting into fashion so I have a few collaborators that I’m working with as well. I like to have my hand in everything that ultimately has to do with my brand and myself. It helps keep me sane and I enjoy the control, this industry is full of people that want to make you something that sells and I know that my reception is already positive so keeping that element is very important to me.
HOW CAN FANS FOLLOW YOU? WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE? You can find my music on http://www.HeartbreakerRecords.com and also follow me on twitter @RealWem for updates regarding up coming shows and new music. Also follow me on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/realwem.