Creative Space with Jennifer Logue

The Bul Bey On Getting His Music in ‘Abbott Elementary’ and the Creative Process of a Hip Hop Artist

December 03, 2023 Jennifer Logue, The Bul Bey
Creative Space with Jennifer Logue
The Bul Bey On Getting His Music in ‘Abbott Elementary’ and the Creative Process of a Hip Hop Artist
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

On today’s episode of ‘Creative Space,’ we have the pleasure of chatting with The Bul Bey aka Amir “The Bul Bey” Richardson.  

By day, he’s the community conversation curator for Philadelphia's PBS and NPR affiliate newsroom at WHYY as well as the music careers coordinator at The Digilogue. But by night, he’s a beloved hip hop wordsmith whose bouncy bars elevate the bright side of working class life.

Since emerging in 2015 with his LP, ‘Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies,’ he’s worked with Grammy-winning producer Illmind and even shared the stage with celebrated rap veterans like Lupe Fiasco.

He currently co-hosts a podcast with the Franklin Institute called “So Curious” and recently got a song placed in the hit television show, ‘Abbott Elementary.

In our conversation, we talk about how he got his music on the show, his creative process as a hip hop artist,  balancing his music career with a day job, and much much more.

For more on The Bul Bey, follow him on social media @thebulbey.

To sign up for the weekly Creative Space newsletter, visit: eepurl.com/h8SJ9b.

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SHOW NOTES:

0:00—Introduction

2:00—The meaning of his stage name

4:11—Bey’s first creative outlet

6:05—How financial lack forces you to be creative

9:00—This is when Bey knew he wanted to be a hip hop artist

10:20—Getting his start in films and working on set

11:40—”I’m going to make music regardless.”

12:50—The influence of Digable Planets, the Fugees, Method Man and Black Thought

14:30—The steps Bey took to make a career in music

17:50—Bey’s definition of creativity

23:00—Creative process of a hip hop artist

31:00—Balancing his music with a day job

35:00—Getting his music in ‘Abbott Elementary’

41:00—”My entire career is a risk.”

43:00—What’s next for Bey?




Speaker 1:

Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of Creative Space, a podcast where we explore, learn and grow in creativity together. I'm your host, Jennifer Loge, and today we have the pleasure of chatting with the Bull Bay, aka Amir the Bull Bay Richardson. By day, he's the Community Conversation Curator for Philadelphia's PBS and NPR affiliate newsroom at WKYY, as well as the Music Readers Coordinator at the Digilogue, but by night he's a beloved hip-hop wordsmith whose bouncy bars elevate the bright side of working class life. Since emerging in 2015 with its LP Shaking Hands and Kissing Babies, he's worked with Grammy-winning producer Ill Mind and even shared the stage with celebrated rap veterans like Lupe Fiasco. He currently co-hosts a podcast with the Franklin Institute called so Curious and recently got a song placed in the television show Abbott Elementary. I am so stoked to have him on the show. Welcome to Creative Space Bay. It's been a while.

Speaker 2:

Hey, what's up, how are you? It's been a while. It's been a while. I've been around Philadelphia for some years now.

Speaker 1:

I know it's been so long, but I've been following you and your journey and you're doing so many cool things, thank you. And it's an honor to have you on the podcast to talk about them. Yeah, I'm excited to be here seriously. Cool. Where are you calling from today?

Speaker 2:

I'm in West Philadelphia at my apartment, just taking it very, very easy on this one-day evening.

Speaker 1:

Yes, I hear you there. Now I've got to ask. I've always wanted to ask this and now I have the chance. What does the Bull Bay mean?

Speaker 2:

Great question. It's a really good question. So my full name is Amir Akram Bay Richardson. So Bay is a Muslim-Morish group from West Africa. It has a whole lot of history to it. I'll let the listeners and the viewers take time to Google that. It's B-E-Y. So my friends and family growing up they all called me Bay. It's kind of like a quasi nickname. I mean, it's actually a part of my name. But my mom would call me Bay, my grandma would call me Bay, my brothers would call me Bay, cousins and so on and so forth. And so when I was trying to come up with a stage name, I wasn't really creative. I was just like, oh, bay, and somehow it just kind of organically happened. You know, being in Philadelphia, you hear the word bull constantly and all the time and it would just kind of turn into the bull Bay and I was like, oh yeah, that's my SRM.

Speaker 1:

Like bull. I mean okay, I'm from Philly, but like B-U-L is there like another. Does that mean something else too?

