Sa-Ra: You Think You Know? You Have No Idea!
The groups members all hail from different parts of the map, where the diversity seeped into their music and influenced their style. After years of experience in the industry, they have done enough work to earn them respect from renowned musical heavyweights like Erykah Badu, Dr. Dre and Kanye West, to name a few. With all of this going for them, and a new album on the way, its easy to see how this crew could have big goals for the future. You know, some want to do it big. Some want to get a lot of cheddar. But these guys simply believe one thing is in their future: Global domination!
Recently, Shafiq, Taz and Ommas joined us for a discussion on their past, their friendships with big named celebrities and their future. Always thinking big, and never biting their tongue, they let us in on what makes them think global domination is at all possible.
Their diverse backgrounds helped mold the group that is standing today. Shafiq was the first to say that growing up in different places influenced him and his musical style tremendously.
Upon entering the conversation, Taz chimed in:
I come from many different placesIt definitely influenced my perspective on life, including the way I approach music or any other type of art form. Mentioning his environment as one filled with crack, Bloods and Crips, as well as a healthy dose of pop culture due to Wild Style, Beat Street and other things, he noted that everything helped to mold his perspective on life.
That perspective and their overall collaborations led to a bold body of work and a bold mission statement. Check their official site and read their bio. It states that the group was formed to fill the void and bridge the gap in modern music.
What void is that?
Theres a lack of creativity in the approach to creating music, Ommas declared. Thats something Ive just noticed as far as other producers and artists and their techniques. Not to compare us to anybody, but our [strategy] is very organic and its very traditional. Its definitely not the cookie cutter formulaic strategy that everyone seems to be using to craft their records. By bridging that gap, what were doing is implementing sounds, textures and techniques that older audiences and older professionals are more used to. Then, of course, [were] introducing the sound to our listeners and our audience, the younger cats. Thats how you bridge the gap.
With such a daring view on their musical mission, its no wonder many have already cosigned the groups proficiency. Big named artists have given them advice, opportunities and tutelage.
Dr. Dre gave me my beginning in the business, Taz said. In 98, I had an artists signed to my company named Hitman and Hitman ended up being a main feature for Dr. Dres 2001 album. He basically gave distribution to my production company and started me in the music business.
This connection obviously led to work with the Good Doc on Chronic 2001. When asked what part they played in Dres album, Taz explained how big their role actually was.
Definitely, a big part. [We were] main consultants, helping to name the album and come up with the overall concept and direction of the album with Dre and with his staff, he noted.
Now, they have actually recorded a track for Dr. Dres highly, mightily anticipated return with Detox.
We did one trackWe are tentatively involved. Theres a lot of people involved with this record. We were just at Dres studio. He has well over 100 songs, literally, done. So, to that extent, its kind of a potluck, you know? We dont even know if the albums ever gonna come out, so I would say, lets just keep that speculative, they added.
Dre wasnt the only one who believed in the group members.
Shafiq also spoke of his production work for Ice T, Lord Finesse and Jurassic 5, which shows a diverse group of influential acts. But wait, theres more. Too many to name right off the top, he says.
But dont think they are limited to getting musical lessons from these musical greats. As Ommas explained, it goes beyond that.
Very recently, I had a very candid, long, two and a half hour conversation with Quincy Jones. It was a lesson. That was definitely one of the pivotal moments in my life in having someone of that caliber school me and teach me what you can do to make yourself a better person. In the upper realm of the music industry, its not just so much about who influenced your musical taste. Its about who is influencing your life. A brother like Quincy has got life lessons that supersede music lessons, he said.
Weve been influenced by a wide gamut of the whos who in the music industryAll of our friends, who have influence and power, that go around saying our name, are helping us exponentially. Thats really where it counts, Ommas opined.
Yeah, collectively, we know a lot of different people from Pharrell Williams to Kanye West to Badu, Bilal. We know a lot of different cats, Taz added.
Currently, free from any real label ties, the group is readying the release of their self titled LP on Babygrande. All this talk of label freedom comes while many believed the group to be associated with Kanye Wests GOOD Music. This begs a question: What happened with Ye?
We still fuck with Kanye. GOOD Music doesnt have distribution as a company. So, GOOD Music is like Kanyes homeboys. Its not necessarily a feasible outlet for music right now. Its more of a collective. The collective still exists, Taz said, to clear up the talks.
As it stands, they are still weighing options, prepping a big move.
Right now, theres people offering us a million dollars for doing records, Mas claimed.
Still, a million dollars is nothing compared to their overall goal. When asked just what that goal is, they let us have it.
Global domination! they said in unison.
You see how the brothers think? Taz added with a laugh. Honestly, when we first started this collective, I swear I got a message from the creator. I asked Is this gonna be worth my time, my energy and my effort? A message from the universe came down and said This is gonna be bigger than anything you could have ever imagined. And, I think very big, you know what Im sayin? All of us do. So, to hear that message come from the universe, it could be nothing less than something thats gonna affect the whole universeand this whole planet, definitely. I think well be a part of turning this planet and changing the world for the better, permanently. I think Sa-Ra and the individuals will definitely play a role in whats gonna happen in the worlds history.
Like I said-Expect the unexpected.