Have you ever heard a song that made you think? No, I mean really think. Not “Damn, this beat’s hot!”, or “Yeah dude I heard him call out Drake!”, I’m talking about a song that took you to another place. A song that brought you back to a certain time in your life, and made you feel a certain way. Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but the thing is, it’s truly special when you do hear this type of song because it reminds you of what music’s truly capable of. It reminds you why music is the only true universal language, the ultimate storyteller. It reminds you why you even listen to music in the first place.
For Grand Rapids, MI hip-hop artist, Yohannes (who’s making his first ever appearance on the #NSM homepage) and his newest release, “Her Choice”, this is the vibe we get, and it’s one that sticks with you long after the song is over.
The song plays on the very common narrative of not understanding a woman’s intentions and being lost between feelings. You feel dumb for continuing to go back to someone who’s proven to be a let down but at the same time you can’t quite bring yourself to let go. When listening to “Her Choice” you can hear Yohannes’s disappointment in his girl whereas you can also hear his willingness to stay connected to her and feel as if there’s still something that’s there between them even if he knows there isn’t.
Complimented nicely by 3rdEyeLover ‘s unpredictable production, Yohannes floats back and forth between feelings of uncertainty and feelings of confidence. The song summarizes the rollercoaster of a ride relationships can be, and from a listening perspective gives off the impression of a one on one conversation between Yohannes and the girl this song is about. It’s raw, it’s relatable, and most importantly, it’s real.
I was lucky enough to have a chance to talk more in depth to both Yohannes and 3rdEyeLover about “Her Choice” and what went into its creation. Check it out below:
Yohannes: As far as inspiration for this record, as far as me being the recording artist, it was really all natural feeling. I didn’t write a single letter of the lyrics on this song. All came from the heart. I recorded it in a basement, sometime last year with my bro Lyfe Harris, in Atlanta, Georgia. He played the beat, and I just said what came to heart. To be honest, this was the second recording. The first one I did the same thing, but it got lost. I told him fuck it let me go again, and reached for the same feelings.
Bryan: I like how the track feels very one on one, meaning it sounds like you’re talking directly to the girl this song is about. Was that a goal of yours or something you thought about when making the track?
Yohannes: I was definitely thinking about the girl I made the song about while making it. It’s focused around a specific relationship experience.
Bryan: From a listening perspective, at some points in the song, it almost feels like you sound a bit insecure… Would you agree? Why do you think that is?
Yohannes: There’s definitely some insecurities and vulnerabilities in there. Like I said it came from the heart, I’m human.
Bryan: At other points you sound very sure of yourself, sure of who you are and your intentions. Where do you think the lines drawn between these two different feelings?
Yohannes: As far as a line being drawn between being very sure of myself and my insecurities, I’ve kinda erased that line. It’s pretty blurred if there is one. I’m back and forth a lot.
Bryan: I feel this track’s very relatable in the sense that its narrative is one that’s done over and over, yet one that never gets tiring because it can be told in so many different ways and so many different melodies. With that being said, what do you want people to take away from this track?
Yohannes: I just want people to take away the feelings I outputted in this record. Yeah I’m hurt. Yeah I’m confident. Yeah I’m second guessing myself and this girl. Yeah I’m angry sometimes. Yeah the sex is great (most) times (*laughs*). Yeah I’m a little confused. YEAH I’m all over the place sometimes. It’s a relationship, we all go through this stuff. It’s ok. Just work towards betterment. Seek a way to release those negatives, and work towards positives.
Bryan: *Talking to 3rdEyeLover*, Can you talk about what went into the creation of the beat and the song as a whole? Was it a track that was made specifically for Yohannes?
3rdEyeLover: This a song we’ve been sitting on for a few months and I’m excited for people to finally hear it. I made this beat in December 2013 in the garage of Lyfe Harris’s brothers house. Initially the beat was for Lyfe and I always used to press him to record on it, but one day I checked my gmail and I had this dope, dope song from Yohannes on that beat and since then it’s been a wrap.
Bryan: Going back to you Yohannes, there are some very raw lyrics in this track. Do you ever contemplate using certain lines before you write?
Yohannes: I DO contemplate my lyrics sometimes. I try not to. I hate when I do. I could say I’ve blurred that line between feeling what I want to say and knowing what I want to say as well. It’s bittersweet.
Bryan: Following that question up, what was the overall writing process for this track like and how does it compare to how you usually write your music?
Yohannes: I can’t really give you an answer to how I usually write my songs, hooks and or verses. I do what feels right at the time. I have tons and tons of methods.
Ready to be premiered and shared with the world for the first time, stream “Her Choice” above and allow yourself to be let in. Really see where the music takes you. Really think.