Published on December 1st, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson0
Michelle Visa: Da Realness
Let’s hop right into this new single and upcoming video of yours; “Blanco”…Tell me about this track in particular — How did it actually come to fruition?
I was in a studio in N.Y.C. when Havoc played the beat for me. I instantly loved it. The sound was so dope! It mad me think of spittin’ that crack. That’s when I started using my lyrics as metaphors to describe how my bars are addictive and can hit you like a drug. Griselda Blanco was a big time female dope dealer, so I knew Hip-Hop heads would feel this.
For it, of course you teamed up with both the “Bronx Bully” [Fred the Godson] and Havoc of Mobb Deep, how did you even manage to make this collabo happen?
I’ve known Havoc for a couple years. He’s a mentor to me. Griselda Blanco was “the Godmother” of cocaine, so it was only right to put Fred the industry “Godson” on the track.
With that being said, how then would you describe and/or define the style of music that you create and perform?
I feel everyone has a story. My music is just about things I’ve been through myself or seen someone I know go through it.
Reflecting, how did you first discover your musical talent?
My dad was a bodyguard for the legendary singer Rick James, so I was exposed to music at an early age. When I was 8 years old, my older cousin came up with the idea to start a rap group. I became the lead in a group called the “Troublemakers.” We used to perform at block parties and talent shows.
Who have been your greatest inspirations musically and why?
Growing up, I loved Lauryn Hill , Da Brat and MC Lyte. Those were artists that made me want to rap. I was also a fan of Sade, and girl groups like TLC and Xscape.
What do you feel you offer the music industry that we don’t already have in other performers?
Basically realness. This is who I am. Some people may not like the music because it isn’t really stuff you can party and dance to. But, I will paint a picture for you lyrically.
Have you encountered any problems in getting to this point in your career?
We all know this industry is male dominated. It’s tough being a female emcee. Either people don’t believe you got what it takes, or they want you to sleep with them in order to help you.
When can we, the masses, expect some new music from you?
I’m working on the Black Card mix-tape, which should be out by the end of this month. Just trying to lock in some more collabs and a DJ to host.
What do you want people to get from your music?
I want people to know its okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be different. I wanna teach young girls its okay to be strong and stand up for what you believe in.
What has been your greatest achievement so far?
My greatest accomplishment has just been able to network and meet some of the people I’ve looked up to in the industry. For example; Mobb Deep, Nas, Damian Marley, Slaughterhouse, etcetera. I also am an on-air personality for 93.7 WBLK, so just being on the air Monday (through) Friday is amazing. I’m just proud that I’ve been progressing and not just stuck in one thing.
If you could play any venue in the world, which one would you choose and why?
Radio City Music Hall is huge! I went there to watch performances and shows when I was a kid. If I could perform there, that would be a dream come true.
If you could collaborate with any one artist, living or dead, who would it be and why?
An artist that I would like to collab with would be Big L. People didn’t even get a chance to hear what he was capable of. He was a true MC and his life was cut short due to violence.
One track of yours that you think defines you and why?
I’ve got a track called “Everyone’s Tears,” with a really nice Sade sample. It talks about real life social issues that our youth face everyday. I think it defines me because I was the young person going through those struggles. It’s based off real life events.
Is there anything I left out, or just plain forgot to mention?
Well, find me on SoundCloud at: michelle-visa…I also manage a teen girl Hip-Hop group called Overdose, so be on the lookout for them.
Any “parting” message(s) for our readers?
Parting words…Keep pushing, never give up!
By: Todd Davis