If there was ever an artist to save the world it is Contay The Hero. And that IS his dream. Born in the blues capital of the world (Greenville, Mississippi) and raised in the Hip-Hop mecca that is Atlanta, Ga Contay is an ARTIST. With a flow that changes like water with the waves of the beat, Contay The Hero, has no genre. Being an avid poet and guitarist he never sought to bring the two worlds together until he met his musical partner and best friend, Saint-Dash, that he would start to become what he was destined to be. The artist the world has been waiting for. And the leader the world has needed. We sat down and asked Contay a few questions about his musical start, and his plans to take over in 2014!
Entertwine: We love your tunes, awesome talent! So tell us, how did you get your start in music?
Contay The Hero: Believe it or not I never really wanted to do music. It was just one of those things that was too powerful to ignore. I’m an avid gamer, dancer, and poet. That was my entire world up until April 2011, when a friend of mines (Saint-Dash who is now my musical partner in business) was looking for a place to record other artist. I just so happened to have an extra gaming room with a free closet that he could use so I turned it into a studio instead. One day he wanted me to record the guitar over a backingtrack and during that process I recorded a poem I wrote to the intro of Usher’s “There Goes My Baby” so many people loved it that I couldn’t ignore the calling any longer. And the rest will be for the historians to figure out.lol
ET: Poetry seemed to be something you were involved in early on, as well as guitar. How did these two things shape you to be the artist you are today?
CTH: I’ve always been a hopeless romantic. A supporter of true love, love at first sight, and the broken hearted. No clear explanation for why I’m that way just always been. So with me being a hopeless romantic I’m obviously deeply in touch with my emotions. I mean the littlest thing will bring tears to my eyes. I can connect with the emotions of others so easily and empathize with people others can not. It’s a curse sometimes, that I can tell you. But it’s who I am and I love me! The guitar playing came from a video game. GUITAR HERO/ROCKBAND to be exact. Those video games basically made me want to play the solo’s of popular rock songs for real instead of the color coded button pressing. Glad to say that I did eventually teach myself those solos. Crazy Train was the first one I learned.lol Randy Rhodes is a guitar god!
ET: How did your hometown of Greenville, Mississippi influence your musical upbringing? How did it shape your sound?
CTH: Greenville, Mississippi is the blue capital of the world. Back in it’s day every popular blues singer performed there. From B.B. King to Johnny Taylor Greenville kept the dance clubs packed and the people partying. My mother absolutely LOVED blues. I would hear it when I wake up in the morning. While she cooked and cleaned we would sing her favorite blues songs together and she would encourage my dancing and performing which got increasingly better as her friends got drunker.lol It was a magical time for me. The music was all about love. Cheating love, strong love, weak love, painful love, or no love at all. Its just one of those genres where real live is thrown at you full force and you have no time to prepare for it….only listen. I would say blues plays a BIG part in my music. It’s mixed into the R&B songs I do and gave me a view of all kinds of relationships. Watching the old folks party was one of my favorite past times and still is today as they get down to my renditions of old school songs. It just brings a smile to my face that I can recreate something like blues but with a more modern feel.
ET: Your website says that you “dont have a genre” for your music. What do you mean by this? If you had to assign a genre to yourself, which would it be?
CTH: I have no genre because I have made and will continue to make songs in all genres. From opera to country I’ve done it all. It’s a great feeling when you can listen to an instrumental of any kind and be inspired to write within that set genre. To bring it out in all its glory but with a little twist of you in it, but if I really had to pick a genre I would say R&B. For I love that genre the most.
ET: Is there a story behind the name, “Contay The Hero?
CTH: Yes there is. Ever since I was little I was fascinated by the “HERO” concept. Not necessarily super heroes but political and social heroes who selflessly gave their time, energy, and talents to changing the world. They left behind a legacy for the future generations to carry on and in a way made themselves immortal. To me they are the REAL superheroes. Men like Tom Paine, Mahatmas Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. these kind of men inspired “The Hero” within Contay.
ET: You will be playing the Macon, Ga National Cherry Blossom Festival in just a few weeks – how are you prepping for this large event, and what can fans expect?
CTH: Yes, and I am very excited about this show! It’s going to be one of the most amazing shows I’ve done to date. In order to pull that off though my label and I have had to do a lot of leg work to get one of the best live old school bands in Ga, “The Conquest Band”. They travel all across America to play so I am very excited to have acquired their assistance as well the outstanding Child Choir from this amazing Church in Cochran, Ga, (Thank You Reverand Alton Walker Sr.). To prepare we are of course offering the performance CD for free with a purchase of an incredible T-Shirt from Lyrically Genius Entertainment as well as free photos with the performing artist. The show will consist of 6 songs 4 of which are old school renditions that I’m sure the family friendly crowd will love since all of my music is without hate, drugs, and cussing.
ET: For those who may not have heard your sound yet, how do you hope to catch the listeners ear?
I hope to be able to shock them. Its been one of my favorite past times since I’ve started putting my music out there. People will look at you and judge what you do for themselves before you present your talent and I’ve come to appreciate that kind of short sightedness for it leads to an even bigger wide eyed amazed look when they actually hear what I do not to mention see me actually do it. The greatest compliment I’ve ever recieved was from an older gentleman who didn’t and still believes he doesn’t listen to rap. He told me what I’m doing is not rapping it’s smoother and more lyrical than that. He called me a musician and shook my hand as he paid for his first CD from a “rapper”. My music and lyrics break barriers and to me that’s one of the greatest gifts God has given me.
ET: Are there any certain messages you strive to get across to your fans, lyrically? Musically?
CTH: I strive to promote unity and equality for all. Removing the labels and tearing down the walls that separate us as a human race. I hope my music can inspire others to love and respect one another. Teach and mentor the youth to love and respect each other as well as their elders. Music has the reach to do it and I believe that I can accomplish this dream and have been accomplishing this dream.
ET: What have been one of your favorite songs you’ve written to date, and why?
CTH: Say It First ft. LaPorsche Kirkland. It’s just so relatable and smooth. Every man, woman, and even teenager has been in some form of love. Whether it’s puppy love, that tittilating moment when you first fall in love, or you are deeply in love now. We all have experienced it and we’ve all said to ourselves at some point in time. I’m not going to admit I love them until they say it first. Holding back those feelings of complete passion and desire until you’re presumed forever person looks you in the eyes and confessses those three little words thats been sitting on the edge of your tongue for the past few weeks now!…that’s why it’s my favorite song. Ha!
ET: Besides the Cherry Blossom Festival this year, what can fans expect from Contay The Hero in 2014?
CTH: Let’s see….that’s a good question. I will be releasing an official mixtape on live mixtapes and datpiff. Should be around July, but we all know how projects tend to fall behind as more projects come up. Hired a PR guy so the blog will be updated weekly now, by the way Jackie I LOVE YOUR BLOG, told my PR guy all about recreating it’s awesomeness! I digress, I will also be touring beginning the end of June. LIVE BAND AND ALL! It’s going to be exciting to be on the road of success, I plan to ride it till the wheels fall off, for one day I can look back and say I actually pulled off changing the world. 😀