Susanoô: who sows the music reaps the storm

He first became known as the beatmaker behind hit songs with Maes, Ninho and Ben Plg, then he took center stage with a first EP “Ichi” released at the last fall. On the eve of the release of his new project “Nytoriu”, we went to meet the rapper in the context of Printemps de Bourges, where Susanoô was part of the prestigious selection of iNOUïS 2022. Portrait of an artist who sows his music as he reaps the storm.

Hello Susanoô, can you introduce yourself in a few words for those who don’t know you?

I am SusanooI’m 24 years old and I do mixed rap-song.

Can you tell me about your first memory with music?

The earliest I can remember was my grandmother who used to play French songs for me while cleaning on Sundays. At the time it bothered me, because I said to myself “What are these old songs?, old-fashioned”. Looking back today, I realize that it influenced me a lot indirectly.

What were the artists?

There was Brelof Claude Francois, many lyricists. I remember when I started trying to write, and I got past my “I write anything to do like other people” period, that I started writing for myself, I turned in that direction. Direction not in terms of song, but rather in how to tell a story with the text.

And your parents, what did they listen to?

They were listening to African music. I am of Cameroonian origin, so they listened to a lot of makossa and other traditional and popular Cameroonian styles. There was French song too, but that of the 60s and 70s. It was my brother who made me fall into rap, with Sefyu and Alpha 5.20, I went to his room and I squatted the CDs. This musical mixture reappears today in my pieces and in the way I try to understand music. I really try to mix all these influences, each of which represents me.

Did you quickly realize that all these musical references were going to become real influences in the composition of your music? Or did it all happen quite naturally?

It was indirectly: at first I was just doing songs that I liked. Then after a while, people started telling me that I had to choose, that I put myself in a box, that I position myself. I thought about it a lot, I told myself that I was going to stop that to concentrate on that… Then I said to myself that in fact it was a shame. And today, I try to defend this plurality there. I don’t see why because someone wouldn’t listen to everything I do, I would change part of my music. That’s when I said to myself that it was good to keep all these facets.

We meet you today at the Printemps de Bourges, because you are part of the iNOUïS selection for the Printemps de Bourges 2022. Can you tell us a little more about how it is going?

We have a week with contributors from different fields of music, we have people on publishing, on management… This kind of thing that can help when you are alone on your project. In the morning we have workshops and trainings, then there are the concerts of iNOUïS since Wednesday. We all meet a little later at Spotify Garden to breathe a little and regain strength to continue with the concerts of the headliners.

Do you feel like it brings you ?

It brings me a lot on two aspects: firstly, I meet a lot of professionals. I try to ask them as many questions as possible, to get a lot of advice. This year the sponsor of iNOUïS it is Abd Al Malik, so we were able to talk with him about his vision of the artist in particular and his vision of art more generally. The second aspect on which it enriches me enormously is the fact of being surrounded by lots of artists of roughly my generation who face the same problems, who have the same desire, the same slab. I feed on everyone, and we have evenings together in the evening, it goes into improvisation around the music, and the mixes are super interesting.

Have you gone to see the other iNOUïS in concert?

I saw everyone, except when I was playing and during the promo.

The iNOUïS system is a national system that identifies artists throughout France with multiple branches spread over the territory. Do you think that when you are an artist, it is necessary to live in Paris for the development of your project?

I’m a little torn, because me, for having lived in Paris a bit small and now live in Mans… I think for some it’s really important. In my entourage I see it, there are many people for whom it is a priority. I think that from the moment you have contacts, there is no longer any obligation to be there. I am of course Le Mansand since I do everything myself at home, there are things that I don’t need to pick up at Paris, such as recording studios. No doubt there is a scale where it begins to become mandatory. Then Le Mansit’s not far from Paris (laughs). It’s just that if you’re already missing things at home, they won’t be anywhere else.

There is your new EP which has just been released, how are you feeling at the dawn of this release?

I’m happy in the sense that the project is exactly as I wanted it to be in terms of musicality, subject matter, discourse. I’m apprehensive because like every time you go out, you wonder if people will be interested in all that, as we often tell more or less personal stories. It’s a little scary, but I’m happy, I’m waiting to see the feedback, and the first ones are pretty good. Then there I am still immersed in the iNOUïSthe EP is out… It’s an intense period, I’m in a little euphoria.

Your project will be called ” Nitoryu », which designates a Japanese sword fighting style, just like your stage name, it is a reference to Japanese culture. How did your affinity for this culture come about?

It started in college, I was a fan of history and mythology in general. I really bled Greco-Roman, Egyptian mythologies… I was stuck at the CDI with the books (laughs). When I started to get a little bit round, I walked away from the Mediterranean to go a little more on the side of theSub-Saharan AfricaI’South Americathe countries Scandinavians…To finally arrive at the Japanwhere I discovered a folklore that really spoke to me. Susanoo : if I took this nickname, it’s because when I started rapping, I rapped quickly a bit like Hayce Lemsi or Eminem. I told myself that I was as fast as the wind, “the God of Storms”, and the God of Storms is Susanoo in Japanese mythology, so it went from there. And later, we made this parallel with Susanoo who faces the Oni, who are demons. And we played with this theme.

On your new project, we go from songs like “Force” to “Premier soir”, the titles are very eclectic. Also combining the cap of beatmaker, is it you who took care of all your productions? If so, is it something you prefer?

On all the songs that I do, we have to be on a percentage of 80/90% where these are my prods. It’s not necessarily that I prefer, it’s rather that in fact, naturally, it happens like that. When I started beatmaking, it was above all to make songs that would correspond to my personality 100%. The more it goes, the better I manage to convey what I want to say as much in the lyrics as in the music. But I’m not closed, I do a lot of collaborations with other beatmakers. If I have nothing to add, I don’t add anything, if I’m stuck, I don’t hesitate to ask for help.

How is your composition process going?

I begin by writing, accompanying myself on the piano or the guitar. Once I have a good part or in any case the structure of the song, I start the production and arrange it according to the 70% of texts which are already there.

Is there an artist or a beatmaker that you would like to give strength to that you don’t think has enough exposure?

As an artist I would say Jack Flaag and Allebouand as a beatmaker hobby and Hood. And you will realize that I made you a 100% selection Le Mans.

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Susanoô: who sows the music reaps the storm


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