Speaker 2:

Or like If I'm being honest, it's probably spelled several different ways. I wouldn't even say there's a definitive way to spell it. I've seen it spelled B-O-U-L. I've seen it spelled B-A-W-L. I think I chose B-U-L just because it was like the easiest way to kind of write it out. I've seen B-O-L, but essentially bull is just the bastardization of the word boy. Philadelphia kind of has a bit of a, I say like a lazy jaw and a silent L, so to speak. So the bull, the bull Bay.

Speaker 1:

I see, okay, okay, man, you're schooling me too. So, on creative space, I like to go way back to the beginning. What was your very first creative outlet as a kid?

Speaker 2:

How would you say playing? You know what I mean Playing with toys. Sometimes I didn't even have toys, so I would play with objects and pretend that they were a rocket ship or whatever the case may be. So I would say that was like my earliest stages of using my creativity, of imagining something that wasn't there. It's just straight up and down playing.

Speaker 1:

Imagination is so important and it's something. If you don't use it, you lose it.

Speaker 2:

It's true and I will say this I hope because I can't prove this, I don't know Hopefully you don't just straight lose it. But to your point, it is completely underdeveloped. If you don't use it a lot, it can atrophy, I guess.

Speaker 1:

Atrophy that's a better word.

Speaker 2:

It's like singing. I'm hopeful that if you just kind of get involved at whatever stage, you can kind of get it back.

Speaker 1:

Oh yeah.

Speaker 2:

But being creative is so important. It's vital, it's a part of in my mind, as far as I'm concerned, it's a part of being a human being.

Speaker 1:

Yes, Now was your family creative at all.

Speaker 2:

They definitely use colorful language, I would say so. My mom was a bit of a writer. She wrote some spoken word poetry. One of my older brothers was a visual artist. So certainly there was a lot of creativity around, certainly a lot of comic books and toys and things like that. And yeah, I would say my family was creative or I came up in a creative environment. I would also say, growing up in kind of like the financial lack that I grew up around, you kind of have to be creative. You got to figure some things out and make like I said, make toys out of objects and just kind of. We did all kinds of crazy stuff with old things that people were throwing out and we made stuff, made dangerous things out of Really. Yeah, but yeah, we figured it out. We got creative for sure, for sure.

Speaker 1:

That's really cool and it's amazing how that serves you later in life, because it's like you had to exercise that creativity from an early age and it just propels you forward. You know, it develops a muscle.

Speaker 2:

For sure, for sure, it's a double-edged sword. I think right now, as an adult, I am trying to nudge myself along and tell myself, like hey, you deserve nice things. You know what I mean. Like not everything has to be cracked, broken, hand me down. I'm like, oh, I'll just fix it. It's like, no, you kind of deserve nice, new, shiny things too. You can have something nice.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's something I'm working on too. Like I realized I've been wearing the same sweatshirt in every single podcast episode because you know I like it a lot. I mean it's clean, I mean, but it's like going out to the store and buying something new. It's like I feel you.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's a good one Every once in a while. Look, I think the retail therapy thing is real. I do my best to not accumulate a bunch of things. Actually, you know, I think I do have a lot of stuff around me, but I do try to toe that line of minimalism. But every once in a while, yeah, grab yourself something nice.

Speaker 1:

Something. Yeah, and this is going off topic, but I feel like minimalism helps me create more, because I've left stuff bogging me down Like less toys.

Speaker 2:

I mean, look again, there has to be something there. I'm not a scientist, but there has to be something there, Absolutely.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, that's the earliest inspirations.

Speaker 2:

I would say my brothers. So I'm the youngest of four boys. I have three older brothers and they all were cool to me in different ways. Like I said, one was a visual artist. He would just take anything and draw and create something amazing. My other two older brothers they were very much into music. Obviously, I ended up being involved in music pretty directly, yeah, so they absolutely inspired me I'm trying to think of anyone else, I would say my community in different ways either inspired me to do something or to stay away from it. But, it certainly influenced me.

Speaker 1:

Beautiful. When did you first want to become a hip hop artist?

Speaker 2:

Great question. I want to say when I was a kid. But I don't think that was true. I started rapping when I was a kid just because I was hanging around my older brother, but I still didn't think I wanted to do that professionally. I went to school for a film, video and media. I got my bachelor's degree in film and I was like, OK, I'm going to work on productions and different things like that. But music was something that was always there. It was something that was always a part of me, a part of my character, a part of my environment. And I think it got to a point where I just couldn't ignore it. And I'm not like the big regret person, I don't like regret. So I was like, man, let me just kind of go for it. And I did, and it felt good and it felt right and it felt at home and I just kind of kept going ever since then. So I would say I made that decision in my mind to formally go after music Somewhere in like 2012,. Between 2012 and 2015, is when I was like this is going to be what I do.

