“It’s therapeutic," that’s how LA Sabree describes his love for Hip-Hop. While most people are captivated by the fame and the fortunes found within the music industry, he has always been more drawn to the cathartics of it all.
LA Sabree’s perspective could possibly be due to his upbringing, having been born and raised in West Philadelphia and forced to deal with the trials and tribulations of living in a tough environment - and specifically for him a neighborhood that boasts more statistics than success stories. For the emerging artist, Hip-Hop provides him with a means to keep his head above water.
His most recent single, “Trust,” off of his album “Contemplations and Reservations,” punches through slick cadences and weighty lyrical dexterity. The lyricism that LA Sabree offers up has us swimming in a pool of truth as he exposes his vulnerability for his audience to capture and relate to. Using a nostalgic Hip-hop tonal distinction as he hones in on the intricate storytelling methods in the verses he lays down, we find ourselves immediately gravitating towards his alluring magnetism.
The raw and gritty essence of his vocals have you hanging on to each word LA Sabree sheds in, “Trust.” A sense of relief and conviction is placed on the table as you are pulled into what he has to say over this mid-tempo, tantalizing instrumentation. The simplicity of the beat allows his witty quips and cold hard facts to shine as a centerpiece throughout his entire performance.
LA Sabree shows us a side of himself that not many want to offer up. He graciously does so as he exposes his artistic talents in an exposed manner. If this is an example of what, “Contemplations and Reservations,” has in store, we’re queuing up the mass of his work in our playlist as we speak.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, LA Sabree! Congratulations on the release of your single, “Trust,” off of your album, “Contemplations and Reservations.” Could you please share what the overall theme of this project is and what you want your listeners to take away from it?
That’s a great question. First and foremost, “Contemplations and Reservations” is the culmination of all the epiphanies I reached during the period of its creation, which started around 2014. In that time frame, I was going through the transitions that come with entering young adulthood, and was trying to figure out my place in the world - and more importantly exactly who I was on the inside. The project is a very vulnerable, and introspective piece, as throughout the nine records I grapple with my own vices, whilst coming to grips with the fact that society isn’t what I thought it was when I was a child. In addition, I realized the people I had around me up until that point weren’t who they seemed to be. From the angry and emphatic intro “Vainglorious” to the calm and composed outro “Carpe Diem,” the entire project is me being at peace with what I’ve become, yet recognizing the things that contributed to my metamorphosis. That’s what the overall theme essentially is. Knowing yourself, accepting yourself, recognizing the world for what it is, and moving accordingly with that knowledge you possess. You never truly know anyone, but after digesting this project, I hope that listeners could maybe relate to my trials and tribulations, and get a general idea of who LA Sabree is.
What musical and non-musical inspirations do you take into your creations?
I’ve never really been inspired by people. I know that’s sort of an odd thing to say, but growing up I didn’t really have role models that I wanted to mold myself after. I was more inspired by my surroundings; looking out my window every morning and seeing the shape that my neighborhood was in, seeing my mom raise me and my other brothers basically on her own, all of that created the desire in me to want more. My upbringing, the state of the community, the calamities and tragedies I’ve endured since childhood, my daily life, and all the things that encompass being an artist and trying to make it -those are my main motivators.
I create music because it’s a necessity for me. Creating art is what brings me peace and makes me feel alive. We’re all on our own paths in search of self-fulfillment, and for me right now making music will lead me to that.
Could you please share what the studio session looked like when creating, “Trust”?
I have a very particular process when it comes to recording music. “Trust,” like most sessions, involved me being in the studio basically alone. I prefer to record with no audience. No friends or anyone else sitting in on the session. Just me and my engineer. That limits distractions and prevents me from picking up other energies that could hinder my creation.
As far as recording is considered, I’m a serial perfectionist. Majority of the time I have a rough idea of what I want a record to sound like. A lot of artists sometimes do voice recordings on their phones, rapping over the beat to kinda see what the song might sound like once they’re in the studio. I do that occasionally, but more times than not me stepping into the booth and laying down the vocals is the first I’m hearing what my voice will sound like on that track. I typically use an initial recording session to come up with a reference, and then I listen to that version almost endlessly until the next session. And so I’ll often redo the same song five or six times at a minimum, working on it until I come up with a version that I’m satisfied with.
When it came to Trust it actually took me two sessions to find the right balance between sounding melodic and spitting in a raspier tone. My natural voice is very baritone, so it’s a very arduous process when it comes to figuring out the perfect match of harmony and bass. Sometimes my rapping voice comes off too aggressive, while other times I’m too laid back, or have too much inflection and swagger. It took a minute to iron out the kinks and find the middle ground between the calm and the storm so to speak. The next difficult task was determining how I wanted to structure the little interlude, as I like to call it between the end of the chorus and the start of the second verse. We tried playing with a few different effects, one was going for a stereo or radio type sound. I didn’t really have a concept for what I wanted to do, but I just knew I wanted to do something different, something that was unique and would truly stand out.
It was my engineer Blaqsun who actually came up with a solution. He suggested I whisper on the ad-libs. Once he found the right pitch and implemented some echoes we were in business.
What has been the biggest lesson that you have learned as an artist this year?
2021 was a very difficult year for everyone. As an artist specifically, it was hard not being able to create at certain points, or at least in the method to which I was accustomed to. The biggest thing I’ll say I learned is the other ways that content can be created to engage my audience. Even if you can’t get into the studio to record or film, there are a plethora of platforms at your disposal you can use to create art. Even if the world stops, there’s always a time and space for art. Never stop creating.
As we head into the new year, what goals do you have in mind with your music?
I want to be established. I want to be known. I want to be everyone’s new favorite artist. Those are the goals I’m prioritizing for next year, and really every year going forward. Getting my name out there more, and sharing my music with more people, and touching the world with my story. Hopefully, Contemplations and Reservations is the catalyst for that.