New Music Alert from Neo-Soul Gospel Recording Artists, HeIsTheArtist, talks about his new Americana EP, Roots on IRMIXRadio.net
Martone: Congratulations on the success of your single Boom hitting number one on the Gospel/Christian charts in South Africa. Tell our readers how you came up with the concept for the song?
HeIsTheArtist: Thank you! The song is actually based on a relationship I had with a church drum player. Although the relationship ended on a sour note, it taught me more about life and brought me closer to God.
Martone: Where were you when you found out that your song had reached number one?
HeIsTheArtist: I was in my bedroom actually. I spend a lot of my time in my bedroom meditating and it was truly a joy to receive the news right after being in peace and solitude.
Martone: Who inspired you to sing?
HeIsTheArtist: I was actually discovered on Instagram singing covers by a producer from my hometown. He encouraged me to get into the studio and sing professionally. After the success of my first single “Honey” getting on national radio that is when I knew I could have a successful career in music.
Martone: Your style is unique blending Gospel and Neo-Soul together, and it has paid off for you seeing that it hit number one. Was this something set out to do with blending the two styles of music together?
HeIsTheArtist: I grew up listening to Pop and Neo-Soul music. Singing gospel music in the traditional way is not authentic for me and I always want my music to sound authentic. So, blending the Gospel and Neo-Soul was definitely intentional.
Martone: What type of response have you heard about the single Boom, stateside?
HeIsTheArtist: The song has definitely had more international success. The music in America that is popular now is very sexualized. But I’m glad that I’m staying true to myself both musically and morally.
Martone: You have an EP that came out the day after Thanksgiving, called Roots. Please tell me about the project and how you came up with the concept behind it?
HeIsTheArtist: The EP alludes to my experience upstate New York as a kid living in the snowy city of hills named Oneonta. My babysitter use to play country music all day long (which is why this is an Americana EP). But as a whole this, EP is about appreciating the aging process and the wisdom that it brings.
Martone: I read that you were inspired by a sermon from T.D. Jakes, and that it leads you to give up a secular career for a gospel career, how has your fanbase responded in the change of direction?
HeIsTheArtist: I lost some fans and gained some new fans and that’s ok. Like a tree leaves will die and fall off every year but next year the tree will grow taller and stronger.
Martone: Since becoming signed to Bentley Records under your bio name – Leemann Bassey, and then deciding to go the gospel direction, did you receive any pushback from the label?
HeIsTheArtist: I knew that gospel music wasn’t the direction they wanted to go. The label was more about creating controversy to sell music than about creating meaningful music that will last for generations. There was no overt push-back, but I knew that it was time to part ways.
Martone: From what I have seen with gospel recording artists a lot of their looks or personal style seems to be on the conservative side and looking at your photos they are anything but conservative. What has the response been from your peers in the gospel world in terms of your look?
HeIsTheArtist: My Neo-Soul gospel song “Boom” was originally released by the Christian HipHop radio network Trackstarz (and for the most part Christian HipHop artists dress edgy like myself). The only backlash for my look would come from the traditional gospel music market (and Christian Hip-Hop and traditional gospel music have always butted heads).
Martone: I understand that you have the Christmas song Holly Jolly, did you write it and when will it be released?
HeIsTheArtist: Yes, I wrote it, and it was released on November 6th on all major digital music outlets.
Martone: It looks like the end of 2020 has been very busy for you, and from looking at the release dates of the single, Landslide in October, Roots the EP, the day after Thanksgiving, and Holly Jolly the Christmas song, this is a very impressive release schedule. Is your life as busy as it sounds, or are you just taking it all in stride?
HeIsTheArtist: I’m just taking things day by day because with the COVID pandemic you never know what tomorrow will bring. But I stay immersed in prayer daily though.
Martone: COVID-19 is the number one concern all over the world right now. How are you managing to perform, and setting up dates with live performances, or are those things on hold at the moment?
HeIsTheArtist: Everything is on hold in terms of live performances but I will continue to perform covers on my Instagram page.
Martone: Every artist that I interview for IRMIX Radio, I always ask them about career highlights we know that the success of Boom, reaching number one, is one of your highlights are there any others that you can share with our readers?
HeIsTheArtist: My medley of “I Want You Around” by Snoh Aalegra and “Sometimes” by Britney Spears going number 1 on the iTunes Jazz charts in South Africa is another career highlight.
Martone: Do you find that having a single reach number one and celebrating the fact that you have reached number one is momentary gratification, and then you have to figure out what to do next?
HeIsTheArtist: I do, but that’s why I make sure to create meaningful music that reaches people in a positive way because impacting someone else’s life positively is a satisfaction that can last a lifetime.
Martone: Earlier, I asked about career highlights, are there any low points that you would care to disclose, and if so, how did you overcome that period in your life?
HeIsTheArtist: Low points were definitely when I was learning how to write songs on my own. The songs at first weren’t so good and I was struggling, but I stayed immersed in prayer and practice and now am able to create songs on the fly with any instrumental backing.
Martone: What advice would you give to an up-and-coming singer-songwriter looking to get involved in the business of music whether it would be secular or gospel music?
HeIsTheArtist: Never give up. There will be many roadblocks in your way because of the gigantic talent pool. Everybody wants to get their music heard but there’s only a limited amount of spots. But nothing feels better than beating out millions of people for a spot on major national and international airwaves.
Martone: What do you hope that 2021, will bring for you and your career in music?
HeIsTheArtist: For my music to be heard by more people. The more people that my music is heard by, the more people that it can possibly brighten the day of.
Martone: Is there anything that you would like to say to our readers that I had not asked about in your career?
HeIsTheArtist: At this point in my career, the journey is only beginning. More will be revealed as I experience it in the coming years
Martone: Where can our readers find out more about you and your music?
HeIsTheArtist: On all major digital outlets at the link below:
Martone: Thank you so much for your time today. Before I let you go: do you have any final thoughts that you would like to share with our readers?
HeIsTheArtist: Yes, to keep believing, keep achieving, and always remember God loves you.
More about HeIsTheArtist
HeIsTheArtist Bio (Christian, NeoSoul, Jazz)
Heistheartist (He Is The Artist) is an American Christian singer-songwriter from Central Islip, NY. Formerly a secular neo-soul singer signed to “Bentley Records” under his biological name “LeeMann Bassey,” Heistheartist discovered that his true calling was with the Lord after hearing an inspiring sermon by TD Jakes online one day. That day he was inspired to teach the world about the Lord, like TD Jakes did with his Sermon, but through music.
His single, “Boom (Remastered)” hit #1 on the Christian/Gospel charts in South Africa. New EP, “Roots” drops on November 27th.
Twitter – https://www.twitter.com/HeIsTheArtist
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/SignedLoveTheArtist
Website – https://artistecard.com/HeIsTheArtist
NEW “ROOTS” EP DUE OUT NOVEMBER 27TH!
NEW SINGLE, “LANDSLIDE” DROPS OCTOBER 12TH!
MTS Management Group