Share your life story with us.
As a youth growing up in Brooklyn New York and also spending time in the south with my grandfather, who was a writer himself and a reverend. I always loved and was inspired by music for as long as I can remember. My parents played a lot of various different styles of music around the house from poetry, R&B, Reggae, to the classic Motown hits. They had crates of records in our living room stacked on a wall, over top of one another, with all the hits & jams from the Last Poet, The Temptations, The Jackson’s Five, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, Betty White, Kurtis Blow, etc. Growing up in the 80’s I experienced listening to other styles of music such as rock and jazz channel surfing on the radio and watching MTV. Guns and Roses, Mötley Crüe, Black Sabbath, Human Nature played constantly all day on MTV. I can remember digging through the crates, checking out the album cover’s artwork, & reading the lyrics. I was inspired by the work & production being done by the artist and the producer and I had since then, not knowing one day, that I would become a songwriter and performing artist myself. You never know what’s in the cards for you, that why it’s super important to follow your dreams. I did, and I still continuously do.
Share your press release.
Prodigal Sunn is an acclaimed member of Sunz Of Man, the first group associated with the legendary Wu-Tang Clan, along with fellow members Killah Priest, Hell Razah, and 60 Sec Assassin. In 1993, they became the first group to sign with Wu-Tang Records. Sunz of Man gained notoriety with numerous hit singles including, “Soldiers of Darkness,” “No Love Without Hate,” “5 Arch Angels,” “Bloody Choice” and “House of Steel.” The group went on to release two albums, “The Last Shall Be First” in 1998, executive produced by the RZA. The album included the hit single, “Shining Star,” produced by Wyclef, featuring the iconic Ol’ Dirty Bastard and Earth, Wind & Fire. Praised worldwide, “The Last Shall Be First” reached Gold status. In 2003, Sunn of Man released another album “Saviorz Day,” executive produced by Prodigal Sunn.
In 1998, Prodigal Sunn became an international sensation winning a Grammy Award in France for the single, “La Saga” with French hip-hop group, IAM. In 2001, he won a VIVA Award in Germany with DJ Tomek and GZA for the single, “Ich Lebe Für Hip Hop.”
One of the most driven Wu-Tang affiliates, Prodigal Sunn has made guest appearances on various albums and was featured on the Wu-Tang Clan album, “Iron Flag.”
In 2003, Prodigal Sunn formed his first company, Gods Inc., and released his first solo album, “The Return of the Prodigal Sunn,” two years later. A man of many talents, in 1999 Prodigal Sunn appeared on “Sex and the City.” Prodigal also hosted the Hip Hop documentary “Up and Above,” as well as starting his own show with dirt bike champion, Ronnie Faisst. In 2012, Prodigal Sunn made a guest appearance on one of the most-watched reality TV shows in France, “Les Anges.”
Over the years, Prodigal has released a variety of successful mixtapes including, “The Best of Prodigal Sunn,” “Prodigal Sunn Meets DJ Premier” and “Hood Chronicles.” At the end of October, Prodigal released his latest album, “The Spark,” featuring Ghostface Killah, Cappadonna, Sunz of Man, Killarmy, Black Knights, Big Twin from Infamous Mobb, and many more. For Prodigal Sunn, his fans matter the most. To have their continued love and support is important and is eager to give them his best. As a “thank you” to his fans, Prodigal’s first single, “You” is an ode to them. His current single, “Big Manufacturers” features Ghostface and is produced by Salvee One. Fresh off his European tour, Prodigal is back stateside and currently promoting, “The Spark.”
Narrate your experience while recording in the studio or while touring.
In the studio, it’s usually me, and whomever I’m working with, as far as the producer or artist featuring. I keep it with fewer people as possible. It’s better for focus. I do most of my pre-writing, and organizing the structure of the song at home, or walking, biking, driving to other places for extra inspiration. I make sure I’m prepared before I hit the studio, that way when I’m in the studio, it’s straight to recording in the booth, which allows me to record the songs needed to complete and leave extra time for something new on the board to create. For me, it saves me time and allows me to do more work in a session. That’s just my choice. I need space and I need to see things in color and movement when I’m writing. It helps me to create more context to the subject of what I’m writing about
Go into detail about your songwriting process.
When I write a song, it depends on the energy level of the track that I’m writing to which brings about the concept. This determines how I deliver my lyrical flow content. If the track is high tempo I usually flow on more beefy up-tempo flow, with more grit in my voice. When the track is mellow, my flow content is more mellow tone & laid back on the track. The concepts of my song are usually storylines, so I highlight certain words and phrases through my verses to identify with the story that I’m writing.
Brief us on what you have on the way for your fans out there.
