IN AN INDUSTRY FULL OF

  MONEYHUNGRY

POWERDRIVEN

    FAMECHASING HIP HOP ARTISTS

SALOMON FAYE IS A REFRESHING EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.

interview and photos by Beata Kanter


1/3


Beata Kanter: What are you afraid of ?

 

Salomon Faye: What has scared me most is losing my mind. Have you ever played with psychedelics?

 

BK: Honestly? Never.

 

SF: You probably don’t want to. Although there are two sides to that coin. I’ve had very insightful trips, and then I’ve had bad trips. Trips that have made me realize how susceptible the mind is to influences. How in that state of mind you could get lost and not come back. But it also gave me insight on how unstable the mind is just on some day to day shit. You could really lose yourself out here if you don’t focus on something. That’s my biggest fear.

 

BK: What about weed? Do you consider it to be a part of your creative process?

 

SF: No.

It doesn’t just get you high, it influences your state of mind. That could be for better or worse but that’s not really my problem with it; more so like the habit of doing it all the time. Even if I’m not high the residue of yesterday’s splif is still there, fucking with the way I function. I don’t like that. Cause I’ve got to be on point for the task at hand. Can’t be overwhelmed by fatigue or paranoia or any of those things that seem to come with weed. I don’t want to say I quit, because that just creates an unnecessary pressure. I’m just good, for now.

 

BK: On the topic of your eloquence…

 

SF: I like being able to express myself with clarity. I’ve always sought an understanding of what it means to be alive and how I should go about participating in this thing we call life. I don’t know, I didn’t choose this path. But I feel like rapping and playing with words really led me to understand the importance of them. It all stems from my spiritual quest. That journey of ‘Who am I, what am I doing and why am I doing it? What do I believe in?’




“This idea of evolving my relationship with the universe.


 

2/3



 

BK: How did you get introduced to music?

 

SF: Music is in my blood and DNA.  My mom is a musician; a graduate of Berkley college of music. My father is a Senegalese drummer, dancer and flute player. They met somewhere in Paris and had me.

 

BK: Who did you listen to growing up?

 

SF: DMX and Tupac. Those were my two favorite rappers. But Lauryn Hill had the most influence on me as an artist. It was through her works that I realized to what extent music can affect somebody’s life. Not just be a song in the background, but contribute to you getting through a stage in your life. Or understand more about life itself.

 

All because this person has conveyed an insight and disguised it in their music, so that you were able to receive it without even realizing it, until it dawns on you.”

 

She also gave me a sense of responsibility and accountability for how I use my words. Not just to make a pretty sound or a nice rhyme but to communicate whatever truth I have in me. I thank her for that.

 

BK: I don’t meet many people that feel so comfortable and sure of their path in life.

 

SF: After I made the decision I had no choice but to go through with it.

 

BK: But why?

 

SF: Because I believed in it that much. My reasoning has definitely matured since I made that decision. At first it was as easy as "I’m going to do what I want to do with my life. I’m going to make music and I can start now!" I had whatever philosophical notions that I believed in to back that up. It was as simple as that. And then there were steps into that journey that further intertwined the music career and the spiritual relationship. Even though they were synonymous at jump they just grew together. I realized that the spiritual aspect is the foundation. It’s the root of it. It’s the root of the decision of just knowing that if you put your mind to something it will inevitably happen.

 

 


3/3





That’s the scientific understanding

in the spiritual realm

 that allowed me to gain the confidence necessary

to leave school

and pursue a career

based on the spiritual understanding

or scientific understanding,

or mental understanding,

or understanding of the law of attraction,

or the science of manifestation.

Even though those were terms that came later to me.”

