ARTIST NAME: Sycosis
SONG TITLE: Meet Me In The Sky
ALBUM TITLE: Mostly Me II
RELEASE DATE: 3/30/2018
GENRE: Hip-Hop / Pop
Chicago Hip-Hop artist Sycosis or S.Y. for short is one step to the left of the line for “ordinary rappers.”
Combining “Conscious Rap” elements with aggressive delivery and hard-hitting punch lines, Sycosis has a style that varies but a message that stays consistent.
Sycosis (psychosis) literally means to be detached from reality and to hear and see things in your own mind, in their own way.
At age four his father went to prison, a traumatic experience that later became the emotional fuel he would need to write music starting at age twelve.
Nine years later he became one of the first members of his family to graduate college.
He returned to Chicago and continued working on new music while teaching and mentoring troubled youth from Chicago’s inner-city schools and teaching adult education inside of the Cook County jail for the last ten years.
With two official Mixtapes in the “Think Twice” series, Sycosis set to establish himself as a legitimate professional with the 2010 release of the “Mostly Me” album – A fitting title that he used to define who he wanted to be as an artist, bold, lyrical, diverse, and passionate.
His second album entitled “Tri-Polar” aimed to take that goal to the next level with the release of six videos for tracks such as “My City”, “Black Whip”, and “Over Everything.”
Sycosis proclaimed “On this album, you got to see all different sides of me as an artist, aggressive, intellectual, and easy going which is why I called it Tri-Polar.”
Since officially releasing Tri-Polar on Halloween 2011 its tracks and videos have been featured on several blogs, global websites, the internet, and college radio stations.
In addition, Sycosis has opened up for major artists such as Twista, Ying Yang Twins, Crooked I, MC Light, Crucial Conflict, and more.
After being nominated as “Artist To Watch” in the 2012 Underground Music Awards NYC, Sycosis has been setting his own standards high.
He followed that success by being nominated for “Hip-Hop Artist Of The Year” by the Midwest Urban Music Awards.
In 2013 Sycosis was ranked the #1 Hip-Hop artist for Chicago from May-August on Reverbnation.
Today his music is being streamed globally in over 60 countries around the world.
In January of 2015, Sycosis launched Gr8er Than Self Entertainment Company with his partner LDorado Jonez.
By the summer, Sycosis and LDorado Jonez embarked on a new journey founding the “How The Midwest Was 1 Tour” uniting over 50 independent artists from across the region at major venues. From The Abbey In Chicago to the Roxy Theater in Denver they built a bond and a brand simultaneously.
In 2016 Sycosis expanded his reach on the music scene landing several major placements on television.
Songs like “Against The Wall” and “My City” have landed in spots like Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Law & Order SVU, Dude Perfect, Chozen, and Sunny Delight to name a few.
He continued landing placements on international television networks leading into 2017 from ESPN to NBC while growing his brand and developing his craft.
2018 was a landmark year with the release of the 3rd studio album “Mostly Me II” released on March 30, 2018.
After more than six years since the last full studio album, and eight years since the original “Mostly Me”, Sycosis made his return bringing his growth and development to the forefront with storytelling, music for the clubs, radio, and the streets.
With his most diverse sound and well-rounded production to date, anticipation for the return was high and the reception was even better.
This year Sycosis will continue to push the envelope further, with his first performance at SXSW in Austin TX, as a part of the Music Gorilla Artist Showcase.
With new music set to be released this summer, Sycosis will continue to stay “In Motion”.
Tell us how to refine a demo to a mastered song.
I think refining any song takes starting with the end in mind. In other words, have an idea of how you ultimately want it to sound in post-production and after it is recorded you have to listen to it in several kinds of speakers, headphones, and sound systems. Listen over and over and use your gut feeling to make adjustments on where it is and where you want it to be.
Discuss the processing involved in creating a song.
I start with an emotion that I want to capture after listening to what the music tells me.
I learned that the songs will write themselves for you if you learn to listen better to the melodies, the instruments, and the drums.
After that, I try to hone in on the first theme that my mind settles on.
Next, it’s picking a flow and the voice that I think suits the music, and lastly, it’s picking the actual words to get the message across.
Elaborate on the theme of most of your songs.
I think the theme of most of my songs is triumphing or overcoming some kind of battle.
Sometimes the battle is the political system or prison industrial complex.
Sometimes the battle is love or a relationship.
Others the battle is the music industry as a whole and the uphill battle of being a creative writer with something to say in the middle of so many cookie-cutters/copy-paste-sounding artists and songs.
But probably the biggest battle I write about is overcoming myself and my fears. That’s the story my latest album “Mostly Me II” tells.
Tell us your greatest musical works up to date.
