I know what a lot of RapReviews readers are thinking right now: who the funk is Sejour and why is he being featured on this site? Well, Sejour is an MC from Brooklyn who, with his Queens partner Samson, makes up one half of the rap duo Samson and Sejour. S&S have been on the scene for a number of years now, but it’s been the socialite scene thanks to their relationship with Mark Ronson (of Here Comes The Fuzz fame). Their single with Miri Ben-Ari, “Women Make The World Go Round,” has been making noise in certain circles and they’re continuing to build with a number of talented artists. 2007 looks to be a big year for this up and coming duo which is why we sat down with Sejour for this exclusive interview.
AB: First off, since you’re a relatively new artist, give me your history, who you are, where you’re from and how you got into music.
Sejour: We started out hanging out with Mark Ronson, he’s like one of our brothers, I met him like ten years ago, when we were like 17, 18. We started going to clubs together and then he started DJing and I was always like his right hand man everywhere he’d go. He started producing and me and my partner were rapping so he’d make records for us and we’d release singles with him. We released singles in London, Japan, and created our name out there. Mark Ronson eventually became a big DJ, so that’s where he’s at now. I still speak to him every day. That’s how I kind of walked into the music business and the socialite world, but I’m a regular dude from the hood and our music is feel good music. We’re like the real essence of Hip-Hop, we’re not really about the kill your moms, we’re more about the struggle and what feels good and how to make good music. People compare us to De La Soul meets A Tribe Called Quest meets EPMD, all those names, and it’s a great compliment because we’re just tryna bring back that early 90’s feel back to the game. That’s basically our ultimate goal.
AB: Musically who are some of your influences and how do you feel those influences are shown in your work?
Sejour: I love the Marvin Gaye’s, the Bob Marley’s, Buckshot. Feel good records. Records that have depth to them, records that have meaning and records that are saying something, where music is like a weapon. I think your voice can be a weapon. Everything we do, conceptually, we try to add a concept to it, but also meaning. The early 80’s (are an influence) and of course 2Pac. I’m a big fan of 2Pac. I love the struggle, I love what he’s about.
AB: A lot of your influences have passed on, do you have any live influences you’d like to work with?
Sejour: I’m actually doing a record with Buckshot next week.
AB: Awesome. Now, the music scene is always pretty crowded, so how do you feel you’re going to stand out from the myriad of artists and groups out there?
Sejour: First of all the music speaks louder than words. I use a lot of services like Digiwax, that’s an internet service that gets music to everyone and I’ve been using them to work my records and the feedback from the DJ’s around the world is that they love the record. We shot the video for “Women Make The World Go Round,” and we have an infrastructure where it’s like we have our own label with huge investors, so I know how to press the button. Our first single has Miri Ben-Ari and we also have records with Saigon, so it’s not like we’re just coming out the woodwork, we’re creating a solid fan base that knows and respects our music. There’s no one kinda doing what we’re doing as far as real Hip-Hop, no one really has the clout that I have to press the buttons. I know how to make a record, I know how to press the buttons, I know where I’m going with this, so it’s kinda a win-win situation because the record “Women Make The World Go Round” is a universal song and the feedback we’re getting is tremendous. Artists aren’t really doing music like that these days. We have an infrastructure that’s gonna make it happen. It’s not like I’m looking for an infrastructure, I already have it.
AB: It’s funny you mentioned the single because my next question is about that. “Women Make The World Go Round” features Miri Ben-Ari, how’d you link up with her?
Sejour: We met through mutual friends. We respected each other’s visions and she loved my music, I love her music and we just started working together. She’s actually one of the executive producers on my album, I’m also working with Rockwidler and myself, we’re the executive producers of the album. We’re going to bring a good sound. What Miri brings to the table is that melodic violin and she adds a different element. She adds more soul to my soul because I’m all about soul when it comes to music. That’s missing in the game, a lot of artists are not bringing a lot of soul to the game. I love what artists are doing but that soul is missing, that feel good vibe is missing, and I don’t really think I have competition in that and if I do I’m not really worried about it because I’m very confident in making great records. Once you make good records everything else is undeniable, it speaks for itself.
AB: So the executive producers are Rockwilder, Miri Ben-Ari and yourself. That’s some pretty exclusive company right there.
Sejour: Exactly. I’m working with them and Mark Ronson is also a producer on the album. I did records with Todd Terry. I’ve done records with Teflon. It’s not like we’re coming out the woodwork and no one knows us, we’ve released singles already in different areas and different countries. I have a great response and I’m gonna keep taking this where I need to take it to, until everything goes to the level it needs to be.
AB: The song is a positive one, and I know you’re looking to bring soul back but are you looking to make more socially conscious music, as well?
Sejour: Yeah, spiritual conscious, that’s how people categorize it, but I just like feel good music. I think “Women Make the World Go Round” is a commercial record but I would like to bring just feel good music, I could be talking about women and to me it’s not conscious but women, you’ve got to respect women and if people call it conscious that’s just their state of mind, I just call it like hey let’s make a good record to honor the women and make feel good music at the same time. We’ve got another record called “Struggle” featuring Saigon talking about the struggles of people’s lives. I don’t really call it conscious. We have a song talking about kids missing their father. I have a song called “Still The Mother Of Your Child” where we’re talking about all the baby’s mothers telling them to still give the fathers a chance, sometimes they make a mistake but that doesn’t mean they can’t see their kids. We have street records where we cater to the street audiences. Kinda like what Saigon did, he went to the street but his ultimate goal was to make records that’s gonna last, not just go with the wave and do a record just because it’s like what’s hot right now. A lot of artists are selling their souls but once you stick to your true colors it lasts for a long time. So I don’t really call it conscious. I think everyone has a real conscious side to them, they’re just going with the flow of the game.
AB: Since you’ve rolled with Ronson for so long are you looking to break into that socialite world that he became so large in?
Sejour: I’m actually already in it. I grew up with Mark Ronson and worked with Adrian Brody, as well. I’m already in it, that’s why I can get the buttons pressed easily. The lifestyle world is key to every artist.
AB: So do you enjoy that world?
Sejour: No, I just enjoy what it can bring me. It’s all about opening doors to get to the next level. I just enjoy making good music, to be honest, I don’t really get fascinated with any world.
AB: Finally, what’s the message you want to get across before you’re done?
Sejour: We gotta respect ourselves, we gotta respect our women, we gotta respect each other. We just gotta understand music is a weapon. Yeah you can follow the industry and do all the street stuff, that’s easy, but at the end of the day be true to yourself. If you’re an artist and you feel like you can make a difference, make a difference. You don’t have to stick to the same formula. At the end of the day be true to yourself, be yourself, respect your women, respect your peers, and that’s about it. Just have good karma because everything’s a domino effect. Every record you do, everything you do is a domino effect, so just be true to yourself man.