 

 

But it was that and it grew to a point where music is just the soundtrack to my day to day experiences. The last thing it’s about is the music that I make. That’s literally the seal (Salomon claps) of this vast journey of life that now I’m living. And learning and applying what I learn and my actions and the fight to be persistent and to know what to be persistent with. There’s a lot of times where I got lost in putting my career before my spiritual journey. And it was moments like that where I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing this for again?’. Like, ‘Yeah I like music but who really cares? It’s not that serious’. And then life has somehow (Salomon claps) smacked me back into that reality. “Oh yeah this is what it’s really about. Thank you! I was a little lost for a minute.”

 

BK: But it’s true isn’t it? It’s not that serious.

 

SF: If it’s just about making music and making money and being successful, no it’s not. But if it’s about using sounds and vibrations and energy to unite people and to contribute to making the world a better place, then it is important. Especially when I see that in hip hop a lot of people have sold out their gifts and their ability to contribute towards such a cause. They just treat it like a job. For me it’s not just a job. Its literally a life, a saved lifestyle that can provide tools of guidance through thought and reason for next generations. Things that will inspire people to dig deep inside themselves and learn to cultivate and develop whatever it is that they are being called for within this divine order of things. Whether that language for you is science or religion it doesn’t matter. It’s an order that is holding and moving everything. The question is, where do you fall in line with that?

 

 

BK: I’ve got some rapid fire questions for you.

#1 If you weren’t a musician ...

 

SF: I probably would have gone to business school or become a basketball player. Those were my interests as a child: music, basketball and business. I would just put basketball to the side for now and say that my focus is music-business and spirituality or god or whatever you want to call it.

 



#2 Do you get stage fright?

 

SF: Sometimes. But that’s a good thing. I used to get a lot more nervous a lot more often. But it just became an act of conquering. An opportunity to trump nerves with confidence.

 

#3 On the topic of nutrition…

 

SF: I’m all about that. That’s another high of choice. The high you feel when you’re giving your body the right nutrition, not contaminating it with drugs or alcohol or bad food, oh my god.

 

#4 and exercise ?

 

SF: I do push-ups and I walk a lot. Back in school I was an athlete. Playing ball, I was always working out. I used to get into a lot of fights so I had to make sure that I was in physical shape.

 

#4B You got in a lot of fights? Why?

 

SF: I was a boy that resorted to violence sometimes as a natural means of letting off steam. It was pretty common in Harlem. That’s just what it was about. I had to develop a tough skin after getting bitched wherever I went. And then I would take that with me places where it wasn’t really necessary. I saw that in boarding school. That’s why I got kicked out, for slapping somebody. That’s how you learn to take all aspects of life and only use what’s necessary in the moment. It’s a different type of fight these days, more like an intellectual battle. In every aspect, whether it’s a social dynamic or building a business from scratch.

 

 

"It’s all about how good are you with this? [Salomon points to his head]  Growing up in Harlem was about, how good are you with your hands? Until you get older and then it’s about, how good are you with your guns? That’s when I stopped playing."

 

 

I lost a couple of friends to that. And we were still teenagers. My mom says that boarding school saved my life. Maybe. I started wearing a suit every day, in a new environment. Didn’t have to knuckle up or run from gun shots.

 

BK: Your mom knew what she was doing.

 

SF: Oh yeah. When my brother was born she moved out to New Jersey. She didn’t want to raise another child in New York, much less Harlem.

 

#5 On the topic of family and children…

 

SF: I have to prepare myself. I have to create a lifestyle that ensures my ability to provide for a family. Right now I’m just building up a way to consistently provide for myself. So family is definitely many years down the line for me. The way that I think about family is the people that I eat with, that I sleep with, that I work on common goals and interests with, that I bond with. I learn the value of family through my friends. It was through our kind of commitment to what we worked on together and to looking out for each other’s best interests that I have realized what my family has been doing my whole childhood. At the time I was too much of a child to understand.

 




 

#6 Reincarnation

 

SF: I don’t believe life ends. I believe your body dies. Your body is temporary. I believe it’s just a matter of transforming and continuing evolving, just passed the point of what we can perceive at this level. Nothing dies. If at your base level everything is a vibration (clap) and everything is energy, these are scientific facts. It’s a scientific fact that energy is never created nor destroyed. It only transforms. So just based on that understanding we’ll live forever, what we are in our essence.

