What's up Leafers? Welcome to the latest edition of On the Rise where we interview upcoming hip hop talent. Today's guest is artist, Emsee. Emsee grew up in Houston Texas, where he was surrounded by prominent and idolized hip-hop and rap influences of the “dirty south”. Infatuated with the unorthodox music style, the young artist spent his time studying lyricists and made his start creating rhymes and freestyles. Coming up in the late 90’s, Emsee’s initial foundation for his lyrical craft was influenced by old school rap artists; However, deeply passionate about the expressive nature and power of hip-hop, Emsee wanted more and has not stopped since. In addition to developing his nimble flow and agile lyricism, Emsee has had great success as an engineer and producer. He prides himself on being able to create a unique equilibrium that his fans can vibe too.The Houston based MC has been on our radar for a while so we had to tap in with him! Check out the interview below.
Westleaf Staff: What's up, Emsee? Your sound is dope. When did you start making music?
Emsee: I started making music sometime in elementary school. Back in the early 00s, freestyling was the it-thing. I grew up around spitters so I had to get on my freestyle game early. I started off as a more technical rapper. I used to work nights and nights on just bars and the technicality of emceeing. I was probably a technical rapper for a good chunk of my childhood. Sometime in high school, I realized I was rhyming all these words but I was not saying anything. Something had to change. I then fell in love with the art of music creation. Technical rapper since my birth, musical artist since early high school.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! What city do you represent?
Emsee: I represent Houston, Texas. My roots are southern to the core. There is a certain culture here that I love. My city continuously reminds me that people still have souls.
Westleaf Staff: Shout out to Houston. So how did you create your stage name?
Emsee: Emsee is a play on my name Matthew Cisneros (MC) lol get it.
Funny story, a principal from middle school use to call me "MC." I would get in trouble and she got tired of calling me by my full name so she just said "MC." Soon after, people started calling me that. I did my little word-play magic to make it unique.
Westleaf Staff: That's a dope name. And it came naturally! So how did your early life shape your interest in music?
Emsee: I used to move around a lot growing up. Because of that moving, I was able to experience Life from different angles. Observations and just soaking everything in is what molds my music today. Growing up, first-hand experiences with my highs and lows is what shapes my music.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! Music runs through your veins. So who is your biggest Musical influence?
Emsee: I have a bucket of musical influences. Off the top of my head, I adore Lana Del Ray, A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, 2pac, Mac Miller, Robert Johnson.... The List Goes On.
Westleaf Staff: Dope choices! What's been the defining moment in your music career thus far?
Emsee: The defining moment of my career so far has been my feedback from my last project "Limbo." I want to say I spent a solid year creating those 8 tracks. Limbo was my first true approach at releasing something completely packaged and ready. The reception and criticism has been more than I could imagine. I thank everyone who has, is, and will tune in.
Westleaf Staff: That's dope! Congrats on the project! So what makes you a unique artist?
Emsee: A unique artist is someone who defies the status-quo in some way. A unique artist builds interesting structures from familiar foundations. A unique artist paints intriguing paintings from common canvases. A unique artist finds a way, (even if a tiny amount) to create something that will stick with you forever.
Westleaf Staff: Dope! So what does art mean to you?
Emsee: Art is beautiful way to express ones self. To me, Art is expression. My music is my expression and reflection of myself.
Westleaf Staff: True! That's deep! Where do you see your music career going over the next few years?
Emsee: Celestial, Vulnerable, and Honest.
Westleaf Staff: I wish you much success! Before we go, describe music in three words.
Emsee: Celestial, Vulnerable, and Honest.