Speaker 1:

Cool, so was this after you graduated from school?

Speaker 2:

This is definitely post college, because I got out of college in like 2010 around that time, and then I started working on movies. I worked on this film called the Road. I was a grip, which is like an on set handyman pretty much. I worked on man vs Food. I worked on an M Night Shyamalan movie just random stuff.

Speaker 1:

So cool.

Speaker 2:

But yeah, around 2012 is when I really started really really recording and having bad recording sessions and listening to yourself and being like what the hell is that? And yeah going through those growth, that growing pain of just becoming settled in a new space. But by the time 2015,. That's when I was like, ok, I'm going to do this.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, love it. I like to ask that, just because I believe if you're inspired to do something, it doesn't matter how old you are. You need to go for it, like there might be someone listening who's, like you know, in their 30s and their 40s, heck in their 50s and they want to make an album. They want to record songs. Do it.

Speaker 2:

I agree, you know it's tough because I think we're all bombarded with the idea and notion of making money and trying to build a career and what that might look like and sound like. But something that I keep coming back to is I'm going to make music regardless. I'm going to write a song regardless of what takes place and what happens, and so it can get a little bit tricky and a little messy because, you know, I am trying to grow a career, I am trying to establish a brand and yada, yada, yada, but at the end of the day, I need to just create. I think there's some clip circulating of 103,000 saying like you know, if I don't create, I don't feel right, I don't feel good, and kind of going back to what I was saying before like it is, it's something very innate me, human. Like you have to do it If you feel, if you feel compelled to do it. So whoever is 30, 40 or 50 is like yeah, I got to make a song. Yeah, go ahead and just make that song, make it happen. It doesn't need to happen within the parameters of TikTok or Spotify or any of those things. You can just go ahead and do that because that's what you need.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so cool. So who are your biggest influences in hip hop? I guess back then and now have they evolved over time.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean, when I was a kid, digible Planets was, was definitely like that whole native tongue era, early 90s, the Fuji's Method man, all that stuff. I would say kind of like a constant. This person never goes away. It is black thought from the roots. Being from Philadelphia yeah, being from Philadelphia, he is who he is and he has achieved things that, just like you know, it's sometimes it's hard to wrap my mind around from stage plays to books to to children's music and and and so on and so on. He's incredible and the skill level has only elevated as the years have gone on. So I would say black thought. I'm very much inspired by a lot of the Philadelphia creatives that are, that are present in the landscape right now. I could rattle off a bunch of names, but you know Matt Ford, balboa, john Smith, chemis, aimee all just like the writing in Philadelphia issues really, really stellar and the fact that I have to stand next to it only pushes me to to be just as good and match that level of intentionality behind the writing and a creative thought. So it's yeah, it's incredible. Philadelphia inspires me for sure, easily.

Speaker 1:

Yes, oh, my gosh love it. So now I'm going to backtrack a little bit. Once you decided you wanted to make music, you wanted to make. It was like in 2012 or whatever. What did you do to make it happen? What steps do you take?

Speaker 2:

And in a lot of ways I was careless. You know what I mean. It wasn't like this well thought out thing I'm trying to actually get. I'm trying to put together a structure now. Currently in my life and in my productivity is so, so to speak, I'm trying to like be more structured now. But at the time I was just running around trying to figure out where to record. It could be a friend's closet, it could be this makeshift studio on the other side of the town, my homies basement in South Philly. I would just run around anywhere, everywhere, and record, and the audio wasn't didn't sound that good either, like it wasn't really mixed well right. So I was eating everywhere, which is kind of how you and I cross paths, because by me running around to different music studios, you know, I ran into some of our mutual friends and started making songs in that environment, and so I didn't really have a plan. I wasn't really well thought out. I wouldn't necessarily give that advice to anyone, but at the same time just jumping into the deep end, kind of, you know, it forces you to get your you're together and say yeah well, you don't know what you don't know. Right.

Speaker 1:

Right, cause I feel like that was me when I was in New York pursuing music. Like I, like I look back and like, oh man, like why didn't I set smart goals? Like why didn't I know what smart goals were back then? What was I doing, you know? Cause I was just running around doing the same thing, but I didn't know what I didn't know. And all those relationships matter now and they wouldn't have happened if I hadn't just jumped in, you know, without a plan.

