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Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Artist Of The Week - Sirah
Monday, November 05, 2007

Most assume that the life of a rock star’s child is a blessed one. Constantly traveling with the band and living the celebrity life from day one. Sirah’s father traveled with a number of bands, but the rock star lifestyle wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. He fell down a path of drug addiction that eventually took his life and his daughter would soon find herself traveling down that same path. For Sirah, however, there was a savior and that savior was, and still is, Hip-Hop. On November 6th Sirah will be releasing her debut EP, a collaboration with DJ Hoppa of Broken Complex, titled Clean Windows Dirty Floors. In the past year Sirah’s also worked with Aceyalone on a project titled The Sistem and opened for the likes of KRS-ONE and Dilated Peoples. When it comes to the music she’s creating the 20 year old MC is currently working on bridging the genre gap, collaborating with artists from other scenes. Not bad for a woman who says when she started she was “never actually considering it a profession because I was awful.” This week I sat down with Sirah to discuss her turbulent childhood, what inspired her cross country move from New York to California, and how Hip-Hop saved her life.

Adam Bernard: You have a fascinating past that includes a father who toured with rock bands and then later passed away from a heroin overdose. How did you go about handling such highs and lows as a child and how much of your father’s personality do you see in yourself?
Sirah: The part of my childhood that people know about is a very small part of a rather large dysfunctional picture which I'm sure as I release more tracks people will come to see. My father was in numerous bands, touring with the Doobie Brothers amongst others. He was my life. I grew up taking care of him. Thankfully it was a really music oriented household regardless of the chaos. My father passed away on November 6th of 1999 which is why I'm releasing my EP on that date. I dealt with life through reading books, drugs in my earlier years, and writing words. I see my father's personality through everything I do, especially my sarcasm. I just had a show and I told everyone the reason I have that accent is because I'm from Canada. (laughs) Sometimes people don't get me, but I think it's hilarious.

Adam Bernard: Being in a musical household you grew up on a mix of genres. When and how did Hip-Hop get into that mix?
Sirah: I grew up on folk music. My father hated rap music and couldn’t grasp Hip-Hop. Once I was out of my father's grips, however, I happened upon Big Pun, Big L, Fat Joe and Lauryn Hill. I was forever belting ”I don't wanna be a playaaaa no moreeee." I had no idea about Hip-Hop as a movement until a few years later. I discovered Hip-Hop in pieces like tiny secrets that had been stashed away for me.

Adam Bernard: After growing up in New York, the birthplace of Hip-Hop, why did you decide to leave and move all the way across the country to LA? Was there something in LA that was especially appealing, or something in New York that was especially unappealing?
Sirah: Oh man. I wish I could say I moved to LA to pursue some sort of blossoming career but at the time, as I had mentioned previously, I was a drug addict over in New York. Quite a mess as you can imagine. I got arrested literally two times a week for a few months. My family kept getting me out, but it got to the point where I had to either move away or go to foster care. My mother was moving to Los Angeles temporarily and I was forced to come with her. It seems I haven't left.

Adam Bernard: Well, it’s clearly made you creative as you now have an EP to show for your stay there. What’s the meaning behind the title of Clean Windows Dirty Floors and what can listeners expect from the album?
Sirah: I would hate to box it up. I don't think people know what to expect and I want to keep everyone forever on their toes. This EP covers my current condition spanning from earlier this year. The reason I named it Clean Windows Dirty Floors is because I have a lot of perspectives but my life is a mess. I've been touring Europe and America, sleeping on couches and floors, eating bananas and drinking coffee with showers in-between. I know what I want and where I'm going but it's just the in-between I'm not too sure about.

Adam Bernard: The majority of female MCs that gain fame seem to have a predilection for rhyming about their crotch and their skills in the sack. Why didn’t you go the “oversexed” route?
Sirah: (laughs) As much as I'd like to rhyme about my crotch or how many men I've slept I don’t have the heart for it. I'm also not sure I could keep a straight face. I'm not here to gain fame, I'm here because I was on the brink and Hip-Hop saved my life. I'd rather be considered an artist than a sex symbol, plus I like to eat a lot and I get caught slippin in sweat pants. If I were that girl I would ruin my image.

Adam Bernard: How do you feel Hip-Hop saved your life?
Sirah: I don't try to drive into the divider on the freeway. I get to travel the world with my friends. I have a working knowledge of why an AeroBed is a staple in people’s lives, and I inspire people to be who they truly are. It's a good look.

Related Links

MySpace: myspace.com/sirahone
Modern Organic: modernorganic.org
Broken Complex: brokencomplex.com


posted by Adam Bernard @ 7:40 AM  
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