Well right now “The Spark” is out. We just dropped the single “Big Manufacturers” featuring Ghostface Killah rotating in press circulation, and on blogs, etc. Monday, February 12; I will drop the animation video directed by Shaka Amazulu for the song “Judas” off “The Spark” produced by, and featuring on track Shaka Amazulu an artist out the UK. Then we finish off in March with the single, and video for the song “Vintage” featuring Killah Priest from Sunz of Man, and Shogun Assasson from Killa Army. The next project begins in April entitled “Redeemed” produced by D.J B. Original. Also working on a side album project with my producer Salvee one entitled “Sunny Salvation” releasing on my label Sunn Entertainment Group/Prodigal Sunn Music LLC. Last but not least my next studio album, is entitled “The Rise”. In between those projects, we’ll be launching my store the Sunn Store through Shopify on my website for the Psunn merchandise, music, film, and accessories. There’s plenty of material coming your way the next two years. Be ready.
Tell us what you are doing to increase your fan base.
I’m focused on social media and building new content. For me, it’s about bringing the fan into my world. I use platforms such Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, etc., to post live concerts and special moments in the studio and some of my day-to-day show. To them, I’m just a normal person and it’s OK to be yourself. It’s all about the connection.
Tell us that point in time that you just feel like giving up on your music career.
To be honest I can’t remember ever feeling that way. Never give up on gift, and I learned a long time ago this. The career doesn’t make the gift, the gift makes the career.
Go into detail on how you make your instrumentation or melody.
I’m not a producer, but I’m looking into it. I’ll be able to answer that question in my next interview. Just for the record, my credit in production stems from the film that you can check out on IMDb.com under Prodigal Sunn.
Tell us the best way to get in touch with you on social media.
Give us the links to your various stores.
Tell us your favorite genre of music.
Hip-hop music is my favorite genre of music I’m blessed to partake & contribute my sound to it.
Tell us the subject matter of most of your songs.
My songs are based on real life. No make-believe. I write about things that inspired me, things that I’ve experienced & witnessed growing up in my community, and things I see today. Also the challenges I had to face in life as a young black male growing up in society. My songs not only express the problem, but they also speak on the solution,
Tell us all we need to know about this song.
The song “Big Manufacturers” featuring Ghostface Killah describes that classic raw detail sound of 90’s Hip-hop up to date, with storytelling about growing out of poverty to becoming successful manufacturing our products through music and brand business, which comes out of that Sunz of Man and Wutang Sound that we’re known for.
Tell us what you think about digital distribution and streaming.
We live in a new day and time. It’s sad for music but hey we’ll be OK. The only thing to do is embrace it and figure out a way as an artist to make it work for you. It’s really irrelevant how I feel about it. It’s happening, so as an artist you either grow with the times or stay stuck in your ways. I prefer to grow.
Tell us various ways that artists can boost their revenue.
Here are few ways that work for me:
Tell us your thought on self-training and going to an educational institution to study music.
Self-training means it’s naturally in you to do it. Having an education on the know-how of music is a plus. If you combine the two, it goes hand & hand, so the best thing to do is to do both. My opinion.
Go on at length on what it takes to write a hit song.
Ok, I’ll keep it short.
The first thing you have to be good at what you do as an artist. The next thing is finding the concept to the song & the right track that describes the mood and feel of the sound you working to get across on the track. It’s very important to have a world-related hook, chorus, or catchy phrases in your lyrics at certain points of the song. It’s important to be simple, and not too complicated for people to catch onto. Also a topic or something that most people, if not everyone can relate to. Last but not least you need the right team behind you. You know the saying. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Tell us what you will buy if you want to build your own studio.
First I would find a building already built out in studio mode, so that eliminates me from having to build it out. With so much new music gear and programs out these days, there’s much to choose from. Here’s what I would have in my studio. Apple Mac computer desktop, Pro Tools and Logic, top-of-line interphase, and a condenser microphone.
Go on at length on what it takes to gain the attention of the audience while playing live.
Before I hit the stage. The first thing I do is grab the microphone and warm them up from behind the scenes from the dressing room, purposely to let them know I’m excited to be there and I’m here to give them a good show. Also to show my appreciation for the support from all in the building intended. Also when I enter the stage, I head straight to the center front and greet the crowd with confidence assuring them they’re in store for a great show. To identify with the crowd, I share brief stories about the songs and how they were created & also personal things about myself & my journey when explaining the songs and incidents that may have happened at previous shows on tour. I ultimately feed off the crowd to see how they’re feeling the show from time to time throughout the performance and sometimes welcome local artists to my stage to represent the people & the city they represent. Overall it’s just communicating with the people as your natural self and making them feel at home. No ego.
List your five favorite songwriters.
Here are some of the few songwriters that I respect and admire:
List your five favorite music producers.
RZA, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, DJ Premier, Young Guru.
Describe in detail how you feel when you hear your song on the radio.
I feel accomplished and proud. It’s always a good thing to be loved and represented by the people who like your music. Ultimately it’s the reason your song is playing on the radio.
Describe your best mood to write a song.
I like to write when I’m centered and relaxed in what I’m doing. For me, it gives the best result when I’m writing & helps me grasp the concept with a clear conscience.