Speaker 2:

And if I would, if I, if I can kind of look back at the chaotic start that I had and try to make sense of it. I love what you just brought up in terms of relationships. I would say that's what I did. I identified folks that I thought were interesting, cool, fun, and I worked with them and throughout the time that has passed, I did my best to just like maintain strong relationships. So there's some people who I'm closer with. There's some people who I haven't spoken with in years at all but where we still have a rapport, yeah, and I'm sure if I called them and or shot them in email, they would respond with a lot of enthusiasm and energy because of the relationships and the seeds that I planted way back when. And so you know again, I didn't really have a plan, but if I am to look back and try to make sense of whatever I was doing, I would say I really invested in community and I was if anything over invested in some people. I should have like maybe pulled back a little bit. But yeah, no real regrets, I had a lot of fun. The music landscape changes every five months anyway. So yes, oh my gosh, it really does.

Speaker 1:

So this is creative space and I love asking this question of everyone on the show. But, Bae, what is your definition of creativity?

Speaker 2:

That's a hard one, I'm gonna say, and this is something I've been trying to like. I've been chewing on, I've been chewing on particular values recently. Some of them is like peace and justice and so on and so forth. But I think creativity is freedom, Right, because, like you know, creativity is legitimately understanding whatever the boundaries are and then saying, well, what if I do something differently? And I think, to be able to think that way, to be able to move that way, you have to have a sense of freedom, freedom within your heart, freedom within your spirit, to just say I know this is the norm. Things normally go one, two, three. But what if I go one, eight, 36, two? You know what I mean? What if I just jump all over the place? And you have to have like a sense of like courage and freedom to take those steps and to it's a little bit risky actually, but you kind of have to have a bit of a taste for that danger, I guess.

Speaker 1:

Yes, that is so interesting. No one's ever brought up the freedom aspect of it and it's so important?

Speaker 2:

because you need to have that. Because some people, you know, we think about folks who are air quotes not created.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

They very much are. They very much are. They just may have been raised or pushed themselves into a mental confinement or creative confinement where they just don't feel or even see, they can't even conceptualize being able to do things off to the impact. Things has to happen like this boom, boom, boom in measurements, and it's like no, they don't. They can happen, however, and I think, yeah, that's the most interesting thing about human beings is we can assign so much depth to something and make it the biggest thing in the world, but then, on the flip side of it, it can be meaningless. And so things do kind of hold this duality of whatever we want it to be. It can mean a lot to us or it can mean nothing to us, and it's about how we see it, our perspective and our relationship and our creativity.

Speaker 1:

Brilliant. That is so true Like someone might absolutely love the corporate world and like see that as the be all and end all, but to the artist outside that's doesn't even register right.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and there's a certain level of creativity. I think you have to have to navigate those spaces and to have all that stuff make sense to you. But yeah, it's a different kind of mind muscle, I guess.

Speaker 1:

Value system.

Speaker 2:

That part too.

Speaker 1:

And the thing is, even in corporate there's so much creativity and leadership, so I guess that's a bad example for me to use, but I digress. I love the point you brought up about perspective and the box as we put ourselves into or we can't put ourselves into, man.

Speaker 2:

I'm currently, and maybe perpetually, always in this space of trying to assess myself. You know what I mean. Like I think of myself in this particular way. I'm like I'm not this, I can't do this, and so on and so forth. And I'm constantly told by friends of mine and I really appreciate them like hey, you are more, actually, than this thing you keep telling yourself you are, you're much more than that, you can do all of these different things, and I just kind of I can't see it and I kind of slow up when approaching those particular ideas. But yeah, it's a constant, perpetual assessment of your perspective and I think, unfortunately, I'll speak for myself. I don't wanna project this on anybody else I always have some blinders on no matter what perspective I look at things at. I don't see it all, I can't see it all, and I think creativity is a constant, ever ongoing practice of trying to like take down those blinders and find a new perspective, understanding that that perspective now has a new set of blinders, that you are picking up and so on, and so on, and so on, but I guess it's like never really resting, just constantly shifting.

Speaker 1:

Constantly shifting, especially when you think about film too. I'm taking a film class right now, like just directing, and it's just made me look at the world in such a different way. So it's amazing how one class can do that for a person. So when you're talking with the blinders on the new perspective, I'm like yeah, totally makes sense. It's like you're looking from here, but you know.

