Atlanta’s music scene is getting a new sound. Engineer, producer and songwriter Selasi brings, what he calls “Global Pop” to the music industry with his five-track album called “Shades of Grey.”
Make no mistake, Selasi is far from a stranger to the music scene. His resume consists of collaborations with artists like Grammy award-winning and multi-platinum singer/songwriter Kandi Burruss, Keyshia Cole, Akon, Nas, Jagged Edge, Trey Songs, Bobby Valentino and Rasheeda, are just a few of the names of artists this musician has collaborated with.
Excited about his new project, Selasi chatted with Atlanta Daily World’s Catherine Witherspoon about what it’s like working with Kandi Burruss, what he wants his fans to know about him as an artist and his music.
ADW: Tell me about your “Shades of Grey” project?
Selasi: “Shades of Grey” represents the musical colors that exist between white and black. So in my case, I look at it as the sound that exists between two extreme sounds. So if I take the African sound and the American sound “Shades of Grey” represents all the musical shades that exist between those two extremes and it just comes out in my music.
ADW: What are you most excited about with this project?
Selasi: It’s the way people receive it, because I was just doing me and having fun with it. While I was working on it, Kandi walked in the studio and was like, “OMG! What is that?” So I played it and she started jamming to it. I find it so exciting that people just love it.
ADW: How did you end up working with Kandi and what is it like working with her?
Selasi: I met Kandi through Rasheeda from “Love and Hip Hop.” She and I started working together and she became like a sister to me. We just clicked.
I got introduced to Kandi, through her, and she has become like another one of my sisters. (laugh) I just feel you make the best music with someone that you click with, outside of the studio. We hang out when it has nothing to do with music. It’s just a blessing.
ADW: How does it make you feel when you see people enjoying your music?
Selasi: That’s the biggest thing I could ask for, because for me, that’s all I want. If anybody moves to your music it means your sound and your music is moving them and it’s moving their heart. That’s all I ever want to do with my music and that is to be able to touch people’s heart.
ADW: How long does it take you to make a song and what is your creative process?
Selasi: I have songs that I have finished in a day and I have songs that I do the beat first. Then I have to come back and listen to the beat to come up with an idea. It’s different for me. It depends on what I hear and how I feel at the moment.
ADW: How do you define good music?
Selasi: Well one word that comes to mind when people ask me that is “gumbo” because it’s a musical mixture. If you come from America, there is something with my music you will identify with. It’s something with my music that represents my journey and all the different continents and countries I’ve lived in.
ADW: What direction do you see your music career headed in the future?
Selasi: I feel that up to where I am now, God has kind of directed my path. Like coming from Africa to where I am right now. It’s just the hand of God. I don’t stress too much about it. You know, I have my plan of what I want to do but I just focus on what is at hand and everything will fall in place.
ADW: Do you have to have to have some shred of talent, or can you make anyone sound good?
Selasi: If I were a painter and my job is to paint cars I can get a car from the junk yard that doesn’t run at all. I can put a very good paint job on it and it will look real good. But if I take a car that runs really good and I put a really good paint job on it it’s like even better. That’s how I look at engineering.
ADW: What do you want your fans to know about Selasi and about your music?
Selasi: I want them to know I am very passionate about music and the creation of music. I love it. I love doing it. It’s something that I do and to do that and put it out for my fans to appreciate it— for me is a blessing.
I appreciate my fans for taking out the time to listen to it. You know, I’m just blessed.
To learn more about “Shades of Grey” and to stay connected with Selasi go to his website www.selasi music.com.
By Catherine Witherspoon