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Kreyolicious Interview: Stichiz, Hip-Hop Artist, Part 2

Stichiz yellow
Watch Stichiz spit out her rhymes as the sole female in the song “We Dem Zoes” alongside Mecca AKA Grimo and Grimass. Yeah, she can hold her own. Born in Ottawa, Canada, the award-winning, hip-hop artist, radio personality, and community leader was raised by Haitian parents in Miami.

So without much ado, check out PART TWO of my interview with her. CLICK HERE if you missed PART ONE.

Kreyolicious: There’s Stichiz the artist, and Stichiz the radio personality. But, there’s also Stichiz the community leader who inspires a lot of girls. Who is the person who’s inspired you the most in life?

Really, my mom and sister they are just amazing human beings. And it may sound corny, but truthfully, Jesus inspires me when I read the Scriptures. How he treated people even in the midst of persecution and doubt from others, and knowing that there is a heaven. That’s inspiring and motivates me to do better and walk in purpose—according to his plan.

Kreyolicious: There are lots of girls out there who feel helpless and hopeless. Girls…women with degrees who can’t get jobs. Women who feel like their lives aren’t going anywhere…those who are facing age milestones and their lives are nothing like they thought it would be. What would you like to say to them?

For anyone [going through those types of situations], I would just say, “Don’t give up!” One of the things I truly believe is, if you are still breathing then God still has a purpose and plan for you. My advice is always to pray and ask God to guide and give me wisdom in what he wants to do. I may want to do something, but it may not be my calling but…there is something ten times better already set for you and me. Staying around positive and uplifting people is also very important. Your support systems are the people who will encourage you to keep moving forward when you feel like you want to give up. And honestly, whether you’re ten-years-old or fifty-two-years-old, when something is built in you and assigned for you to do, it will happen just stay prayed up and focused. Your time will come. Have faith, and believe that it will. Something that keeps me uplifted is Hebrews 11:1…that first line, “Now, faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

Stichiz

Above: Hyper-active in her community, the hip-hop artist and radio personality/community leader talks to youths during a OIC South Florida summit. Photo Credit: OIC South Florida

Kreyolicious: And what specific advice would you like to give to another female who wants to work in radio?

I would really encourage trying to get an internship, that will allow you to get your foot in the door and learn various positions. If an internship is not possible, reach out to a radio personality, and try to connect with them, be humble and show that you really want to learn. Of course, not everyone will help, but you never know they can give you pointers and some personal advice. Another option is finding a job within a radio station even if it’s not in programming or particularly being on air…Get your foot in the door. Pray and just work your way up honey.

The number one thing you need is a short air check—which is a recording of how you sound. Make your own personal show. I would definitely recommend whatever station you are interested in that you listen to that station and understand the format and create your aircheck based on what you hear on the station. If it’s about two minutes and maybe thirty seconds…that should be enough. Understand how the personalities are talking out of songs and into songs. Know your craft. Also, there are so many internet radio shows. Try to connect with someone who has a show on line and learn a few pointers or start your own show there as well. Possibilities are endless.
Stichiz

Kreyolicious: Do your parents have any misgivings about your having a career in radio and in hip-hop?

Not really for radio. My mom always says that she pictured me having my own show mainly on TV…[Laughter]But for music you know, they did. [Laughter] Being raised by Haitian parents, of course…being an artist/rapper was not something they wanted to hear about…especially since I was a little kid I talked about making a difference in my community as a lawyer/congresswoman/artist. It was really my sister who had my back consistently, I would be 12-years-old performing at events/clubs with grown men, coming home really late. My parents were not particularly happy with that.

But you know what I never forgot the day, must have been the grace of God, both of my parents came to one of my shows, and once they saw me perform…They were in complete shock! After that show, I saw that they really believed in me and were finally rooting for me. My sister really made them realize though that I was doing good in school, involved, and would rather go perform or record then go out and party! I don’t think I will ever forget that moment!

Kreyolicious: Is finding inspiration for your art easy?

Thank you sweet baby Jesus YES!!! I think mainly because my inspiration comes from life itself, a lot of it is my life, could be relating to the majority and the minority of our world! I plan to continue to make music that can be relative to anyone’s life, because once you can relate you can appreciate and that’s pretty much all I ask.

Kreyolicious: The perception in hip-hop, the impression in pop music is that brown-skinned girls don’t have it easy.

I remember hearing people say, “If you’re light, you’re alright. If you’re black, get back.” Well, I am what some have called dark-skinned, brown-skinned, [or] whatever is clever. At the end of the day, all black is beautiful! This is actually a serious perception that I have personally seen. [The darker the skin, the] lower the self-esteem of young girls and boys both consciously and many unconsciously. To be honest, this is something far deeper than just music and hip-hop. I’ll even stretch it a bit and say that this perception connects with the divide and conquer ideology theory. Ohh lawdy, you’re about to have me get deep in here. [Laughter]
Stichiz

Kreyolicious: Where do you hope to take your career?

