November Fall 2021 Edition
Interview by Isaac Davis, JR, MA, MBA
Answers by Edi Callier
Edi Callier is an amazing Atlanta-based singer/songwriter who has built up an impressive resume with his music that will delight music lovers worldwide. His soulful sound comes from influences of the Indian, African, and Latin music community that is the best part of his sound. I had the utmost pleasure to speak to this amazing new artist that certainly is paving the way to bring his talent to the masses. I am proud to share this beautiful interview with our readership to shine life on a star in the rising.
Isaac: What’s your background? What got you into making music?
Edi: Hey Isaac! I actually grew up in a pretty musical family. My mom is an amazing vocalist and my dad plays just about everything. Growing up, we always had a studio in my house that I would escape to; to play all of the instruments when I needed to clear my head, and also, with my parents both being ministers, I’d get a chance to use all of the stuff I’d learn every Sunday at church. I started creating my own music when I realized that I had a story to tell and a way to tell it through something I love.
Isaac: How long has music been a part of your life?
Edi: Pretty much my entire life. My parents told me that even as a baby before I could speak, I’d be in my crib singing my ABC’s, haha.
Isaac: If it wasn’t for music, where would you be now?
Edi: Honestly, I have no idea. Music is such an integral part of who I am so without it, I can’t even imagine who I’d be.
Isaac: How did you come to realize that music was the way forward for you?
Edi: I’ve had several moments of realization over the years but most recently, it was when I realized just how much music meant to me. Throughout my life, I’ve had some major wins and setbacks with that thing we call love but ironically I’ve written so many love songs and I’ve been singing them for ages. I was in the studio recording one my songs called ‘Ready to Love’ and after trying over and over again to get the perfect take, I realized the problem was that I just wasn’t in the kind of love with anyone that I needed to be in… until I realized that the song wasn’t about my love for another person but instead about my love for the one thing that has always been with me through the good times, the bad, and the worst: music.
Isaac: If you had to sacrifice one skill, which would you least like to let go, and why?
Edi: Sheesh, this is a really hard one. I believe it would be my vocal dexterity, ability, and freedom. If I couldn’t do anything else, I would at least like to hold onto that because that’s the one instrument of all of the ones that I play that I can fully express all of the feelings and ideas inside of myself with, with or without any other means.
Isaac: Who are your biggest influences in music right now? What does their music mean to you as an artist?
Edi: As far as current influences go, I’m a huge fan of artists like Anderson .Paak, Miguel, Imagine Dragons, and Beyoncè but I’d probably say that I’m most inspired by a lot of the indie artists that I’m surrounded with on a daily basis that I’m blessed to have in my life. Cocoa Sarai, The Band of Brothas, Davion Farris, Emi Secrest, Jade Novah, Hadiya George, and my bro Chriz Vaughn just to name a few. Seeing their talent and their drive encourages me every single day as an artist to continue to push forward, create, innovate, and be who I was created to be.
Isaac: How would you describe your style of music?
Edi: Honestly, that is a really hard question for me to answer on my own, haha. Someone actually told me recently that they’d describe me as the musical lovechild of Prince, The Weeknd, Bruno Mars, George Duke, Danny Elfman, and Miguel that listened exclusively to Indian, African, and Latin music for a year.
Isaac: In what way do you aim to make a difference?
Edi: I want to inspire love, peace, and harmony around the world and encourage others to do the same. As a child, I saw so many people on major platforms doing so much to change and heal the world, but I didn’t see a ton of them in major places that looked like me. I want to be a part of shifting that narrative so that the chocolate children of the world can feel like they also can make a difference big enough to change the world.
Isaac: Who’s your fashion icon, and why?
Edi: If I had to choose one, I’d say Lenny Kravitz and honestly, if my dad wasn’t already dope, I would definitely take Lenny as the runner-up dad.
Isaac: What’s the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Edi: Honestly, I’d probably get in trouble for even mentioning some of the things that have gotten me in trouble. I’ve never personally been one to do any outlandishly crazy things, but I’ve been one in the past to associate myself with people that did and… let’s just say that I’ve been kicked out of several churches for it.
Isaac: Where is your career heading? What’s the vision?
Edi: To the moon and the stars above. The vision is to be a household name with music that inspires people across the globe the way that I and many others have been inspired by the likes of Prince, Michael Jackson, and Elvis as a child. I’d like to one day sell-out Wembley Stadium and Madison Square Garden, walk across the stage to accept awards at the Grammys, and I’d like to see and hear myself in movies like the ones I’ve always dreamt of being in.
Isaac: How do you put words to paper? What’s your creative process like?
