With real, raw, and authentic lyrics, RaheemXO is drawing attention for his look, his style, and the way he is moving in the independent music scene as a black alternative rock artist. In this interview, he shares his early influences, his incredible mindset, and how he is creating music as an outlet for heartbreak, offering a space for vulnerability.
RaheemXO: I am from Baton Rouge, Louisiana. My sound is a rap style with rock thrown in the mix. Honestly, I started making music when I was little. I had so much musical influence from my mother and my grandmother. Eighties classic rock was something my mother cherished while I was growing up. It was our way of bonding in the car and around the house. She listened to everything: Hall and Oates, Foreigner, Squeeze, Bryan Adams, Mr. Mister, and Phil Collins. Of everything we listened to, 80s classic rock caught my attention the most. I still listen to it to this day. Now, my grandmother was different. She introduced me to gangster rap sounds, like 2Pac, Biggie, Ice Cube, Snoop Dogg, Mack 10, and Warren G.
Standing Out in Rock
RaheemXO: The experience of being a black rock artist is amazing. Being in the music scene is different from the culture I grew up around, from how I dress to the music I create.
RaheemXO: Yes. I’m just getting off the ground with what I started on SoundCloud. You can find me there under “RaheemXO.” That’s the name you’ll find me under on all other platforms, too.
RaheemXO: One of the hardest challenges is trying to maintain a life while also trying to be the artist they are becoming.
RaheemXO Advice For Independents
RaheemXO: Up has no limits. If you keep God first and put your mind to whatever you want to be or do in life, it’ll come true if you believe.
Heartbreak as Inspiration
RaheemXO: Heartbreak started me on this music path. I always wanted to be a voice for men afraid to open up about how they feel emotionally. I have made it a point to focus on that topic, writing around that concept as if I’m writing a paper. There is always a focus on a crazy bridge to the song to catch the people’s ears.
RaheemXO: OK. “Feel Special” was the first song I ever recorded. I was going through a rough breakup. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about it so I decided to try to make a song. “Feel Special” is what came out. Creatively, I look at music as a scapegoat in life, so I made that song to help others. When they are down and depressed, they can turn up through their depression and forget about why they were down.
Rewarding Moments and Future Plans
RaheemXO: My greatest accomplishment is reaching people with my music. So far, traveling and doing shows is cool, but nothing is a better feeling than someone saying that they felt the message through my music.
RaheemXO: An album, ”Ashamed,” is on the way. I will also be releasing music videos, finally.
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