Nowhere but up…honestly! I want to create a different sound of music. I want like many artist I know, to go back to the essence of what it means to be an artist. Loving, appreciating and understanding your craft the gift that God blessed you with, and having a real purpose. My goal is to be able to touch people positively from across the globe. Simple answer. [Laughter] The sky is the limit…Anywhere there are people! I hope to be able to spread the message and somehow help cultivate a new generation!
Stichiz

Above: Stichiz poses with two supporters.

Kreyolicious: You have a song “Anale”, that’s sung partly in English, and partly in Creole. Do you ​think ​it’s important for artists straddling the two identities to perform in Creole?

Well…really it’s kind of a given if you are an artist and you’re promoting yourself as a hip-hop Creole artist and you never cut a record where you’re not spitting in Creole at all or people never hear you performing in Creole at all, that pretty much defeats the purpose of tagging yourself as being a hip-hop Creole artist. That’s like an artist saying they are a reggaeton artist, but never speak a lick, line, bar of Spanish in their songs.

Nevertheless, I do not believe just because someone is of Haitian decent they have to perform in Creole, though I would say it would be nice and I am sure our Haitian community would, appreciate seeing someone from our culture doing a bang-up job representing. But, the truth is, it’s not every Haitian person [who] speaks Creole. [Laughter] But needless to say, a good…“Sakpase” I am sure would help! [Laughter] Personally, I love mixing English and Creole and twist of French in some of my songs…that’s part of my Stichzophrenic sound. I’m not going to run away from being who I am, so why not showcase it when I can!

Kreyolicious: When was the last time you went to Haiti? What was the impression you had?

A few years ago…I was pretty young. I can remember saying to myself, “Wow, this is not what I see on TV. The beaches were beautiful.” I can remember thinking somehow, when I get older I am going to do my part helping better my land!

Kreyolicious: Will your fans eventually get a full album from you?

Yasssssssssssssssssssss [Laughter] My EP is almost done. #SoulSearc​hing will be dropping ​​later in ​2016​ and I just released my new single “It’s Really Love”. ​Check out the video on Youtube! ​It’s also available for purchase on iTunes and GooglePlay. It’s such a fun song about love and has been getting airplay, so it’s been really wonderful.

​If I can say thank you Kreyolicious for your support to all my supporters’ thank you, thank you​,​ thank you and please know that I am working diligently. I have been writing a lot of songs, not only for myself but for other artist and producers, performing and hosting, right now​.​ Feel free to stay connected with me.

STITCHIZ WEBSITE| STICHIZ ON TWITTER| STITCHIZ ON YOUTUBE | STITCHIZ ON FACEBOOK

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Kreyolicious Interview: @Stichiz, Hip-Hop Artist, Part 1

Stichiz
If you’re from Miami, or if you’re familiar with the urban scene and everything that’s popping on South Florida, Stichiz is surely on your radar. She’s one of the most popular radio personalities and influencers on the scene. Record labels court her because they know she’s got her pulse on the Miami market. Marketers and publicists seek her out because they know that once their client has got the Stiching Stamp, they’re set. Firms and organizations looking for an influencer who has a genuine connection with Miami’s movers and shakers blow up her phone and clog her email inbox non-stop. As one of 103.5 The Beat’s radio deejays, Stichiz not only pumps the hottest jams for the tri-county demo, but also inspires her audience and fans through her work as a community activist and hip-hop artist.

Kreyolicious: Tell us more about yourself.

First and foremost, thank you kindly for taking the timeout to speak with me…super shout out to Kreyolicious and thank you for supporting indie artists. Originally from Ottawa, Canada and of Haitian decent, I am an artist,[and besides being] a radio personality, [I am also a] voiceover actress, a lover of my community, a lover of God-Jesus Christ, music, life and positive vibes.
Stichiz
Kreyolicious: When you were in high school, were you part of your school’s radio station, or were you an announcer?

Funny ​enough, in high school, my best friend and I rallied support to create a TV and film production course, which I believe they may still have today. Not so much radio, but more so on camera and mc’ing. During lunch, we would create “Freestyle Friday” sessions where we would have students battle each other—but all in good fun. I would rap a few bars and host. [Laughter]

Kreyolicious: Your name stands out for sure. How did you get the name Stichiz?

I actually got my name when I was a little a kid. My older sister was really heavy in music, and she knew a number of deejays. One day, she was meeting with a deejay friend of hers and she was like, “Hey…my sister knows how to rap!” And I guess I really didn’t exemplify the typical female MC. I was like maybe eleven or twelve years old at the time. And he’s like, “Yeah, right…Spit something.” I looked at her she gave me the nod. I looked at him, and just started going. He was like, “Yo, she just gave me stitches, son”. And from then on, it stuck. Every time I rap, I try to give people stitches. [It’s an] inside joke. Oh, and not to mention my sister’s name was also Lace. So, it pretty much made sense.
Stichiz
Above: Stichiz poses with two guests of 103.5 The Beat.