I believe as a whole “Mostly Me II” is my greatest musical work because I allowed myself to experiment with so many different sounds in the production and did a lot of genre-bending that I don’t think most listeners hear on one project.
I went from hardcore aggressive Hip-Hop songs such as the intro “A.N.C.” to Caribbean-style dance songs like “Meet Me In The Sky”, all the way to gospel-influenced songs like “Be Blessed”.
Tell us those behind your music process.
I write all my own music but I have a strong team that helps it comes to life.
My partner LDorado Jonez from Gr8er Than Self Entertainment plays a huge role in the executive production of my projects.
Additionally, I have one of the best engineers in the industry in Matthew Sawicki of Suburban Pro studios, and one of the best producers and writers The Homie Chris from St. Louis.
Tell us how you are handling the promotion of your music.
I promote my music through ads on social media, digital streaming services, and YouTube.
I work with DJs and DJ teams to add my songs to record pools.
I work with Bands In Town and Song Kick to promote performances.
Lastly, I look for partnerships with outside entities that work with artists or use music as a part of their services like Music Gorilla and other sync licensing companies to get my songs in TV shows, commercials, and film.
Tell us your future goals and how you aim to accomplish them.
I have several goals both inside and out of music but one of the goals is to tour internationally as soon as possible.
Being on the stage I think is my true calling.
Outside of that, I want to create a learning and creative space for kids back home in Chicago to help them actualize their dreams.
Tell us what you think has changed in the music industry.
I think digital streaming platforms have changed the landscape of music a lot.
I think it has increased the amount of competition as fans can get music so easily on their phones and has decreased the anticipation of new projects.
However, it has also created new opportunities for an independent artist that wouldn’t have existed outside of a major record deal and that’s where I see myself fitting in.
Tell the greatest mistake to avoid while making a song.
Changing who you are to sound like whatever is trending.
Tell us how you boost your performance.
I think creating as many sounds as you can, gives you an array of songs to pull out your bag no matter what stage you are on so you always feel like you have something they will like, even if they have never heard of you.
Explain the structure of the song.
“Meet Me In The Sky” features John E. Davis III and is produced by Petrofsky of Sky Beats.
I wanted to make a song that right away had an international feel with the music and drums, something that feels like you are on the coast near water.
Once I got the track I wrote a chorus to it that just felt uplifting and titled it Meet Me In The Sky.
John found a perfect melody for it and gave it a catchy sing-along feel to elevate it to another level.
After that, it was a matter of me telling the story of meeting a beautiful woman that I had to figure out how to win over while John uses the melody and hook to tie it all together.
Discuss how the instruments come together for a song.
The piano chords are the first thing you hear on this track followed by a guitar, drums, synths, claps.
The production is pretty simple but effective in laying the groundwork for the melody that John adds to it, with the harmony and singing.
State your musical skills.
My biggest skill I think is being a storyteller. That’s what I think I am best at.
My job is to take an emotion or thought process and paint a visual picture with words through a story that captures how the listener feels. That’s why I picked the name Sycosis.
Tell us if you consider acting in a movie.
I would love to act in a movie. In fact, my business partner and fellow artist LDorado Jonez is a SAG AFTA actor who has had speaking roles in film and television. I actually do readings with him for auditions so I’ve been working on my acting skills.
Tell us how you eliminate noise in your recordings.
Soundproofing as much as possible, using condensers and pop stoppers are huge but having the right equipment and engineer are the best answer.
List the name of artists you cherish most.
There are too many to name but one of the biggest influences on me as a child was a group from Chicago called Psycho Drama. Their song “Magic” was probably the first Rap song I ever knew all the words to and I was blown away by how cool, smooth, and aggressive they were able to be with ease on any song.
Tell us how you get inspiration.
I just keep living, as long as my life is not stagnant and I’m doing new things I think I will always feel inspired.
Elaborate on the song.
Meet Me In The Sky is track 4 on my album. The album and the artwork themselves are a story. So this song takes place as the rising action of the story where I just found my confidence and focus to get back into music and boom, I’m distracted by a beautiful woman who then becomes the focus of the next 4 songs as the relationship progresses then ultimately breaks down.
The song itself though reminded me of the Caribbean and West Africa and I hope every woman and especially Black Women hear this song and find the power in it that I’m hoping to speak into them.
Elaborate on your artist name and the title of the album.
I picked the name “Sycosis” at 12-year-old after spending a week reading the dictionary trying to improve my vocabulary as an artist.
It just spoke to me as someone who lives in their own world and you can’t convince them that they are out of touch, they just see it differently.
The album title “Mostly Me II’ is the sequel to my first album where I revisited where I am and who I have become since releasing my first album almost ten years ago now.