3300+ Climbing Blog
Interviewed by: Celina Nunez
Photos approved by: Slendah
Where did your name come from?
- In 10th Grade, my friend Charlie and I were getting off the bus. I must have been talking to him about my music as we were walking back to our houses and he asked me what my artist name was. I said I was still undecided but I was using either J2A or DJ Fresh Beatz at the time lol. He then told me I should call myself “Slender,” because I’ve always been skinny. I took off the -er and added an -ah for a more Afrocentric vibe and it’s been Slendah ever since that day.
Any quotes that have mentioned you online or in an article?
- I’ll be featured in different articles very soon. For now, this is my first published appearance! We [DJ Slym and I] were just recently able to work side-by-side since I’ve moved to Orlando in February of this year, but things are moving along quite rapidly!
Tell me a little bit about yourself (a bio for example). Basic information such as:
- Slendah (born Joseph Albany Jr.) is an American hip-hop recording artist, singer-songwriter and producer from Port St Lucie, Florida. His genre can be described as “Funk-Hop,” a form of experimental hip-hop, which transcends from his abstract, yet laid back thinking. Just within this past year of seriously pursuing a music career Slendah has already opened up for Cash Money Recording artist, Caskey, and garnished the attention of The Network FLA created by Florida born music heavyweight, DJ Slym.
The now 22-year-old began taking his musical skills seriously in the ninth grade after a freestyle between some friends on Halloween. The positive feedback from his peers and the purchase of a microphone immediately put him on his musical journey. As a teenager, he went by a couple different stage names while discovering his style but ended up with “Slender,” given to him by a bus mate highlighting his slender frame. He revamped the name into “Slendah” and it has stuck ever since! Though never having finished high school, he is always willing to learn to expand himself as an artist overall. He clearly states his vision, “to make a point that I can achieve what I want to achieve even if I’ve made some mistakes”.
The emerging artist’s most recent work (unreleased) is an EP entitled “About Time”, which relates to the infinitesimal topic of life. Slendah is very much into chakras, the metaphysical self and healing crystals. These interests along with his experiences help hone his craft and turn it into music with a message, the most important being unity. On the production side, he takes influence from unlikely methods, such as sampling microwave beeps or wind chimes to create a psychedelic beat. His musical inspirations include legends such as Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Prince, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, and the list goes on! The influences have undoubtedly contributed to the development of his sound and fashion. Slendah can be seen wearing his statement afro paired with a funky get-up and “get-down,” whenever he performs. Currently located in Orlando, Slendah is working intensively to release more projects and spread an everlasting message throughout the world.
What is a typical day like for you? What do you like to do?
- Every day is a routine with different variables. For instance, I wake up when I wake up, but I will always wake up. I like to exercise once I get up because it gets my energy flowing and also motivates me to get clean. Afterwards, I nourish my body, take care of my hygiene, and use the bathroom, not necessarily in that order. If I don’t have some place to be, like a meeting, performance, or some other scheduled event, I usually turn on my computer, smoke a bowl while I wait for it to load, then get started with whatever daily tasks I’ve assigned to myself. In between sitting on the computer, I will do numerous other things throughout the day. I love to go on walks, read eBooks, and I’m always singing to warm up my voice. My current roommates and I get into very intellectual and enlightening conversation, but we also jam, play videos games, and watch cartoons! There are 24 hours in a day, and there is so much we can accomplish daily so I like to embrace everything I can when the time is right.
What type of music do you perform?
- I am very versatile and have music in many different genres like Hip-Hop/Rap, R&B/Soul, Funk/Jazz, Electronic, Pop, and Reggae. I plan on touching all genres and subgenres in some way.
Though I love all music, I generally consider my “niches” Experimental Hip-Hop, and Funk-Hop.
What inspired you to do music?
- I would say my experiences because of music is what initially inspired, and still inspires, me to continue with my career path. Right before, or in the beginning of high school (2009), I attended a little get together at one of my friends’ houses. At this point in time I wasn’t making music, I had a few friends there who rap, so I decided to join in on their freestyle session. I must have spit something dope cause they all told me I should make music and were surprised when I told them I didn’t. I bought a computer mic from Walmart for $20, downloaded Audacity and some beat tapes from Datpiff and made my way! Ever since that day, music has been providing me with the most amazing opportunities and experiences that I can now only imagine myself doing music to reach newer heights.