Kreyolicious: It’s an especially exciting time for you. You’re releasing your first EP? What was it like putting it together—choosing the songs to include, and deciding who to work with?

Yes. I am super excited about my new EP which is currently titled #SoulSearching which will be released in 2016! Though with most of my songs I always end up having a message behind it, this EP is also centered on inspiration. Like many I experienced a lot of pain, loss, etc. spiritual battles and still tried to keep a smile on my face. #SoulSearching will pretty much take you on a journey from real love to reggae/Creole wake up vibes and smooth not-fully-jazzy, but kind of melodic sounding, stiching vibes. What is “stiching”? If you anyone has heard any of my other compilations #StichzophrenicMusic, “The New Standard”, “Dark Sunny Days” etc, you already have an idea. [Laughter] If not, then once you listen to #SoulSearching—you will find out for sure.
Stichiz

Kreyolicious: Do you have a favorite track on the CD?

Honestly, I love the whole CD. A few tracks in particular that I think many will cling to first is “Really Love” produced by a good friend of mine Tracksionz, mixed by Jorge from Studio Center. It’s really just an easy flowing track that I think almost anyone can listen to. It speaks of the true essence of love. I really wanted to speak for the woman lyrically who truly loves the man that she feels she’s been blessed with as a life partner. The second one is called #SoulSearching aka “Moving Mountains”—instruments played by Tracksionz as well, and mixed by Robert Dante (Red Velvet Basement Studios). The track is short, but the making of it was amazing I had a vision to gather four singers onto one track and the names that came to mind were Lavie, Sassy Singz, Giel and Ichechi. These ladies all have amazing ranges of voices, and have great spirits and were down to sing a song that I wrote. It’s one of those moving Yass-God, faith-based inspirational tracks. And of course, you know I had to have a Creole hip-hop reggae track on there which so far those who have heard ‘really love’—no pun intended. [Laughter] There is also another track called “My Black Is Beautiful”. Funny story about that record…a good friend of mine called me while I was in the studio, and she was telling me about what happened to her daughter. Her daughter was pretty much told by a young boy’s father that her complexion was too dark, which made her feel unattractive. That really messed with my mind, and I hear so many stories of our woman and men having low self-esteem because of their complexion. Typically, if you are a shade darker, it is not considered beautiful. So, I took all of that and went into the booth and just started making sounds and lyrics came out. All the sounds you hear on that particular record I made with my voice. So, it’s pretty cool—and I hope motivating.

Stichiz

Stichiz wears boots and an all-black leather outfit here and poses with members of the 103.5 The Beat family in Miami.

Kreyolicious: Is finding inspiration for your art easy?

Thank you Jesus. For me, yes it is…because my inspiration comes from life itself, a lot of it is my life, or stories I know about and people and things I am introduced to.

Kreyolicious: How important is image to an artist’s success?

I learned at a very young age [that] it is very important. However, with social media being so prevalent you can kind of get away with a few things that you wouldn’t before. I think that mainly because if you can build your following on your own, then your base will 9 times out of 10 stick with you no matter what you look like. Today, many would still say that you still need a lick of talent to make it in the industry. If you have a great image, you’re golden! I have always been a believer in staying true to who you are… because at the end of the day, what will last longer my image or the message and music? People are will eventually be able to tell if you are faking something!
Kreyolicious: Was it easy to get to where you are? What are some of the things you had to overcome?

Not at all…and honestly I don’t believe I’ve reached my peak as yet [laughter], but am thankful to sweet Jesus that I am not where I was. [Laughter] I think one of the biggest obstacles especially being a woman in Christ in this industry, is standing my ground on what I am willing and unwilling to do. My focus is inspiring and connecting, changing things for the better how ever God allows me to, and I believe He gave me the ability to do that through music. However, that’s not always easy when people expect you to dress a certain way, rap about certain things when it’s not who you are. That was one of my main challenges, but I can honestly say I am moving forward and blessed with people around me who believe in what I do—and how I am doing it.
Stichiz radio personality

Kreyolicious: What was it like working with Mecca AKA Grimo and Grimass, your fellow Miami MCs for the song “We Dem Zoes”?

Those guys are awesome they are all super amazing to work with and they are all super talented. When Magnificent Beats—the producer—and Dj Epps gave us our first track to work on together, while we were in Studio Center. It just clicked. I really thank God that we are able to push forward with this project. It will be something amazing, barrier-breaking and really inspirational.

Kreyolicious: How would you describe the music scene in Miami right now?

I think music in general is still on the scale of dance type follow along music, and really up-tempo rap ride tracks… I’m from Broward and the music that I notice circulating around is either like I mentioned up tempo follow along tell you what I do type of dance tracks, or a slow ride out vibe type of track—if that makes any sense.

Be on the lookout for PART TWO of the interview with Stichiz. Meanwhile…

CLICK HERE TO VISIT STITCHIZ’ WEBSITE| STICHIZ ON TWITTER| STITCHIZ ON YOUTUBE | STITCHIZ ON FACEBOOK

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Original author: Kat
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