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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 - Stacy Epps
Monday, August 18, 2008

I have to admit, I haven’t found a lot of female emcees I can get into, which is why it was such a breath of fresh air when I came across Stacy Epps. She can rhyme, she can sing and she has a soulfulness about her that permeates through her work. Much like her music, Epps is a mix of things herself, being part black and part Japanese, and with her album, The Awakening, just being released online, the emcee / singer is about to embark on a month-long European tour. While the well-traveled purveyor of positive vibes was packing her bags for her trip I caught up with her to find out more about her life growing up as an army brat, what it was like working with the likes of MF Doom and Bahamadia, and how her law degree is just a backup plan.

Adam Bernard: Start me off with a little bit of background info. Who is Stacy Epps, where is she from and when did she get into music?
Stacy Epps: Stacy Epps is a busy lady. (laughs) I work very hard at everything I do and I work to represent on all levels for good and for humanity and peace and love. We have people representin for the hood and for the violence, so I’ll just bring it on the other side and bring a little balance to the game. I’m an army brat so I’ve lived all over the place. I was born in Georgia, left two months after I was born and then started my journey from there. Four different elementary schools, two different kindergartens, I moved a lot and it’s been a part of me. I’ve always loved music, but I didn’t grow up in a musical family or anything, it was more just regular life and just listening to music and falling in love with it from when I was young.

Adam Bernard: Any relation to Omar Epps?
Stacy Epps: I don’t think so. There’s more of a chance that I could be related to Michael Epps. My dad talked to him before and they’re kind from around the same area, so there’s more of a chance that I’m related to him. It was so weird because somebody started a Michael Epps page, hit me up like “hey, what’s up cousin,” then dismantled the page. I think it was a stalker.

Adam Bernard: Very creepy. Moving to your music, you rhyme and sing. Which came first and are there certain things you feel you can voice better with one than the other?
Stacy Epps: I’ve always loved singing, but as far as on stage I started out rapping first, then I found my voice with singing and started singing. With rhyming you can say more, you use more words. With singing your voicing, your melodies and your tones can express so much, even aside from words. I think that’s how they balance each other out. I like to sing and rhyme so it depends what the music brings to me or whatever my writing is. It’s totally based on feeling.

Adam Bernard: You’ve worked with some pretty big names, including MF Doom and Bahamadia. What did you take away from those experiences?
Stacy Epps: Man, as far as with Doom, really just seeing him and his process and how he puts rhymes together. He literally writes on post-its on walls, ill ass rhymes, and just puts them together. He’s just a wordsmith, truly. It was an amazing experience to be able to work with him. As far as Bahamadia, performing with her, I could just see the professionalism and how she would just hold it down and her flow is just ill. For me it was seeing her and her performances and what she does, traveling with her and building with her every now and then. It was a learning experience because you know when you’re on tour with somebody you really spend a lot of time with them. We’re about to tour with Roxanne Shante and Bahamadia. That’s gonna be a huge learning experience. Invincible and Yara Bravo will also be on the tour.

Adam Bernard: After you earned a BA from UVA and a law degree from USC, what was your family’s reaction when you decided to become an artist instead? Did they see this coming?
Stacy Epps: Yeah, because I’ve always been doing music throughout the process of my schooling. It kind of keeps me grounded. For them, they’re just like “oh, that’s Stacy.” Like how I’m leaving now, I’ve always been that way so they’re kind of used to it. They’re really cool, actually. They’re very supportive of me and what I do and I really appreciate that. They enjoy the music, too.

Adam Bernard: And I guess after being an army brat touring is pretty easy.
Stacy Epps: Oh yeah, man, that’s what I do. I had to come to realize that I am a sound gypsy and I make moves. That’s been my life.

Adam Bernard: Finally, other than the fact that you REALLY know how to read those contracts, how has your educational background aided you in your career as an independent artist?
Stacy Epps: I really want to help other artists who I’m really feelin, help them within this industry. We’re in such a time of change right now I just want to be a part of making it what it is as we move forward.

Related Links

Website: stacyepps.com
MySpace: myspace.com/stacyepps

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