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Blayze Ford

Never Stop Never Quit:

Due to multiple surgeries there was a time when she was not walking. If she could not lean on crutches or somebody else she could not move on her own. Though that did not stop Blaise Ford from following her passion and ascending over many obstacles. She made her own path and it shows with steady rhythmic songs like Damned and Dark Rider where the Bay Area sound is well conveyed.

Empress: That was my first time watching you, it seems like you have been doing this for a long time?

Blayze: Technically it’s been twenty years of grooming. I guess I didn’t intend to start to be a performing artist, I’m a writer. So, I was always saying I’m gonna write songs for some of the big names, do this, do that, and I recorded some little round away demos here and there in San Francisco, we actually released a single. I had my manager and was I like look just develop me, he was like no one can deliver your words better than yourself. That’s true, let’s crack that.

Empress: How did you get into music? How did you get into writing?

Blayze: Well I’ve been writing since I can remember, second grade first journal I’ve been a writer. So, as far as the music part of it, I think I was telling somebody, we did this podcast and I told em, I said, “I was that kid that would… I had a tape deck, pause record, pause record, and write down all the lyrics to the songs.” Tommy Boy, Afrika Bambaataa, oh you know those kind of groups and I was always intrigued like damn they are just flowing the words, what do those words look like on paper? I am a visual person so I would write it out and just look at it, and that flow, the pattern you know there’s a rhythm in how you speak, how you talk, and not everyone does it. That kind of stuck with me.

Empress: Some of the foundation was with old school rap?

Blayze: Oh yeah old school and then leaders of the new school, I listened to a lot of East Coast rap at first.  I was born in Ohio, but raised here in California, and you know sometime the different artist, I like wordier artist, you know that got a lot to say, that figure out a way to get it all in those bars, and I’m like I want to do that. You know don’t get me wrong I like West Coast music as well cause it hits, so I just try to always balance that out. That did it for me, I got tired of trying to find people to sing hooks for me and do this, cause you know as artist people are fickle there’s a lot of ego involved and there’s nothing like waiting for somebody else to try to help you when you’re nobody technically. I can hum this I can do this and my manager was like “Is that you that did that scratch vocal? I was like yeah I just need a reference, he said I ain’t getting nobody you’re gonna sing that shit yourself! So, we started doing both, we’re marrying both because we are releasing a new soul project first quarter next year, and this is the second hip hop project. This one is Definition of Hip Hop and we released it late August early September of this year so it’s available on all downloadable streams, iTunes, and Spotify.

My mom was just texting me and was like are you nervous? I get what I call humble nerves, you wanna do well, you wanna make sure people are pleased with whatever you’re presenting you know. I have friends that don’t even listen to rap, but they’ll come and support me. So, I just wanna give people what they feel is a worthy show, but try not let my nerves mess me up to the point where I can’t deliver properly, and I’m like again, the energy you pull from the room, there will be things that I can’t do in a rehearsal, and I’ll just feel it out. If there’s somebody cool sitting in the front and if I feel like singing some extra stuff between the songs, I’ll do it, if not we’ll just run through you know, you kind of feel it out and that kind of helps me balance my anxiety and my nervousness. I like people, I don’t mind talking to people, I’ll be talking to strangers and my daughter is like, “Who’d you meet today?” The people part I’m cool with.

Empress: How long have you been in the Bay Area?

Blayze: I live in Oakalnd, I have been in the Bay Area since I was a baby. I grew up here, I went to De Anza High School in Richmond, then I went to San Francisco State, I went to Sac State, and came back and lived in Oakland pretty much most of my adult life.

Empress: What is it like living in Oakland?

Blayze: You know I like it because I was used to living in Richmond, Richmond is like a more condensed version of Oakland, it’s smaller, but Oakland was just like an extension of the melting pot that we have in San Francisco you know it just kind of spills out. I haven’t had any negatives living in Oakland other than these sky-high rents everywhere. Like it’s everybody’s issue I guess. The politics is crazy right now I have never seen so much homelessness in my life, in the Bay.

Empress: Tell us a little bit about this record label.

Blayze: The record label is Full House Music Group, we have been about twenty years in the making. Indie label, started small, had a couple studios in Oakland, we actually started with a very healthy roster of artist you know but like you say a lot of people fall off, “Oh this is not bubbling fast enough, if I’m not turning into a star overnight.” When you’re an independent artist, independent label, you know it all comes out of your pockets. Me and my manager were reminiscing, I remember paychecks from the two or three times I had was how I paid the band for the shows. That was how we got to LA and came back, it wasn’t no baller trips. I have never been a baller but I’m ain’t scared of work ok? So, you know going through that but its been home. You know you got that foundation, like this ain’t going nowhere and when something believes in you the way you believe in it, it just makes it that much easier, that’s what Full House is for me, and you know my manager rides it out with me. When I was sick and down, “Like she don’t even do this no more, you can’t do that.” What does that mean she ain’t going nowhere? We got it, we still got an album, we still got music coming, and that’s big to me because if I was on a major label they would have shelved me or dropped me right? I wouldn’t of had a project, and that’s how that works, and that’s kind of the appeal for me with being involved with something that’s more tangible or independent cause I don’t feel like it’s just about the machine, okay I need you to look like this, I need you to produce like this, here it goes ok… next.

To follow Blayze click on the link:

Rocky Greenleaf

Rocky Greenleaf

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