Speaker 2:

Perspective is everything, and I don't know. I think anytime I gain perspective, I always try to also take along with me a little bit of humility, just understanding that it's different, it's not better, it also has its limitations, so on and so forth. Filmmaking is definitely one of those things where you have so many, especially now, right, there's so many tools and lights and rigs and cameras that you can use to tell your story, but certain elements really lends itself to those emotionalities a little bit better than other tools. But it doesn't mean that those other tools are wrong, it's just different.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and making those choices to get the message across. So what is your creative process like as a hip hop artist, I always wonder this yeah, great, great question.

Speaker 2:

It changes a lot. I think something that has stayed consistent is I'll read a story and that story will make me go oh, wow, or somebody will tell me. So this is a song idea that I haven't really sat down to flesh out or anything like that. But my mom's a doula and she's had some really incredible experiences, but she's had some hard ones too, and she's been kind enough to share some of those experiences with me, and so I've always wanted to write a story, or write a song rather, about some of those difficult experiences, just to elevate, you know, just to me too. I think another part of my process is what hasn't been placed in a song yet. You know there's nothing new under the sun, but I'm like well, what experiences have we not heard a lot about? Or what perspectives are a little bit more fresh than others? And I think you know home, childbirth is not something that you hear a lot about and those different emotional rollercoasters that people go on. Like I said, I hear a story and I just kind of keep it in the back of my mind, I park it as a concept and I try to come back to it. Most of my music creation over the last few years, though, has had more of a execution functionality to it, so someone will give me a beat and I'll just execute there's a beat, execute, there's a beat, execute. I've had few and far between experiences where I just kind of create from the beginning the idea of it, the everything of it just start from scratch. I have a few projects like that, a few that I'm really, really proud of, but a bulk share of my catalog is me getting a beat and just kind of going.

Speaker 1:

Cool. That's always been the way I wrote the best too. I haven't gotten beats in a very long time because I haven't. I've been doing singer, songwriter stuff for so long, but in the beginning that was like I would get so many beats and I would just sing on top of them and like, comp the hooks and Right it's great exercise. It's great, it's so cool and it takes you places. I just love collaboration because it opens up a door that you wouldn't have went through yourself, because someone else's creativity like set the ball rolling. I need collaboration.

Speaker 2:

Right now, I think, in my life big challenges. I feel creatively isolated or creatively alone. And I would love to be a part of a production team.

Speaker 1:

Yes.

Speaker 2:

I would love to be a part of a writing group. I would love to be a part of a space where we get together and we just make songs. Yes, part of an idea. I pass that part of an idea off to you. You take that idea and take it to the next step. I'll circle back and meet you there. Sign me up Bay. I think we like partially that's how we kind of sort of met. You know what I mean. It was like us and several other like singers or writers or something like that. That's more of us. What I would love to keep doing.

Speaker 1:

My favorite place to be is the studio at night, Like just coming up with songs and that is. That is playtime for me. That is like you know everyone together. It's fun to write on your own too, Because you come in with some stuff to use, but that community environment, there's nothing like it? Yeah me that absolutely so now we talked about, I wonder with hip hop, like how much of it is improvisation, like everyone's?

Speaker 2:

different. You know what I mean. That's the beautiful thing about it too. It looks the same and unfortunately, much of the landscape has a lot of similar notes and sounds, but people have their own voice, tone, delivery, cadence, pace, flow, so everyone's different. Some people do freestyle, and freestyle is so skillfully Like.

Speaker 1:

Black Thought. I saw him freestyle. It was like the most insane thing I've ever seen, Like oh, my God, his brain, his spirit is on another level.

Speaker 2:

He's really a masterclass of a lot of all things MC. You know what I mean. He's a masterclass of all things MC. But you know some people I'm not the best at like, off the top of my head, writing and freestyling. I can do it for sure I'm happy to do it. I think I thrive in those spaces and when I get to like sink my teeth into an idea or concept and really start to draw it out a little bit more. But everybody's different, Like I said, everyone has their strengths, has their weaknesses. A lot of times it's pattern recognition, like recognizing a pattern and then fitting your ideas inside of that, that framework. But hip hop is, and it changes too. Sometimes you have certain rappers who might be categorized as mumble rappers, but I really love the way they bend a word.

Speaker 1:

You know what I mean.

