Saturday, July 17, 2010

Interview w/ @TheRealEternia ... Yep, my favorite rapper wears a skirt!

(all photo credits: Angie Choi)

O put me on to Eternia. That was well over a year ago. I haven’t looked back since. It was something about the confidence and yet humility that Eternia projected in her music.

On the new project, "At Last" Eternia lets loose heartfelt lyrics that continues to delivers who she is as both an emcee and a person. It's real. She's real.

The first time I heard Eternia and MoSS' "At Last" album, it was a press preview version with what I'd like to call the "Director's Commentary," as Eternia provided insight into each track. It was a dope way to listen to the music. It was kind of like an individual listening party if you will. You always wonder what an artist is thinking with a track and Eternia provided that on the preview (to take it a step further, the liner notes on the CD provides insight about each track from Eternia and MoSS' perspective).

When I finally received my hard copy of “At Last” it played in the car from the Thursday it came in until the following Saturday when I jumped on a train headed out of town. True be told, I had an advance digital copy that I'd received a few days earlier. So all-in-all, I had been rocking "At Last" for almost two weeks when I reached that Saturday morning. It’s still in rotation.

The intro flows well into “Any Man” and the energy carries all the way through to “Goodbye”. There are the upbeat party joints like “It’s Funny” and “The BBQ”, to the super personal joints like “To the Past” and “To the Future”. Eternia battles her demons on a track like "Dear Mr. Bacardi" and celebrates through rhyme on "32 Bars." My favorites, “The Half”, “Goodbye”, “Catch Me” and “Pass That” (uh, I almost mentioned every track on the album. It's dope, you gotta check it!)

Dope rhymes laced with amazing production from MoSS, “At Last” is an honest look at Eternia, that definitely delivers.

I reached out to Eternia just after the release of “At Last” for a Q&A. We talked about the album, working with MoSS, randomness and the future. Check it out.

The Mad Bloggers: I consider you just an emcee that just happens to be a woman. It seems like a lot of folks have put female emcees in this separate category, even though some women can rhyme just as well if not better than their male counterparts. How do you feel about the "femcee" classification?

Eternia: I don’t personally prefer the term. But I don’t take offense. I know why people coined the term and how it’s become empowering to a lot of women and men alike. But for me, personally, I’d prefer to be viewed as an emcee. (FULL STOP). I don’t feel like my gender should relate that much to my occupation, that it’s mentioned in the title of what I ‘DO’ for a living you know? It would be like ‘femme-architect’ or ‘fem-astronaut’. Don’t make sense to me. But I ain’t mad at those who use it. Don’t get mad at me! (Ha)

TMB: You'd mentioned how you thought about walking away from music and MoSS approached you to produce a project based on the energy of your live performance. Did you immediately take this suggestion seriously or was there some hesitation?

E: I immediately took it as a gift from God, an answer to prayer. I had always wanted to do a one-emcee / one-producer project but I never wanted to solicit anybody ‘cause I wanted the other party to be as invested in the process and result as I was. Basically I didn’t wanna convince or cajole someone to do it as a favor and then you get ‘favor’ type of beats and ‘favor’ type of energy / time invested which equals half ass a lot of the time (straight up). I always think of that Jay-Z line, “Do me a favor – don’t do me no favors”. Favors being held over your head don’t feel too good. At any rate, this wasn’t a favor. This was a mutual interest and desire in creating the best possible album we’ve both done in our careers thus far. And I think we did just that.

TMB: How would you complete this sentence, MoSS is to Eternia as what _______ is to _______?

E: Premo is to Guru (RIP). Canvas is to Paint. A Soundtrack & Visuals is to a Movie Script. A Speaker is to a Microphone. I could go on…

TMB: "At Last" comes off as a super personal project in various places, taking a deep look into Eternia as a person and an emcee. Was that the intention from the beginning of the production process?

E: I’ve always been a ‘life emcee’, way before this album. Meaning I glean most of my content from real life experiences. So that was definitely a given going in. But no, I don’t think we sat down and intentionally strategized ‘we’re gonna go this deep or have this many personal songs’. It was just what happened. ALTHOUGH – most of the content was inspired by the tracks, meaning I wouldn’t know what I was gonna write about until I heard MoSS’s production. So I guess, in that way, his production inspired my content. It was just what the beats SOUNDED like it needed to me, most of the time.

TMB: What's the one track that speaks to who you are as an emcee on "At Last"?

E: “GOODBYE” for me. (or Reef’s verse on “AT LAST” – his verse is one of my faves on the album… I always spit along with it.)

TMB: What's the one track that speaks to who you are as a person on "At Last"?

E: “TO THE FUTURE”. Obviously. Still hurts when I hear it.

TMB: Will there be another Eternia x MoSS project?

E: Who Knows (smiles). I think we spent 3 years just getting to this day (release) that it’s kinda like – ‘now what do we do with ourselves?’ (LOL). We definitely need a breather I think. But I think we both wouldn’t turn down the opportunity if it arose.

TMB: And a few random questions ... If you were stranded on an island, which ONE record would you bring with you and why? (Not necessarily your music)

E: Nina Simone – Baltimore (LIVE version). I discovered Nina in the audio section of a public library when I was a teen. Nobody put me on. I was pretty devastated when she passed. I think her voice touches my heart in ways no other vocalists have. Wild is the Wind (its not on that record, but uhh yah) is one of my top 5 songs of all time.

TMB: You've got reservations at a restaurant with five people from history (dead or alive), who's sitting at that table and what's the discussion?

E: Nina Simone (she’d probably dislike me, ha!). Jesus Christ (He Loves Me no matter what! :-D). My boyfriend (just so I could witness him meeting Jesus hehe!). My 93-yr-old Grandma (because her interactions w/ Jesus would be priceless… and I think Nina would like her. Oprah did! They met! Long story). My Dad (just so he could get rid of his Jesus-complex by meeting the real deal).


Umm I’ll prob wish I said some other folks after the fact – but that’s what came off the top.

TMB: And just a random question because I'm a fan of both your music and fellow Canadian Shad's music, will there ever be a Shad and Eternia track?

E: (LAUGHS!) Wow you’re gonna live long. I just reconnected with Shad this past Friday at the Brooklyn Meets Toronto Showcase, a part of the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festivities. We discussed doing a track (or at least my management and his management did … Shad and I were too busy talking about music being spiritual, hehe). We’ll see. I’m obviously a fan of his stuff. I loved watching him rock Friday night. We’re on the same wavelength.

TMB: Thank you for your time. One last question, at the end of the day, after listening to "At Last" what would you want a listener to take away from the project?

E: Who Silk Kaya is.

PURCHASE Digital CD thru iTunes 
PURCHASE Physical CD thru Fat Beats 


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