A 22 year-old poetic songwriter, painter, Social Science Psychology major at University of Southern California, and public school arts supporter? Talented rapper EaSway loves to constantly surprise people.
Born Easweh Harrison in San Francisco, EaSway began to rap at age 11 after discovering his then-15 year-old half-brother’s mixtapes. “Like any younger brother I just wanted to do what he was doing,” EaSway explained. “I didn’t know what I was doing. But I was a confident 11 year old.”
EaSway is an artistic in the fullest sense, and prides himself on writing his truth through rap lyrics. “I can’t imagine a world when you hear a musician and they’re not writing their own songs,” EaSway said, comparing the practice to a poetic not penning their own poems. The holistic artist finds his drive internally, seeking inspiration from experiences and being present in the world. “I find inspiration from living within myself. I am a very open person and it makes me super vulnerable,” EaSway reflected. “I just try to appreciate everything. That’s what it takes to write a song: noticing the nuances of life.”
Yet for EaSway, the most important element of being an artist is reflecting what life actually means. His lyrics carry a snapshot of living as an African-American, as a millennial, and even as a poet, in our modern times. Each song builds on one another to create a universe within itself, an experiential album among the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Tupac Shakur’s works. “I look for poetics a lot for my inspiration,” EaSway said. “Music can sound appealing and nice but I try to find inspiration in the words that they use.”
EaSway’s universe continues in tangible form with his paintings. EaSway himself creates all of his own album art, and sells the physical canvases to benefit public schools’ art programs. EaSway knows the modern power of rap and humanity of music, and hopes to give back to support young artists.
The intellectual EaSway constantly strives to improve himself, both spiritually and artistically. “Every new song I make is my favorite song. That’s the goal of being an artist,” EaSway explained. “If what you’re making isn’t your favorite, then you’re not improving.”
And, most surprisingly it seems, EaSway loves fashion. Where does he want to be in five years? “I’d love to be a black musician that came from a lower economic area that’s eating a medium rare steak at the Met Gala, sitting next to some important person. And maybe headlining Coachella,” EaSway mused.
But then again, EaSway continues to surprise.
Check out EaSway’s single “All Yours” from his upcoming EP The Panther in the Room, droppingon November 21.