Speaker 2:

Like I think one of the joyous things that I love about hip hop is how words rhyme. If you open that up, you're really just talking about how the words sound. And so when you go to these different regions, if you're talking about Northern California or if you're talking about Memphis or Mississippi, they arch their accents you know what I mean. Like they bend their words and it sounds different, and I just love hearing those different tones and notes. The voice is really an instrument, is really what I'm trying to say, and how people use their different accents and patterns to create different flows and rhythms. It's an amazing thing to see and hear.

Speaker 1:

That's what I love about hip hop too. It just makes me think about music differently, even when I'm writing like singer-songwriter stuff, Like because it's just, it just opens your mind up completely to what's possible Things you didn't think were possible before with the rhythm and it's really cool.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I love getting a beat and then trying to search for the pocket. You know, like what pocket can these verses and lyrics kind of sit in? And then being creative, like that's a creative part, not just the words and not just like making sense of the story but also the delivery, like where does this sit? Do I come in on a one or do I come in on a six? You know, and just trying to find your way through all of that sonic madness, so to speak.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I'm doing something now I never really did before my writing. Not to vocal roadmaps, like designing the vocal track like you know, the lead vocal making sure it takes you on a journey in the song. I never really thought about it, I always just did it instinctively, without. But like being more intentional about how use the voice as an instrument so it builds along with the rest of the song and like adds texture and so.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, sometimes with the writing, I just think about my voice and how it sounds alongside of these, these, these, you know, sonics, you know. I mean because the voice is in fact an instrument and being sure and, like you said, being intentional about where you place it on the song is almost like priority number one over over anything else. You can make a song about cereal and breakfast, it doesn't even matter, you know, it's really about how does it sound? How does this sound to me?

Speaker 1:

Yes, there's so much. It's like there's so much to do and there's so many places to go in music, like I think, just keeping continuing to push the envelope with, like how can I elevate this little more? How can be more intentional, like the more we grow, the more we learn. Now I want, I want to hear a song about cereal.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I think there's already a few, but absolutely Okay, that's awesome.

Speaker 1:

So, okay, you have so much going on career wise, you're working at W H Y Y, you're a digital, you're an artist. You have the podcast with the Franklin Institute. We talked about a little bit. We talked about this a little bit before the podcast started rolling. But how do you balance who you are as an artist and your time with your day job?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah. So shots out to W H Y and the Digi log, the Digi log, they just had your log. Yeah, they just had their Digi log day. It was the second time they did. It was a two day event, get a bunch of stuff and shots out to the Franklin Institute. And I appreciate you framing it like that, you know, because oftentimes it just feels chaotic to me. It just feels like I'm running around doing a bunch of stuff and what was the question? How do I balance out, like being an artist, in the midst of all that? Yeah, I think If enough time goes by and I don't write something kind of like what I was saying, before I get antsy I'm like no, I gotta write something. So I don't necessarily keep again. I'm still trying to define form and structure in my creative life. I don't have like the best form processes, but I know that I can't go a certain amount of time without writing something and that's about a month. You know what I mean. Like I might become busy, family things might happen, but I can't go too long without writing, recording, going into the studio. I'll legitimately go a little. I'll become an unreasonable person If I don't like write and create and put music out and just kind of have that dialogue between, like my creative thoughts in the world around me. I need to kind of keep that exchange going, so to speak. So sometimes it's not a full blown verse, sometimes it's a song idea or a concept, sometimes I'll just voice note something. It's not always a completed process, it's just me tapping back into whatever creative thoughts or ideas I might have, and so I think I keep it balanced. By having a voice note and writing down ideas I find my balance and just staying inspired. I love listening to people write clever things Like there's so many clever, well-written songs out there, not just hip hop songs or so many other songs. I can't get over this song called Sober and Skinny by Brittany Spencer. Oh, I know it. It's just a well, it's clever, clever song. So many other songs that are just clever, and if it's not clever in the writing, it's clever in the production. If it's not clever in the production, it's clever in the mixing. And so there's so much happening in the world of music today, it can be a bit of an overwhelm and an anxiety inducing thing. However, if you kind of have a little bit of a focus, man jazz is incredible. The things that I'm finding on TikTok and Instagram reels are incredible People just kind of playing bass, and so I'm constantly in that space and scrolling and looking for that stuff. So in that way, I stay refreshed almost daily and I stay inspired almost daily. But, yeah, after some time I gotta write something, I gotta say something, I gotta record something, and I'm just really excited that that's what I have been doing and I've kind of accumulated this little bit of a music on my hard drive and so hopefully I'll be releasing some things very soon and I just like to stay in constant exchange or conversation with the world around me and my music.

