Author: Joycelynn Okezie
Did you create your project ‘God I’m Tryin’ while filming for the show?
No. What’s crazy is that me and Alonge talked about how this new album would be darker while filming S1. He would start going over ideas for Season 2 and I would joke about how I wanted this new album to be the new Makaveli. As season 1 ended I was in a bit of a slump creatively, out partying, living life, and not really feeling the urge to create any new material. It wasn’t until I was in a really bad car accident, and then the very next day my best friend was actually killed in a separate car accident, that I gained perspective. The inspiration came while I was in my most depressed state, it even went as far as me going to speak to a therapist because I was fatigued, couldn’t eat, and couldn’t sleep. I knew I had to find a way to channel all of these emotions, So God I’m Tryin is really a statement to myself about finding the fortitude to carry on.
How do you balance your craft of being an actor and a music recording artist?
Balance is key to any and everything you do. If I could balance my personal life as well as my professional life I would be much further along the path to true happiness. I haven’t quite figured that part out yet. As far as music I have been blessed to have two projects under my belt. Music comes to me easy, it could be a conversation and ill take one statement someone said as inspiration for a song. I haven’t mastered acting to my full potential, so I have to devote a lot more time to the craft.
What was the experience like for you on Season one of the series?
The experience of a LIFETIME! The things I’ve learned and the people I have had the pleasure of working with was like a dream. Season 1 is something tangible in our lives that we can always hold onto. I believe it will have more relevance as time goes on. Genius work.
What do you like about working on Season two?
The rise of conflict goes hand in hand with the rise of a superstar. This season will delve deeper into the characters psyche and lay everyone’s motivations on the table. After watching the first episode of the new season people will immediately realize that steeper paths are about to be explored. Alonge is going deeper into the concept of how black struggle begets different mindsets amongst the collective. This season will be monumental. Just wait on it…
What motivates you to keep going forward with your creativeness?
My daughter. She is my Muse. I motivate her to always believe in herself and her dreams, and in return, that same energy helps me stay level-headed and determined.
What’s your daughter reaction to seeing you on the screen?
My daughter is my biggest fan hands down She loves all the episodes and knows all the characters. She knows my lines sometimes better than I do! Watching daddy is something that makes her proud and she loves telling her friends that daddy is a star.
What was your initial thought after being awarded at the Minnesota Webfest?
I have to level with you and keep it 100. I knew we would win. Didn’t you see the outfit and shades I had on walking through the airport? Quan Banneker is headed to Minnesota to join his talented cast members to celebrate an achievement. When they called our name I hugged Alonge Hawes like never before. That hugged symbolized the blood, sweat, and tears that I know he put into making this dream a reality. The hard work that we ALL put into making the show possible.
The album art and tracks for your new project tell a story, how did you come up with the concept for “God I’m Tryin?”
These are real stories that I have been composing my entire life. After my friend died I knew it was time to take off this mask and let the audience see the real me. I always said that I wanted God I’m Tryin to be the album that could stand as one of my definitive works. If anything were to happen to me, this album could stand as my last words. No hype, no drama, no singles, no bullshit. If you still chasing radio play in 2017 your already running backwards. Just create.
What songs are your personal favorites?
I love them all for different reasons, so I would say it depends on my mood. Right now it’s probably Level Up. I listen to that record EVERY DAY. It’s undeniable. You should try it. It’s a great record.
Will your new album serve as your soundtrack for Season 2 of the series?
Absolutely. It is going to set the tone for Season 2. The album is a gateway to a dark hole of imperfections and inescapable consequences. An album and a series season going hand in hand with those types of sounds, writings, and visuals; you have something VERY special on your hands.