 

#7 If you became a mute…

 

SF: I would produce, I would read a lot, I would embrace whatever aspect of whatever perspective that it forced me to take on. I would become a fucking writer, a mean writer. My relationship with women would be so interesting. I’d probably become really good with energy and hands.

 

#8 That was my next question! Relationships with women...

 

SF: I think as long as everything is honest, it’s all good. I feel like the success of a relationship is really predicated on ultimately how honest you can be with and about yourself. Whatever y’all are doing and what you want to do to each other. I think it’s that simple. But I don’t know though I’m still trying to figure it out.

 

#9 The industry and ass – kissing… 

 

SF: Good question. I don’t kiss ass. Somebody like me who is neither fake nor full of shit attracts the realest within the industry.

 

BK: I find that people in the industry are reluctant to open up. They just assume you’ve got some sort of agenda.

 

SF: Yeah it’s politics. The industry is shady. It’s grimy. That’s why I feel I’ve been blessed to have a very slow rise. I’ve seen a lot of people come before me and fuck up and I’ve been able to learn from their mistakes. I’ve been able to make many mistakes that I’d much rather make in the circle of the underground and unknown. They judge you hard, and they’re going to judge me hard regardless. I’m also blessed that I’ve developed some kind of callousness to all of that, where it doesn’t really matter to me.




What matters to me is nothing other than what I should be doing. Being able to listen to life and what it is calling and demanding of me so I can just perform my task in every moment.”

 

The industry is really going to be a test, as I continue to rise up and meet all of these different kinds of people; good, bad, evil, ugly, beautiful, seductive -- will I stay focused? Can I continue my cause and not get corrupted by temptation?

 

for more on the hip hop artist, visit his website at www.SalomonFaye.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

IN AN INDUSTRY FULL OF

  MONEYHUNGRY

POWERDRIVEN

    FAMECHASING HIP HOP ARTISTS

SALOMON FAYE IS A REFRESHING EXCEPTION TO THE RULE.

interview and photos by Beata Kanter


1/3


Beata Kanter: What are you afraid of ?

 

Salomon Faye: What has scared me most is losing my mind. Have you ever played with psychedelics?

 

BK: Honestly? Never.

 

SF: You probably don’t want to. Although there are two sides to that coin. I’ve had very insightful trips, and then I’ve had bad trips. Trips that have made me realize how susceptible the mind is to influences. How in that state of mind you could get lost and not come back. But it also gave me insight on how unstable the mind is just on some day to day shit. You could really lose yourself out here if you don’t focus on something. That’s my biggest fear.

 

BK: What about weed? Do you consider it to be a part of your creative process?

 

SF: No.

It doesn’t just get you high, it influences your state of mind. That could be for better or worse but that’s not really my problem with it; more so like the habit of doing it all the time. Even if I’m not high the residue of yesterday’s splif is still there, fucking with the way I function. I don’t like that. Cause I’ve got to be on point for the task at hand. Can’t be overwhelmed by fatigue or paranoia or any of those things that seem to come with weed. I don’t want to say I quit, because that just creates an unnecessary pressure. I’m just good, for now.

 

BK: On the topic of your eloquence…

 

SF: I like being able to express myself with clarity. I’ve always sought an understanding of what it means to be alive and how I should go about participating in this thing we call life. I don’t know, I didn’t choose this path. But I feel like rapping and playing with words really led me to understand the importance of them. It all stems from my spiritual quest. That journey of ‘Who am I, what am I doing and why am I doing it? What do I believe in?’




“This idea of evolving my relationship with the universe.


 

2/3



 

BK: How did you get introduced to music?

 

SF: Music is in my blood and DNA.  My mom is a musician; a graduate of Berkley college of music. My father is a Senegalese drummer, dancer and flute player. They met somewhere in Paris and had me.

