INTERVIEW: AMIRSAYSNOTHING AKA THE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
It all started with a idea...It's just another weekend night in Los Angeles which means that there is some sort of event going on in the city somewhere. As the story goes you'll end up somewhere that someone else may have told you about & then when you get there you realize the whole city along with your friends & people you know are at this event as well. One of those people whom may not just a person but a actual friend of mine being Amir. Being that I showed up to the venue damn near at end, that makes total sense to why & how I ran into Amir already drunk with three international women following him around that I can guarantee he met that night & I'm sure they've grown an immediately liking towards him. We recognize each other & it's love immediately - Hugs, loud yells, big smiles, had shakes, introductions to whom we are with, things of that nature. As the night goes on seeing other friends around the venue Amir catches me again & expresses his interest to shoot with me as he's been doing since we've met about two years ago. He explains the concept he would like to shoot & though drunk the idea did sound interesting but I to a certain degree I blew it off.
For some reason I noticed Amir a lot more throughout this particular week & every time I seen him he hit me with the same idea/concept to shoot as his did when I believed he was drunk at the last event. By this time I knew it was real & I knew he was serious about making this happen. So it happened - the concept of the shoot Amir came up with was the idea of wearing normal street clothes but having a hospital gown over the top layer (no shirt under) which you can see in this feature.
It took one full day of sunlight to get everything I needed in order to not only take these photos of Amir but to get an incredible insight of who Amir truly is as a artist & as a human being more importantly. He talked to me bits & pieces about his life, where he grew up, his family, his ex girlfriends, places he's lived, music & more importantly places he loves to eat. It surprised me that after the day was all done that I finally realized that the day we did this shoot was the actual first time myself & Amir had hung out outside of seeing each other at events or at work.
Amir stepped into the music game as a true fan of music then turned student of hip hop to now being a hip hop artist of his own. Amir always had a very noticeable love for classic hip hop specifically. One thing you knew about him is that he loves 80s, 90s hip hop more than anyone you may know. Songs you may have never heard - he knows all the lyrics to, albums you have never seen - Amir either has it or has purchased it before & I'm talking about hardcopies. That's Amir. A secret talent Amir had along with him being a flat out comedic person was his gift of word play, pronunciation, & metaphoric symbolism turned out to be his freestyling ability. No missed words, no stumbles, fumbles, just all complete sentences that actually made sense. I had the pleasure of seeing this all for myself when he opened up for a friend of ours at a show at precious Delicious Vinylon Sunset. He did a full on 30-40min set of pure freestyles with beat transitions in between. To this day that is still one of the most impressive things I have ever witnessed musically & what made that even more special was it was Amir's first ever performance & the birth who you will come to know as hip hop artist AmirSaysNothing.
No worries people, Amir was never in the hospital, he wasn't hurt in anyway but that's exactly the point of who amir actually is. He's an unpredictable black guy from the east coast who has a voice tone of a skater kid from Venice, who has some sort of dreadlocks/braids thing going on & has a love for classical hip hop. You won't find many or anyone with similar traits. But for someone who says nothing at all, heres something Amir has to say...
WHO ARE YOU & WHERE ARE YOU FROM?
Amir: I am person who likes to make words dance, you can call me AmirSaysNothing, I came into this world in New York City, and I’ve touched a couple places since then, you can find me in LA now.
WHAT IS A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AMIR?
Amir: I usually wake up and either try and recollect what I was dreaming about or spend the first hour of the day procrastinating under my comforter until I’m ready to go try and make something out of myself, after that it’s usually try and lock myself in a studio for the entire day and hang with the homies for a bit before I turn in for bed, wash, rinse, repeat.
FOR SOMEONE WHO HAS SO MUCH TO SAY, WHY “NOTHING”?
Amir: It’s like an oxymoron, anyone who knows me or has seen a show, or heard some music knows usually I’m running my mouth ahah, It’s also the kinda thing where with my music I try to make things with a point, something I’m trying to leave the listener with and when you hear that “AmirSaysNothing”, you might think to yourself “this guy isn’t saying nothing” or maybe you’ll be like “this is nothing” ahah either way it works, and it makes me laugh.
it’s also a play on that idea that Erykah Badu sang of, “the man that knows something knows that he knows nothing at all” its my take on that idea, “the man that says nothing”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD SPOT IN LA?
Amir: There is so much good food in this city, I really can’t say that it doesn’t change all the time, but years ago my friend Carissa took me to Gilbert’s El Indio in Santa Monica and that was our spot, also Cha Cha Chicken on Ocean Ave is fire, B.Y.O.B., Carribean food spot.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO MAKE MUSIC?
Amir: Since I was a kid I always wanted to make music, I always just thought it was such a long shot and I would say rather than one person, or one event, it was something that different people at different times adding their piece of coal to my fire that ended up with me taking the leap, I owe my friends.