Speaker 1:

Love it, so what? Hmm, I wanna talk about your song and add the elementary. But I think that's a nice segue from what you're talking about, with all the music on your hard drive. That is so cool first of all. So big congrats there. Thank you, Yay. How did that opportunity come about?

Speaker 2:

So it was a risk. It was a big risk. I watched the show just like everybody else. I thought the same thing that the world thought this is an amazing show With a lot of heart. It's about teachers and education. It's a stage, or the story happens in Philadelphia. I'm like I was just amazed and blown away by the show from the first episode and so I was very much locked in on it. And when the episode went off, I picked pause on the credits and I saw the music supervisor and I just looked the music supervisor up and I just sent the very cold but heartfelt message and I acknowledged the fact that what I was doing was completely irregular and likely not advised. And I apologize profusely. I'm still very much embarrassed about the whole thing, but I was responded to with a lot of kindness and understanding in it and I was like, hey, well, just send your music here and don't worry about it. So it was really just me. It was the equivalent to me, kind of like going up to the offices of the studio and sitting outside and waiting for somebody. But it was the digital equivalent to that, you know, because I Googled the person and I won't give away the names or anything like that. But yeah, I just kind of took my shot and it landed, it landed. I love that.

Speaker 1:

What a cool story Like.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it was. I think back to it and I remember the actual fear inside of my body. I was so scared and I was so desperate. I was kind of I didn't have any At the time. It felt like I didn't have anything. No one was helping me. I was just kind of like I don't have anything. This is all I got and I just took my shot and it worked and I'm relieved. Like I said, I'm still kind of embarrassed, but it worked out. It really actually worked. My song is in an episode of the Adidas Alametric. This is so cool.

Speaker 1:

People work their whole lives to like get a major song placement like that, and it's like you gotta take those shots sometimes, you know yeah.

Speaker 2:

Risk-taking is funny because I still that's an ongoing conversation you know, taking healthy risks, taking not so healthy risks. I've come up with this idea. I don't know if it's an actual thing, but I think risks are easier to take when you have a strong community, because they can kind of like help soften whatever blows might come along from that risk. So true, but when you don't have a strong community. It can be scariest. It can be scariest. Yes, it's the scariest thing in the world and I do love Philadelphia and I love my family and I love my community overall. But when I'm out here taking risks I kind of have an understanding that if it goes wrong it's just all on me, like no one's really kind of coming to help or rescue you. So in that way taking a risk can be petrifying. It can be like paralyzing.

Speaker 1:

Yes, having like an artist support system.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like I mean you know, you could take some kind of weird wild risk where you just kind of like bet your house.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

You lose your house and it's like, well, where are you gonna sleep?

Speaker 1:

Where are you gonna sleep? Yes, yes, yes, yes. And so I hear you.

Speaker 2:

I haven't taken any risks like that big, but just kind of illustrating the point that I think it's easier to take a risk when you have a strong community, but when you don't it can be a little bit scary out there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, no, that totally makes sense, so, but I'm glad you took the risk because that's a great opportunity. You've taken some other risks, though, too in life, with traveling, and you talked a bit about sharing the stage before we started rolling, you know sharing the stage with celebrated rappers like Lupe Fiasco. How did those opportunities come about?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, you know, if, kind of going back to what I was saying and assigning meaning and telling stories, telling my self-history, I can definitely tell a story to myself and you and whoever's listening that my entire career is a risk, all I've been doing is just taking a risk after risk after risk. So, yeah, I mean, that's definitely the case with traveling. Years ago at this point, I used to work at the Fiddly Airport and so I would get free flights. The moment I got that job, I started flying to open mics across the country. I flew to Chicago, I flew to Florida. I was just going to open mics. It was just a risk. I was like whatever, I'm gonna do it, but by kind of like beating streets and kind of the pavement. I developed a rapport here in Philadelphia. So promoters knew who I was, other artists knew who I was, and there's an incredible artist, his name's Dane Jordan. He travels a lot with DJ Jazzy Jeff. He himself is an incredible writer and rapper. He has this platform that he created called no Place Like Home, and he brought out Lupe Fiasco and personally hit me up, along with some other artists, to share that stage and share that environment. And so, yeah, that was really huge. And, yeah, I've kind of shared the stage with Rhapsody and Odyssey and Black Thought. Excuse me, not Black Thought, black Milk, excuse me. One day I will share the stage with Black Thought.