 

BK: Who did you listen to growing up?

 

SF: DMX and Tupac. Those were my two favorite rappers. But Lauryn Hill had the most influence on me as an artist. It was through her works that I realized to what extent music can affect somebody’s life. Not just be a song in the background, but contribute to you getting through a stage in your life. Or understand more about life itself.

 

All because this person has conveyed an insight and disguised it in their music, so that you were able to receive it without even realizing it, until it dawns on you.”

 

She also gave me a sense of responsibility and accountability for how I use my words. Not just to make a pretty sound or a nice rhyme but to communicate whatever truth I have in me. I thank her for that.

 

BK: I don’t meet many people that feel so comfortable and sure of their path in life.

 

SF: After I made the decision I had no choice but to go through with it.

 

BK: But why?

 

SF: Because I believed in it that much. My reasoning has definitely matured since I made that decision. At first it was as easy as "I’m going to do what I want to do with my life. I’m going to make music and I can start now!" I had whatever philosophical notions that I believed in to back that up. It was as simple as that. And then there were steps into that journey that further intertwined the music career and the spiritual relationship. Even though they were synonymous at jump they just grew together. I realized that the spiritual aspect is the foundation. It’s the root of it. It’s the root of the decision of just knowing that if you put your mind to something it will inevitably happen.

 

 


3/3





That’s the scientific understanding

in the spiritual realm

 that allowed me to gain the confidence necessary

to leave school

and pursue a career

based on the spiritual understanding

or scientific understanding,

or mental understanding,

or understanding of the law of attraction,

or the science of manifestation.

Even though those were terms that came later to me.”

 

 

But it was that and it grew to a point where music is just the soundtrack to my day to day experiences. The last thing it’s about is the music that I make. That’s literally the seal (Salomon claps) of this vast journey of life that now I’m living. And learning and applying what I learn and my actions and the fight to be persistent and to know what to be persistent with. There’s a lot of times where I got lost in putting my career before my spiritual journey. And it was moments like that where I thought to myself, ‘What am I doing this for again?’. Like, ‘Yeah I like music but who really cares? It’s not that serious’. And then life has somehow (Salomon claps) smacked me back into that reality. “Oh yeah this is what it’s really about. Thank you! I was a little lost for a minute.”

 

BK: But it’s true isn’t it? It’s not that serious.

 

SF: If it’s just about making music and making money and being successful, no it’s not. But if it’s about using sounds and vibrations and energy to unite people and to contribute to making the world a better place, then it is important. Especially when I see that in hip hop a lot of people have sold out their gifts and their ability to contribute towards such a cause. They just treat it like a job. For me it’s not just a job. Its literally a life, a saved lifestyle that can provide tools of guidance through thought and reason for next generations. Things that will inspire people to dig deep inside themselves and learn to cultivate and develop whatever it is that they are being called for within this divine order of things. Whether that language for you is science or religion it doesn’t matter. It’s an order that is holding and moving everything. The question is, where do you fall in line with that?

 

 

BK: I’ve got some rapid fire questions for you.

#1 If you weren’t a musician ...

 

SF: I probably would have gone to business school or become a basketball player. Those were my interests as a child: music, basketball and business. I would just put basketball to the side for now and say that my focus is music-business and spirituality or god or whatever you want to call it.

 



#2 Do you get stage fright?

 

SF: Sometimes. But that’s a good thing. I used to get a lot more nervous a lot more often. But it just became an act of conquering. An opportunity to trump nerves with confidence.

 

#3 On the topic of nutrition…

 

SF: I’m all about that. That’s another high of choice. The high you feel when you’re giving your body the right nutrition, not contaminating it with drugs or alcohol or bad food, oh my god.

 

#4 and exercise ?

 

SF: I do push-ups and I walk a lot. Back in school I was an athlete. Playing ball, I was always working out. I used to get into a lot of fights so I had to make sure that I was in physical shape.