HOW HAVE YOU ACCEPTED THE POSITIVE RESPONSES YOU’VE RECEIVED AFTER RELEASING YOUR LATEST TAPE “MEDIUM RARE” & WHAT DID YOU TRULY GET OUT OF THE TAPE AFTER YOU FINISHED?
Amir: Ahah I have, it’s a trip man, my entire life I wanted to do what I am doing now, working on what you love, and working to keep doing it at higher levels, I’m just grateful, I have these moments where I’m looking at the sky, on some talking to God shit like “I don’t know what I did to deserve any good fortune I have received, but thank you” and What I gained from “Medium Rare” was Confidence, truly learning to be Confident in yourself and that sense of purpose.
WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT FOR AMIRSAYSNOTHING?
Amir: “EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH”
You heard it hear first!! ahah my full length LP I have been working on, getting it done and it’ll be out in 2016, it’s been about 3 years of like mentally getting myself right for it, I’m really getting deeper into myself and my views on things or what I’m trying to tell the story of, a working person, making that transition into ascending into being where you want to be with your life. I’m happy with how it’s sounding and coming together, hopefully all of you will be too. Other than that I’ve been traveling playing shows, just got back from Tacoma, WA did a show at ETC Tacoma, had a great time up there, I leave for Charlotte, NC in like two weeks for a show, which will be dope, my moms gonna be there for the first time and I might cry, then I’m back in LA playing with Sage Francis on Jan, 8th, so the short answer is trying to stay as busy as possible so I can keep this gig aha.
WHERE IS “11TH & MICHIGAN”?
Amir: Santa Monica, It’s the corner where Carissa’s apartment was at the time she passed, I stayed with her mom there for about a month after her passing, and I’d say that’s where this all started for me, It represents a turning point in my life so I dedicated a song to that.
WHAT IS YOUR MAIN GOAL YOU’D LIKE TO GET OUT OF MAKING MUSIC?
Amir: I just want to be able to contribute to something that helped make me, continues to help make me who I am, and now be able to be a voice in that is all I’ve really wanted man, I know I keep saying that and it sounds corny but its the truth, I just want to add my little plot that says “I was here” and also just be able to have a BBQ one day where I’m sitting with my family, my friends, people I’ve looked up too and still do, like Sean (Slug of Atmosphere) and Killer Mike who I’m fortunate enough to call friends, keep the lambo’s, that kinda shit you can’t buy.
ONE RAPPER YOU’D LOVE TO BATTLE?
Amir: Ahahah ahhhh mannnnnnn, who I’d like to battle? I’d love to battle Busta Rhymes, I am a fan of him as an MC and I just think it’d be crazy ahah, I’m not saying I could beat him but I’d like to just get the opportunity to trade rhymes with him, or maybe B.O.B. cause i’d like to ether him ahah not a fan.
ONE THING MANY PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT YOU?
Amir: I am a weird trivia nerd, I just like to learn, and absorb, people make fun of me because I’ll meet people from places all over and be like “I know someone or something from there”, random ass obscure places like Andrews, South Carolina ahah.
DOES THE RING YOU WEAR DAILY MEAN ANYTHING SPECIFIC?
Amir: The wedding band looking one I got on my 20th birthday, I just was like “I’m 20 now, I want to get a ring” maybe it represents crossing from my teens into my twenties, as you see I can be pretty sentimental ahah, the big ring I got around march last year, while finishing up “Medium Rare”, again I think transitioning into where I am now, on some spread your wings shit, they’re there for that.
SHOUTOUTS? (SOCIAL MEDIA, PEOPLE, ETC)
Amir: You can find me all over your Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, all that at @amirsaysnothing, my EP “Medium Rare” is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Spotify, & Apple Music, if you play it, know I’m thanking you every time, soon the 2nd single from “Employee Of The Month” is getting dropped, so keep it locked.
My Parents for giving me this Life, Carissa Cole for being with me forever, My Brothers and Sisters, Naj for being my A&R ahah, My entire family, Darnell, Josh, Zak, Kevin, Alan, Adam, Umi, Kacey, all my (G)’s, Cy Kosis for helping bang this LP out, “here goes nothing”, all the producers who have been apart of this project, I’d tell everyone who you are but I don’t wanna ruin the surprise. Irving Hillman, this is it man, Kayla Reefer, Sean Daley, thank you bro, seriously, Jenn Klein, you got me on the radio, thank you, I love you, Killer Mike, Mike Demps, Ben Harper, my brothers, all my big homies, Spanto & BornxRaised, CLSC, your hoodies helped me finish this LP, a lot has happened this year and a lot of people have showed me love, from my people at Shade 45, to my people at Suspend Mag, I appreciate you all, thank you for sending me kind words to wake up too, if you’ve come to a show, or played a song, or even just heard me kick a freestyle outside a bar, that shit means more than you know, I am thankful and I’m buying everybody Hyundai’s, drink a lot of water, stay away from crazy girls,
Shot & interviewed by Kacey Lynch