Edi: I let my heart speak. There’s this constant flow of music, words, and emotions coming from the inside of me so putting it down on paper and wax is like pouring through a bottle top from the source of an ever-flowing river. Creatively, I usually start with what’s moving me most at the time whether it’s a melody, a sequence of chords, lyrics, or even just a concept that I’d like to express. I think one of the things that I’ve been greatly blessed with is the ability to create just about anything that comes to my mind, so I don’t have to wait to let out an idea.
Isaac: When it comes to performing, what’s your style?
Edi: My goal each time I touch a stage is to provide an experience that will stay with people for the rest of their lives. It’s definitely an amalgamation of the rock and roll legends, pop icons, and the soul-moving singers that I grew up seeing in church all flipped to fit my own personality and alter ego.
Isaac: If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Edi: I’d love to have a Woodstock-esque festival somewhere in the hills of New Zealand. I believe that would be one of the most beautiful experiences I could ever ask for and being able to be on stage in front of people also experiencing that and bringing them music, vibes, and artistry would be a mind-blowing life-long memory.
Isaac: What’s your favorite project so far, and why?
Edi: I would say my most recent project, ‘LOVE: the eXperience, Vol. 1’ because the process of creating it was therapy for me in a time when I really needed it. I put together the project at the top of the pandemic and it’s a collection of my life experiences over the prior two years and a walkthrough of my process of healing through those tough times. One of the things that I love about it the most is that when I made it, I wasn’t creating it for the stage or for anything in particular as I had in the past but I was just letting what was in me flow onto the record to make a body of work unlike what I heard on the radio and akin to what I’d love to listen to instead. To this day, I love listening to it and that’s such a novel feeling for me because, though I’ve always made work that is great for its intended purpose, I truly enjoy this project to my core.
Isaac: How do you see your sound evolving in the next couple of years?
Edi: As I continue to develop as a musician, vocalist, writer, producer, artist, and person living this human experience, I can see myself developing something far different than I’ve ever heard from myself and as I begin to collaborate with more artists and producers, I’m excited to see what we can create.
Isaac: What makes you different from other artists in the industry?
Edi: I believe we all have our own musical DNA and for those of us that create with that in mind rather than the thought of being “like” or “more than” another, we’ll always be unique in nature.
Isaac: Who are your biggest musical influences? Would you say you’re at all like them?
Edi: I grew up on the music of Prince, Michael Jackson, EWF, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Nirvana, Aerosmith, Danny Elfman, Kim Burrell, and John Williams. I would definitely say that pieces of each of their journeys and their sounds have been integral in who I am today as an artist and as a person and to be able to say that I in any way am like them would be an absolute honor.
Isaac: When driving, is there a certain track that has you blasting the stereo with the windows down?
Edi: That changes a lot actually! From my catalogue, I’d say the go-to windows down song would be ‘Float Away’ but recently, I’d definitely say ‘Cochise’ by Audioslave has been the soundtrack blasting in my neighborhood every time I get in the car alone.
Isaac: Which artists do you think you would harmonize best with?
Edi: Beyoncè, Rihanna, Alex Isley, H.E.R., Jacob Collier, etc. This list could go on forever.
Isaac: If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be and why?
Edi: This list could also go on forever. Among that list would be Anderson .Paak, Bruno Mars, Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, Beyoncé, Willow Smith, Khalid, Miguel, 6LACK, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Jhene Aiko, Lenny Kravitz, Jamie Foxx, Jacob Collier, Janelle Monae, H.E.R., Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Donald Glover, Kaytranada, SiR, Lucky Daye, Doja Cat, D’Angelo… this list could seriously go on forever. I think with each of them, there’s something in their artistry that I’d love to explore more in a record/records with them and I would love to see where the combination of our creative energies would lead.
Isaac: If you had to switch bodies with another artist, who would it be and why?
Edi: I honestly can’t think of anyone I’d rather be than me at this point but if I had to walk a day in their shoes, I’d love to see what it’s like to be Lenny Kravitz. He’s so dope and I’d love to feel what it’s like to have that level of sauce.
Isaac: Shameless plug time; promote yourself…
Edi: My most recent EP ‘LOVE: the eXperience, Vol. 1’ is out NOW on all digital platforms! Also, You can follow me pretty much anywhere at @edicallier or just by typing in Edi Callier in the search bar. I’m super indie so I can use all of the shares and support I can get so we can make this thing a movement!
Isaac: Final thoughts…
Edi: Be kind to each other, lend an ear, lend a shoulder. You never know what someone else is going through and even if you say nothing at all, just being there for someone in their time of need can save their life.