What is your process for creating a new song?
- That all depends on the moment and the song. My process for my own personal creation is never bound by routine, but I may intuitively do some things in routine because of my learned habits. I am constantly leaving my comfort zone in order to become open minded to any possibility and allow creativity to flow graciously at its own leisure.
My process for creating songs with other people is always different because I compromise the parts of my methods that clash with another person’s methods of creation, thereby pushing me out of my comfort zone. When I create songs with another artist in mind, I like to hop into the shoes of that artist, and try and write from their perspective. I’ll write in their range, use sounds that I feel relate to their essence, and I make the vibe correspond with their style as my best to my ability.
So really, there is no set process, other than making sure I am always doing something to grow and expand my skills and knowledge.
What artists do you look up to?
- If this is limited to music artists: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, J Cole, Wiz Khalifa, Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, Billy Joel, Bill Withers, Smino, Big Sean, Goldlink, Andre 3k, Lil Wayne, Travis $cott, Young Thug, Joey Bada$$, Sampha, Panic! At the Disco, Death Cab for Cutie, Camp Camo, Santana, Future, Ed Sheeran, and Raury off the top of my head. These artists, as a whole, have moved me in unforgettable ways, though I look up to all and any artist out there doing what they love.
What does your personal performance consist of besides singing, if anything? Ex. Guitar? Piano?
- I use my voice as my main instrument and I produce many of the works that I showcase. I am growing very comfortable with my stage presence and enjoy crowd engagement during my performances. Some dance routines are soon to be implemented so I’m very excited to shake my groove thang and boogie with the crowd.
What accomplishments have you had as an artist? Don’t be scared to brag!
- My biggest personal accomplishment as an artist is developing my skillset to its current state and making the decision to stick with DJ Slym and The Network FLA. Yes, I consider it all one accomplishment because it was all manifested through similar intention! We are onto some amazing things this year and I am grateful and feel truly blessed to be an oiled cog in this machine!
What is your ultimate goal as a musician?
- As a musician, my goal is to be involved with every song in the Top 10 on the Billboard charts, at any given point in time. As a person, my goal is to be able to reach a state of comfortability in my life that allows me to bring any idea I have into fruition. As an artist, my goal is always keep learning and growing.
What have you done to reach your goals as an artist?
- I have put music before every other aspect of my life in order to achieve the goals I have set for myself.
What makes you different from your competition?
- I produce like Kanye, sing like Prince, rap like Kendrick, engineer like Quincy Jones, design like Paul Rand, and love like the Dalai Lama!
Do you have any big plans in the future as an artist? Any upcoming gigs that people can go see?
- I’ll be performing at The Network Music Conference this year in November. Last year was amazing and this year has so much more to offer so I’m really looking forward to it. We have a few important meetings out of Florida, some big opportunities to present some music to some powerful people. I’ll also be finalizing my About Time “FreEP” which will drop at a later date, but you can stay updated by entering your email at Slendah.com! I also have some singles that are being finalized visually, and I’ll appearing at many festivals around the country such as Zen Awakening in Wildwood, FL and A3C Music Festival in Atlanta.
What do you think you need to get where you want to be in your career?
- To build a team of driven intellectuals who know what they want and can come together to make a collaborative effort towards a specified intention.
Why do you think you would be a good candidate for artist of the week?
- I think I am a good candidate because I bring a message of community. “Lift together or be singled out” is a line from my song Heebie Jeebie, on my aforementioned About Time project. I believe positive messages of assurance, promoting unity and understanding, and communication is what we need to be able to motivate every person we come in contact with, in order to remain progressive as a species and as an energy!
Anything additional or unique that you would like to add about yourself?
- The beauty of being an individual in a world of individuals is that everyone is unique, even when embracing clichés. Everyone’s perspective has its differences and/or its similarities and I am out to let everyone know that we are all special, we are all gods. We are the universe experiencing itself, so I live every day knowing I can live however I want, and I want to remind humanity of our power and capability.
Any links to your music
- Slendah.com - There is currently no music online though you may enter your email on the website to be alerted when there is!
Any Social media you would like people to follow you on?
Follow us on social media for Artist Development tips, features, interviews and more!
This is a blog following the students' work at 3300+ Climbing.