Wonderland.

NEW NOISE: SELASSIE

The Ghanian-hailing, Berlin-based multi-hyphenate talks carving his unique approach to artistry.

Photography by Arnaud Ele

Photography by Arnaud Ele

In many ways, Ghanian rapper and music maker Selassie still embodies the tenacious kid from Dansoman, Accra with illimitable dreams, he once was. “My sound is related, actually, to how we used to walk to school and just move freely with a sense of innocence,” he explains. His vibrant approach, unfiltered lyricism, and sound experimentation reflect the optimism and fearlessness that we often lose with age. Interlaced with jazz tendencies, African melodies and dustings of hip-hop and house, Selassie aims to use his work to subvert stereotypes and the mentality of kids from Africa to Europe, referring to it as a “a transparent conversation with himself”.

Not least with latest track “Symbols”, written whilst on holiday in Ibiza shortly after the birth of his child. The youthful effervescence he thrives from is now also sought from his daughter, naturally at the heart of his family, who he’s recently returned to Berlin with. Major life events are ripe for being explored using the lyrical prowess of Selassie, however, and thankfully, there’s a new EP on the way affording ample space to flex his abilities.

Head below to read our interview with the writing star about writing “Symbols”, using his work to change perceptions, and his plans for new music…

Hey Selassie, how are you doing? Where are we speaking to you from?
I am good. I feel excited about life right now. I just moved back to Berlin. This time with my lil family, so it kinda feels different.

What was the first thing you did when you woke up this morning?
I wrote six pages of thoughts.

How has the year been for you so far? Do any peaks or pits spring to mind at all?
I have just been building and creating a lot actually . I was living outside amongst nature for a year with family, so I was really just painting and making music. I was building sidewise on eia001.com, a creative moodoard for colours and fun and xyz.123.world, the most exciting label project I co founded with some friends. I just got back to Berlin. Had the chance to do some exhibitions over Art Week. It seems like my baby came with structure and blessings so currently I just am excited about life.

Let’s talk about your music! When did you first realise you wanted to be an artist?
I started like four years ago but I am pretty much the type of person that wants to understand all the steps in everything I put my mind and heart to, so I just really am figuring things out and growing with them. I think it’s important to make people undertstand we are all still growing everyday and in every moment . So we might as well just flow and find out. With the right effort you will eventually find out a lot about your self.

Photography by Arnaud Ele

Photography by Arnaud Ele

Do you have any particular inspirations?
My daughter is my biggest inspiration. Daily life, friends, actually just life – nature, love, pain, healing. Everything can inspire me.

How did you cultivate your sound? Did it come naturally or was it something you had to develop?
Kind of through memories. I grew up in Ghana, in Keji as much as in Accra Dansoman. It’s related, actually, to how we used to walk to school and just move freely with a sense of innocence. But I also moved to Germany when I was 16, so there was also a different culture that engages me here. It all kind of just came together. Also my mum always had a banging playlist.

Congratulations on the release of “Symbols”! What were your main intentions when writing this track?
I was somewhere on the hills in Ibiza in a beautiful house with my girlfriend and my baby was just born, so we were kind of on holiday, but after the second week I called a friend I produce music with and said its time to make a mixtape. They just pulled up and we started writing. This is the first song I recorded for “EIAXYZ Radio”. It feels like a new transition in my life and I am just following my intuitions.

Your work aims to break the stereotypes and mentality of kids from Africa to Europe, how does that translate within your efforts?
Trust your intuitions, fuck the program, love yourself well.

What is most important to you within your artistry?
Authenciticy.

And finally, what’s next for you? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I will be dropping “Aqua” as a next single and an EP called “EIAXYZ Radio” to kind of introduce these two worlds of mine

NEW NOISE: SELASSIE

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