Speaker 1:

Putting it into the universe.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, for sure. But yeah, just kind of staying diligent and persistent with my creativity and my music just led to those relationships. Like I said, the relationships have been really huge over the years.

Speaker 1:

Yes, so what are you working on now as an artist?

Speaker 2:

So I'm constantly recording, constantly writing, and I have this group, this catalog of songs that I'm trying to fight myself from putting it out now. So I'm not gonna put it out right now, but I will release a couple of singles. I have a single coming out very soon called Elbow Deep. I have this project that I wanna I'm still working on a title, but I wanna name it after my grandparents Friday night Get Together's. I obviously was not around, but I hear so many great stories from these Friday night card games that they used to have in North Philly. So I definitely wanna put out this project that's kind of based around my family and I have a ton of music with Patrick Feliciano.

Speaker 1:

Yes, patrick shut up.

Speaker 2:

Yeah him, and I put out a project called I Don't have Time to Doubt Myself.

Speaker 1:

I love that title.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and we've been looking to follow that project up Since the moment we put it out. We were like, all right, let's put out another one. We have a bunch of songs ready. It's just a matter of getting some final mixes, making some final decisions and just putting it out there. I'm always toeing the line of being thoughtful and strategic, but also like not suffering from paralysis through analysis.

Speaker 1:

So cool. I'm looking forward to all the music coming out. You'll have to let me know when the single drops. Do you know approximately when you're gonna drop?

Speaker 2:

the single. So let me look, Elbow Deep should be coming out November. I'm gonna say so Elbow Deep should be coming out November 20th.

Speaker 1:

Oh, okay, okay, cool cool, so very soon.

Speaker 2:

It's a song that's named after how do I even describe it? I don't know if you've ever played tag or something like that when you were a kid, and to find out who was it, you would put your feet in the center and then you would say some random song.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah, yeah, and even you might something like that, Something like that yeah, it's been a while since I played tag. Oh geez.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we had a way in which we figured out who was who or who was it. Somebody would hold their arms open like a basketball basket, and then you would have to put your arm in there, and then whoever's arm got caught, they would close.

Speaker 1:

you know when you get it oh.

Speaker 2:

And some people would kind of do the alligator arm, yeah, and the kids would be like no, elbow Deep, elbow Deep, you gotta put your arm.

Speaker 1:

Oh the way in. Elbow Deep and so.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, I'm always pulling from my childhood different random moments and things like that, but Elbow Deep is a single that will be out next month. It's produced by a dude named Sam Lai. Sam Lai is incredible. Yeah, looking forward to it. Looking forward to just again having that exchange at Dialo.

Speaker 1:

Awesome, can't wait to hear it. And what's next for you, from music and.

Speaker 2:

You know, honestly I'm curious now about more song placements, but not just getting my song placed, but by having being a music supervisor it's something that is very, very intriguing. I don't know if you watched the series Beef on Netflix.

Speaker 1:

Not yet. I've heard really good things though.

Speaker 2:

It's incredible. You should watch it, and one of the incredible things about it is the song selection. I mean this kind of goes back to the show Insecure. Insecure really revolutionized the use of music inside of storytelling and I find that music supervisor sits at the intersection of all the things that I know and love.

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm.

Speaker 2:

Film, music, storytelling and empathy. It's just like this kind of perfect job or career path. But I'm like, oh, this might be a really good thing for me to pick up and to look into. So I'm curious to learn more about that. I'm curious to write more melodies. I'm always gonna have lyrics and hip hop in my back pocket, but I wanna start writing songs. Yeah so yeah, just trying to stay as creative as I possibly can and open up the world of music and keep exploring.

Speaker 1:

Love it Well they. Thank you so much for taking the time to be on the podcast. This was such an inspiring conversation. I know I'm really inspired and I know people listening are gonna be inspired too For more on the Bowl Bay. Follow him on social media at the Bowl Bay and thank you so much for tuning in and growing in creativity with us. I'd love to know what you thought of today's episode, what you found most interesting, what you found most helpful. You can reach out to me on social media, at JenniferLogue, or leave a review for Creative Space on Apple podcasts so more people can discover it. I appreciate you so much for being here. My name is JenniferLogue and thanks for listening to this episode of Creative Space. Until next time его.

Creativity and Hip-Hop With Bull Bay
Music Industry
The Definition and Process of Creativity
Balancing Creativity and a Day Job
Taking Risks and Music Opportunities