Music doesn’t necessarily have to go through the mind to get to the soul.
– Leo Syris
Museache would like to present you with our first premiere artist Leo Syris rapper/bibliophile and his debut mixtape Crash Course.
The best way to describe Leo Syris, is “Sixteen” by Rick Ross feat. Andre 3000. 16 bars just aren’t enough. Hit play on Crash Course below and read our interview with Leo to get some background info on Leo himself and the process of Crash Course.
[iframe style=”border: 0; width: 100%; height: 494px;” src=”https://bandcamp.com/EmbeddedPlayer/album=3682907280/size=large/bgcol=ffffff/linkcol=e99708/artwork=none/transparent=true/” seamless>Crash Course by Leo Syris
If I can inspire anything, I think that’s really special. That’s what I’m on this planet for.
Museache: What does music mean to you?
Music was my first form of education. It never fails to disorient me into a new form of understanding. Music just puts my whole soul into perspective.
M: Describe the concept of ‘Crash Course’?
Before I decided to focus on music, I was gonna be a high school teacher. But I still feel like a student. Performing music gives me the same feeling as standing in front of a classroom. Crash Course gives me a chance to continue educating myself, especially musically. I only started actually rapping a couple years ago. As a student, I have a long way to go. Credit and thanks go to Aziz for coming up with the name of the project!
M: What do you want someone to walk away with after they finish listening to ‘Crash Course’?
I want people to hopefully view music the way I saw it grew up. Music for me growing up was the moral educating of the soul. I know if someone has an emotional connection with my music, something new might happen for them. If I can inspire anything, I think that’s really special. That’s what I’m on this planet for. That’s why I set out to be a high school teacher, then stopped when I realized what music is to me. I’m still learning.
M: You’re inspired by Yeezus, Blu, Andre 3k.. What drew you to these rappers in particular?
I didn’t start out listening to hip-hop. I grew up on reggae. Buju Banton’s voice and complex rhythms reeked of real emotion. The emotion dictated the direction of the flows. No matter what the subject matter, you could count on that building up of emotion like a preacher’s sermon. Kanye, Blu, and 3 stacks aren’t just great story-tellers in the traditional hip-hop sense. In them I recognize the same heart wrenching emotion that added so many layers to their stories. All these artists prove, at least to me, that words are only a vehicle for emotions. I think that gets lost, especially in the world we live in today with so many different forms of communication.
I disagree with a lot of things my favorite artists have said. That inspired me to do what I do now.
M: I know you read a lot but where have you found the most inspiration from books or music?
Books or music? I have this debate often with my sister. She got me into reading and her love of books got her through law school. My biggest argument is that music has just been around longer than books. Books and music have done similar things for me. I can recall times where both music (with and without lyrics) and books have brought me to tears. But, for me, music tends to be a bit more concise a form of communication. It’s just more accessible. James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison can expound upon the most eloquent ideas in 400 pages. Blu, Kanye, Styles P, Mos Def and a lot of other artists have all taught me the same topics in five minutes or less. Music doesn’t necessarily have to go through the mind to get to the soul.
M: Drop some knowledge.
I love academia and I still plan on being a teacher one day, but Crash Course tries to do what academia can’t and that’s critique our culture without trying to remove the one doing the critique from the culture. Crash Course is guilty of any accusation it makes. A lot of people have described me as a contradiction. I’ve gotten that as both an insult and a compliment. Hopefully, Crash Course insults and compliments. If somebody hates something I said, good. Hopefully, they’ll want to do something about it. I disagree with a lot of things my favorite artists have said. That inspired me to do what I do now.
M: Thanks for the chopping it up with me, any final thoughts?
Thank you for listening to this project. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I know it’s not exactly the easiest thing to take in, and I appreciate anybody who appreciates what I’m trying to accomplish. Hell, I appreciate anybody who gave it a chance.
*Shouts out to Aziz, who handled the mixing/mastering of Crash Course*. Make sure follow Leo Syris on Twitter and SoundCloud to keep up with his journey. This won’t be the last you hear/see of him. Be sure to grab Crash Course here.