Hovering between the Middle East and the United States, Miami-based Sudanese rapper, Hoosh, is best known for his socially conscious music, which tackles issues of identity, race, and belonging, all captured from his unique perspective and lived experience.
To start of 2021, Hoosh released the visuals to his deeply emotional track, ‘Nights’, appearing solo and inhibited while touring the place he calls home, the magical city of Miami. Painting his pain and fears onto the walls of the city where the heat is always on, Hoosh delivers a tortured portrait of himself struggling between self-loss, addiction and the crave for inner-peace - a gloomy illustration of what it really means to fully lose control of yourself and wanting to let go. The video, directed by photographer videographer, B Wade, encapsulates all of these vices and struggles, mirroring the artists lyrics with meticulous shots, in the streets and in golden wheat fields, whilst using a VHS aesthetic to accurately deliver his intimate, yet now public, tormented thoughts.
Visually pleasing and musically soothing, we caught-up with the rapper to talk philosophy, depression and experience with the industry so far amidst the ongoing pandemic.’
The lyrics of ‘Nights’ are quite deep and seem quite meaningful to you. With 2020 having been the year where live music stopped, do you feel like you are unable to connect your music and feelings with your audience properly ?
It has definitely gotten a lot more difficult. You can’t mimic the energy you get from performing or watching a live performance. It’s hard to put into words. From the performer’s perspective, I get the opportunity to preface my songs, make eye-contact with the listeners, answer questions and interact with the audience on a grander scale.
Only experiencing the digital side of a release lacks that full circle feeling of creating a song. My favorite thing to do in the world is perform, so not being able to do so takes a mental toll. However, I must say I got some amazing fans who continue to provide me meaningful feedback online. Whether via comments or DMs, these conversations let me know they relate to the music, especially so when someone messages me about songs helping them through a rough time.
In the song you talk about depression among other things. Was COVID a catalyst for you to start opening up and touching up on this issue ?
Not really. Depression is something I’ve dealt with for a long time and something that is deeply embedded in my family. For some reason I’ve always been very honest about it, sometimes maybe too much and I think I get that from my mom. Nevertheless, ever since my first song, I’ve felt like I’ve owed it to my audience to be authentic. If I’m going through or experiencing negative emotions, I choose to explore them in my music. On the off chance that it resonates with at least one listener, it's all worth it.
One of stoicism’s main fundamentals relies on self-control and being able to let go of a situation you have no control over. Through ‘Nights’, it seems like you talk and unfold your pain and try to move on from this by any means possible. Who did you make the song for? Or maybe the right question is what do you make Nights for?
I made nights for the people who, like myself, try to numb their pain through self-debilitating means. When I made the song, I often went through my weeks feeling bogged down and depressed, looking for the nearest opportunity to free my mind. The only way I knew how at the time was through intoxication. I’d wait for whatever day I had the excuse to get fucked-up with friends and proceed through my night with an uncontrollable intensity. Once the bender was over, I’d sink right back into the same issues I left behind only this time, way deeper than when it started.
Kickstarting this new year with fresh visuals feels like an appetiser for more to come, what can we expect from you in 2021?
I have so much in store for 2021. I have an EP coming real soon and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. This project contains quite an introspective feel that my fans will gravitate to, setting the stage for a new beginning. And this new beginning, my friend, is a level up in all my music. I wish I could touch on these new vibes that have recently solidified, but I’m sure they’ll come to the forefront when it’s time. Be on the lookout for the GTN Collective (Gone Till Never).
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