With the MMVAs last night of course we are all thinking who is the next artist to keep our eye on for the next big thing.
I had a chance to interview Deji better known as ESQXR about his music and his life.
Q: How did you come up with the name ?
A: Lupe Fiasco was giving an interview on why he thought the best rappers always had two names. His interviewer asked him at one point ‘ Are you going to go the route everyone is going and shorten your name – and he said if anything I will extend it, maybe to like Lupe Fiasco Esquire.’ When I first heard that I looked up the definition and it’s based in medieval times similar to the position of a knight. I gravitated towards that name. Since then everyone has been calling me esquire.
Q: Who are some people who inspire you?
A: Charlamagne Tha God is one of my biggest inspirations right now just because of what he is doing for radio and media. I also host a podcast called “For The Culture”. It is based in Toronto, and we try to talk a lot about pop culture. Drake of course, he has done a lot of things for the city. PartyNextDoor, I really studies his production and it swayed my musical influence and also Jay Z.
Q: What music got you into rapping ?
A: OutKast, there was a song they put out with Sleepy Brown called I Can’t Wait . Andre 3000’s verse is what inspired me to start writing. I listened to a lot of Wu-Tang Clan, and the original members. I try to keep every songs very different and very unique.
Q: Are there any places in Toronto that you go to get inspired and write?
A: When I am driving especially during the evening or at night I am usually playing some music, that is where I can random bits of inspiration. So I will pull over and park and write a few ideas down.
Q: When did you start writing and rapping ?
A: I started when I was in high school a decade a go just for fun. It was mainly just my high school friends and after school, we would go to my friend Miles’ house and record random stuff. And that early stuff is important because when you first start out you don’t really know what your voice sounds like.
Q: What would you say is the phrase that you live by.
A: Enough Talk. Execute, Execute and Execute.