Liverpool hip hop artist Mico Simonde, is a man of many talents. Most recently he proved his lyrical ability with his recent album, The Inner Blues of Me & Marvin, but as well as this, Simonde is also an actor and generally an individual dedicated to artistic creativity. We caught up with the rising talent to discuss inspiration, rhymes, and his promising future.

We know that you are a big fan of Marvin Gaye. Who else inspires your music?

I wouldn’t say one, or even a handful of people particularly inspire me. If I did, we’d get into the dread cliché of discussing the ‘when I was eight years old’ story. I have what I’d call ‘season’s of inspiration’. By this, I keep myself in the realm of discovery – not imitation. Imitation without an innovative continuity is, I would say, the deadliest enemy of any art, be it singing, dance, poetry – you name it! I believe in my own estimation, that if the artist has particular inspirations, he will be tempted always to imitate the Great Originals. As an artist, you must ask yourself, where do I fit in? Consequently, the artist paves a way for himself such as to create ‘imaginative space’, or, room for himself within the existing musical market and history. Unlike literature, modern music is still very young. There is hope for originality. Those who see this seize, and will do it imminently. I have a set of people whose work I’m most impressed with. These are people who provided a ‘stimulus’ to me, and not necessarily ‘inspiration’ (in the strict sense of the word). One person of high musical order I will name is Mozart. I learnt the art of motif variation ultimately from him: the ability of producing a singular motif in multiple ways. I try to imagine myself as child who knows very little. The more one says he knows, the more he will fall to habit. Children on the other hand discover everything anew. Each person has a preferred way of working.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I have been listening to a few albums lately. One is ‘Welcome to Jamrock’ by Damien Marley. Papoose is another (boy’s a beast!). Re-visited a classic album too – ‘It Was Written’ by Nas.

So, what are your thoughts on the current state of hip hop?

As to the current state of hip hop, there are many things to be said depending from which angle. Much has been said, already. I’ll leave it at this; a quote from Da Vinci: ‘Take heed lest in thee the greed for gold suffocate the love of art; and remember that the conquest of glory excels the glory of conquest. The memory of the rich perishes with them; the memory of the wise endures forever.’

As a lyrical rapper, what inspires and influences your rhymes?

People, relationships, life and language. Life itself is a musical. At the end all will be judged by how well they sung, danced, and kept in time to the music of life and heaven. As music artists we are now an extended metaphor of this artistic truth. For no one goes to a concert to hear the end or else, the end itself should become the show. We go to the concert to experience music in its totality. A start, a middle and ending. As an artist I feel I am living my music as a way of being – it’s a way of knowing. In essence, it is to paint the face of God. This is what inspires me. As my voice tutor at drama school noticed, the word inspiration has the word ‘spirit’ within it. Inspiration is really not imitation, or, to ‘be like’. It is an inner knowing – something intangible. I believe God is The Great Muse. The Original Creator. I would like to think my music is inspired by Him.

What was the thought process behind your latest project The Inner Blues of Me & Marvin?

The process behind The Inner Blues of Me and Marvin was simple, ‘It’s a weird idea. Go with it!’

We know that Mico Simonde is also talented in the acting department. What do you enjoy more music or acting?

I don’t think it’s a question of which I enjoy most. Both lend to me a different mode of expression. Expression here is the key word.

What can we expect from Mico Simonde in the future?

Expect my promotional EP Chandelier Moonlight sometime this year. I’m happy with it. Thanks to you all at OnTheComeupTV!

Mico Simonde’s latest album, The Inner Blues of Me & Marvin is available for download now.

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