Spreading the word: Yo! Majesty
That dynamic duo Yo! Majesty are about to hit our shores. In between gigs, Shunda K took some time out to tell us all about their new album, getting back together and their plans to set the world free.
How did you two first meet and start Yo! Majesty?
I created Yo! Majesty as a solo artist in 1998 and made it the group name when I met Shon B in 2000.
Where did the name come from?
The name is derived from my – our – belief in Jesus Christ and da knowledge of myself (ourselves) in knowing we are da best, da crËme de la crËme, because we represent da best (being Jesus Christ).
Some people find it hard to reconcile their beliefs with their sexuality, or at least find that others think you can’t justify it. Have there been challenges in regards to this for you?
Pretty much in our lives, our love for Christ has boiled down to one thing: FAITH. God is love and we believe dat He loves us and dat He's da One responsible for our success. We have no choice but to give God all da glory because dat’s who we serve. So, when things happen in our lives where we're fulfilling our dreams and destinies, we know it’s God answering our prayers and making da way.
What was the attraction to Hip-Hop for both of you?
Our attraction to Hip-Hop is da sound, da freedom to express and be ourselves where we take da art and sculpt it to our personal lives and make it presentable to da people in a way dat they can feel where we coming from. Hip-Hop is what you make it!
How do you collaborate when making a song?
We usually listen to da beat and write lyrics after we absorb da sound for a minute. We work with producers from all over da world, so we usually receive tracks via da internet, write to what we're feeling, and send da audio files back to da producer via da net for mixing. It’s a pretty stress-free routine.
What inspires you to come up with your music?
Our life and as a whole is what inspires Yo! Majesty's rhymes, in addition to da truth. We love da truth and so dat’s what we strive to depict and portray in our music, always.
Who are your musical heroes?
Musical heroes? I can’t say dat we have any anymore. Everybody jus so fake and/or have sold their souls to da devil. We can’t get down wit dat shit... AT ALL!
We are seeing more and more gay, lesbian, queer hip-hop performers, but how hard is it for these performers to break into mainstream hip-hop?
It’s not hard at all to break into any genre of music these days if you sell your soul. I can say though, dat you will be happy and enjoy your success a lot more if you keep it real and do you, as opposed to selling out. But it seems like these days anybody can make it, if you don’t mind fakin’ it.
NME hailed you as one of the best new acts of 2008, you’ve also been called one of the '25 Most Exciting Bands in America', how do you react to those accolades and does it create a new level of pressure?
No pressure. We do appreciate all da love and when we see accolades as such, we take it as a blessing and confirmation dat we are who we say we are: DA BEST!
How do you think your music has changed over the years?
We believe da music industry is completely controlled by da devil and dis has been from da beginning of da industry according to our research and so everyone has been deceived. Pretty much now, all music boils down to a few things: sex, money, drugs, materialism. It’s sickening.†We hope to bring some new life and spit what’s real, where da people can have a good time and be set free per se.
What can you tell us about the new album?
Da new album is gonna be one dat has never been done before because it’s gonna expose da truth about many things and be an outlet for people to jus tune into and zone out to, all while having a great time, being uplifted and encouraged to keep it moving forward, no matter what. Plus, you know we representing for da ladies, so it’s always all good!
There’s been some ups and downs, what was behind the break up and how did you get back together again?
Da break up was due to a loss of respect and appreciation for one another. After all was said and done, I reached out to Shon B to feature on a track from my solo album called ‘I’m Da Best’ and da rest is HERSTORY!
How does having solo careers work while still being part of a team with Yo! Majesty?
You said it. Yo! Majesty is a team, so whether it’s Shunda K, Shon, B, or Yo! Majesty, we're still a team.
How is the current tour going, what have been some of the highlights?
We're looking forward to da Aussie tour dat’s coming up and da highlights from da previous tours, aside from da smiling faces of our fans, have been our sponsors ToyFriend USA and Tickler, a Swedish dildo company wit very intriguing product for their customers. We do a free dildo raffle at all of our shows where we give a couple away for free and have some to sell as well. Da people are a little apprehensive, so it’s great to see their reactions.
What the best thing about being in Yo Majesty?
Life is what you make it, so we try to celebrate ourselves every chance we get, striving for perfection every day.
Yo! Majesty play Grouse party Friday January 20 @ ROXANNE PARLOUR, Level 3, Coverlid Place, Melbourne