Essaar is a rapper, poet, record engineer, designer/artist and entrepreneur. She’s working on finishing up her first LP release following a guest apperance on the single “Skin Colors”. The song was featured on the “After King” documentary film soundtrack released Jan 19th of this year. In this interview Shaakira kindly accepted to answer our questions about her music and other talents please share.

Peace Essaar where’s home?

As of now home is in Ohio.

How long you been rapping? How did you start out??

I’ve been rapping for about 6 years now. I’ve always been a musician since my younger years. I’ve been in orchestra and band throughout my time in school. I guess you can say the rapping started with poetry. I wrote my first love song at 7. As a kid I was always around my father N.A.T.I.V.E. who rapped and Static Major in the studio. Being around that industry definitely had an influence. Over the years I made R&B songs because I felt deep down that I was going to make it as a singer/songwriter. It wasn’t until I moved to Atlanta in 2013 that I did my first “rap” freestyle. I’ll never forget the day, I was in a garage and my dad told me to rap off the top of my head and I did. Next thing I know, I was recording music more consistently to find my voice and perfect my artistry.

How do you find your beats? Do you produce??

When it comes to beats I start with my inner circle of producers I know. And they’re all from Louisville. Sometimes I’ll ask my dad if he has some in the vault haha. Believe it or not, I’m a YouTube connoisseur. I’ve found some gems using that, Airbit and just sending out a quick tweet on Twitter. You’d be surprised what you can find using social media. I most definitely plan to produce my own music very soon.

What do you hope people to take away from your music?

I pray that people can find their voice within my music. I try my best to say what others are afraid to say and just put out there what everyone could possibly be thinking. That goes all across the board from my conscious content to my just everyday music. I want people to feel empowered and free.

Your role in the “After King” film?

Gratefully I had the opportunity to be featured on the “After King” soundtrack with one of my close friends Vay Davis. We’re both on the song titled “Skin Colors”. It’s a beautiful song.

Last song you had on repeat?

The last song I had on repeat was Jasmine by Maitre Gims. I’m in love with music in French!

Favorite thing to do when not in the lab?

My favorite thing to do when I’m not in the lab is to be with my family and close friends hanging out.

Any hidden talents?

Hmmm. Hidden talents? I know how to make handmade jewelry, paint and audio/visual engineer. I’m pretty crafty I love to make just about anything haha.

Last words or shout outs??

To anyone reading this, Stay focused and keep God first. Be sure to follow me on social media at @whoisessaar. I’ve recently change my stage name to Essaar, so be on the lookout for new music.

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IMAGE: Shaakira Molisho