 

#4B You got in a lot of fights? Why?

 

SF: I was a boy that resorted to violence sometimes as a natural means of letting off steam. It was pretty common in Harlem. That’s just what it was about. I had to develop a tough skin after getting bitched wherever I went. And then I would take that with me places where it wasn’t really necessary. I saw that in boarding school. That’s why I got kicked out, for slapping somebody. That’s how you learn to take all aspects of life and only use what’s necessary in the moment. It’s a different type of fight these days, more like an intellectual battle. In every aspect, whether it’s a social dynamic or building a business from scratch.

 

 

"It’s all about how good are you with this? [Salomon points to his head]  Growing up in Harlem was about, how good are you with your hands? Until you get older and then it’s about, how good are you with your guns? That’s when I stopped playing."

 

 

I lost a couple of friends to that. And we were still teenagers. My mom says that boarding school saved my life. Maybe. I started wearing a suit every day, in a new environment. Didn’t have to knuckle up or run from gun shots.

 

BK: Your mom knew what she was doing.

 

SF: Oh yeah. When my brother was born she moved out to New Jersey. She didn’t want to raise another child in New York, much less Harlem.

 

#5 On the topic of family and children…

 

SF: I have to prepare myself. I have to create a lifestyle that ensures my ability to provide for a family. Right now I’m just building up a way to consistently provide for myself. So family is definitely many years down the line for me. The way that I think about family is the people that I eat with, that I sleep with, that I work on common goals and interests with, that I bond with. I learn the value of family through my friends. It was through our kind of commitment to what we worked on together and to looking out for each other’s best interests that I have realized what my family has been doing my whole childhood. At the time I was too much of a child to understand.

 




 

#6 Reincarnation

 

SF: I don’t believe life ends. I believe your body dies. Your body is temporary. I believe it’s just a matter of transforming and continuing evolving, just passed the point of what we can perceive at this level. Nothing dies. If at your base level everything is a vibration (clap) and everything is energy, these are scientific facts. It’s a scientific fact that energy is never created nor destroyed. It only transforms. So just based on that understanding we’ll live forever, what we are in our essence.

 

#7 If you became a mute…

 

SF: I would produce, I would read a lot, I would embrace whatever aspect of whatever perspective that it forced me to take on. I would become a fucking writer, a mean writer. My relationship with women would be so interesting. I’d probably become really good with energy and hands.

 

#8 That was my next question! Relationships with women...

 

SF: I think as long as everything is honest, it’s all good. I feel like the success of a relationship is really predicated on ultimately how honest you can be with and about yourself. Whatever y’all are doing and what you want to do to each other. I think it’s that simple. But I don’t know though I’m still trying to figure it out.

 

#9 The industry and ass – kissing… 

 

SF: Good question. I don’t kiss ass. Somebody like me who is neither fake nor full of shit attracts the realest within the industry.

 

BK: I find that people in the industry are reluctant to open up. They just assume you’ve got some sort of agenda.

 

SF: Yeah it’s politics. The industry is shady. It’s grimy. That’s why I feel I’ve been blessed to have a very slow rise. I’ve seen a lot of people come before me and fuck up and I’ve been able to learn from their mistakes. I’ve been able to make many mistakes that I’d much rather make in the circle of the underground and unknown. They judge you hard, and they’re going to judge me hard regardless. I’m also blessed that I’ve developed some kind of callousness to all of that, where it doesn’t really matter to me.




What matters to me is nothing other than what I should be doing. Being able to listen to life and what it is calling and demanding of me so I can just perform my task in every moment.”

 

The industry is really going to be a test, as I continue to rise up and meet all of these different kinds of people; good, bad, evil, ugly, beautiful, seductive -- will I stay focused? Can I continue my cause and not get corrupted by temptation?

 

for more on the hip hop artist, visit his website at www.SalomonFaye.com