16 and Recording. Sanusi Breaks Rap Conventions to Make the Music he Loves
Timi Sanusi is a 16-year-old recording Rap and Hip Hop artist from London making music to break conventions. Youth Arts Online takes five to find out how.
So, I go by the name of Sanusi, I’m 16, and Music for me used to be just a hobby if I’m honest. Once I got into it, it was so hard to stop whilst I did my exams. Especially when you consider the possibility that you can make a living out of doing something this fun – making music.
So what inspired you to start out as a recording artist?
I guess I liked the way other artists could express their views in a song, and leave a lasting impression. Take Michael Jackson for example…
Now that you’ve recorded a few tracks, do you think you’ve developed your own distinctive style?
I’ve tried to be unique with my songs. I write about things that are relevant to me and people my age, instead of what rappers usually rap about – girls, cars, money, etc. Heartbeat, my first song, is all about that idea of youth. (see below)
What’s it like to record in a studio?
It’s so weird to hear yourself back on a track. You can’t really explain it but it’s a really nice feeling when someone you don’t know says they like your song.
Have you written your own songs or collaborated with another artist/musician?
Yeah, I write all my own lyrics, and try to include puns and a play on words as much as can. I reckon it makes rap more interesting. I’m currently in a collaboration group called FRSM (Forever Recording Straight Money) along with two other rappers: CristianMJC and Verbose.
What are you currently working on?
I’ve been trying to make as many songs as possible now that I’m free of any GCSE exams. I have seven songs recorded that will be released later this summer. You can check them out if you type ‘FRSM Sanusi’ into Google.
I’ll be sure to have a look. What about performing live, is it something you’ve done, or would like to do? And where would you like to perform, if so?
If I’m honest, performing live would be an amazing opportunity, but because the music industry is so competitive I may not get the chance to. If it all goes wrong, I’ve got my grades to fall back on…that is, if I get them! *laughs*
Joking aside, you’ve raised an important point – what you do is not easy. What is the greatest challenge for you as a recording artist?
The greatest challenge has to be trying to get people to hear your songs, and especially people who can gain you more recognition.
On the subject of gaining recognition: what do you think about TV talent shows?
Well I think these shows focus on the image and popularity of an artist too much, and not always on talent, but I’d say it’s probably the one of the best ways to gain lots of fans.
The big question is: why do you love what you do so much?
It’s just something I do and enjoy; I just like the idea of earning money doing something you love and its always nice to have people in your group to compare YouTube views with!
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
I’m optimistic for the future. At 21, like I’ve said, I hope to be doing something I love, whether that’s music or something completely different.
Finally, have you got some advice for any young artists wanting to start out like you have?
Just keeping working at it, really. If making music’s your passion, then go for it. The sky’s the limit!