First you’re strangers, then you meet and immideatly discover you’re both lovers of everything that’s aesthetically stimulating and appealing. I’ve met a few people who have that creative spark written all over them and can appreciate anything that requires a creative process. Ryan Perez is one of those people who has that natural creative eye and humble aura around him. He’s an artist who is musically and intellectually stimulated, and appreciative of the beauty that surrounds him. Born and raised inHuntington Park, California, Ryan knew one of his purposes in life was to take the microphone, his rhymes, and his alter ego (Shneaky) to create music worthy of being heard. Since the release of The Shneakyness EP in June 2010, Shneaky has been hard at work in the Bipolar Music studio. Shneaky’s latest album, Strictly Sinatra was born in the Bipolar Music lab, released February 2011, and is where modern hip-hop meets class. Shneaky has stories to tell and a little something to say about life. I’m all about spreading the love of music, especially when a good album is produced by local artists within the Los Angeles region and created for the LOVE. Get to know a little bit about Shneaky and his love for what he does.
Lush: What or who is the concept and influcence(s) behind “StrictlySinatra”?
Shneaky: Honestly, Strictly Sinatra was born out of my impatience, Richie’s incredible skill, and my love for Frank Sinatra. We had been working on the album for going on a year and a half now, and I was eager to show people my music and my art. I wanted to share more with the people beyond the low quality 3 song EP that I had put out. So I gave Richie some Sinatra tracks and told him to work his magic. A week later we had 6 beats and 4 concepts to put out something raw, in the meantime, for people to actually hear me rap over some original Richie [Jamz] beats.
Lush: When did you first start developing your passion for music?
Shneaky: My brother had a huge role in that. See, we lost our father when we were young – I was 7 he was 12. As most kid brothers do, I idolized him and he really was the main positive male role model in my young life. He played guitar, and was in some bands so naturally I wanted to do the same. I took guitar lessons, I took drum lessons, I tried to learn how to play piano, but nothing really stuck. Until High School Jazz band when I started thinking that the trumpet would be my instrument. That’s when the passion was born.
Lush: Aside from being a rapper, what other roles are you taking on in music?
Shneaky: Before I rapped/flowed/freestyled, I was a DJ. I continue to DJ, taking whatever opportunity to drop originals and mash-ups at parties and kickbacks. During the “DJ years” I was organizing and promoting my own events. That’s taken a back seat at the moment, but I’m pretty sure once the album comes out I’m going to get back on that grind. Eventually I want to evolve from just a rapper or lyricist to actually being a song writer, and possibly producing and creating my own music on a whole other level.
Lush: How much of an impact does your spirituality play into your music?
Shneaky: This question is a pretty complex one. The most obvious examples where you hear it playing out in the album is in my Catholic upbringing and knowledge of the bible. For example, when I talk about, “ten commandments given to oppress, ten plagues to set them free…” (Fools Rush In), and “ancient scriptures teaching me to rape, pillage, horde, and be hard…” (Let it Go). The Hindu tradition also plays a part, where our choices and decisions play out through reincarnation in the divine, such as “this is the life I’ve chosen…” (Lyrical Warfare) and, “I’m the master of my universe…” (Let It Go). As well as, “my life is a figure that I mold out of clay…” (All The Way). Buddhist teachings of reincarnation also play a part with my connection to the universe and nature such as, ”one with the sun, and the earth, and the moon…” (Can’t Run Back), and “with every seed that I plant, every harvest that I sow…” (Let It Go).
My music also ties in with my love of science fiction and finding parallels to beliefs systems like using ”The Force” in Star Wars. This is all connecting energy that gives us incredible powers. From Asian anime where inner energy and incredible powers and abilities through training and meditation are depicted, “writing in my death note, who am I gonna kill with these flows…” (Not Done), to a direct Yoda quote, ”…Fear to anger, anger to hate, hate to suffering…” (All The Way). I ranted on for a while, but that just gives you an idea of how it’s all a part of who I am and comes out in my music.
Lush: If we looked in your itunes, what artists would we find in your library?
Shneaky: Seriously, my iTunes music library is VAST. I love HOUSE music, progressive, trance, all kinds of electronica, dubstep, trip-hop, soul, rock, ska, and reggae. You name it, I probably like at least one band of any genre. You would find anyone from Thievery Corporation to Paul Van dyk, to Miles Davis, Tupac Shakur, Rusko, Above&Beyond, Frank Sinatra, Coheed & Cambria, Bob Marley, Mozart, Chet Baker, Native Guns, Immortal Technique, ATB, Circa Survive, Glassjaw, Deadmau5, Taking Back Sunday, and the list goes on and on. I LOVE music. I’m eclectic and grew up on oldies and KROQ, but ended up spinning house music and rapping. Call it crazy but, like Frank Sinatra said, ”That’s Life”.
Lush: Any new projects in the making we should all stay tuned for?
Shneaky: My full length debut album, The Collaboration: How we Live, Think, and Create, is still being produced, recorded, and finalized. Stay tuned for that! Aside from that, I’m currently working on another mixtape with my boy Five82Six. He’s featured on my EP, album, and rocked with me on stage at my recent live show. We’re planning to come out with something hard so keep your ear to the ground!!! Other than that I’m in the process of putting out some music videos for some of my tracks and MAYBE do some “unofficial” leaks of or sampler tracks off the upcoming album.
Lush: What do you want the people to understand about you as an artist and the Shneaky movement?
Shneaky: I just want people to realize that everything I say and do, I do with conviction and passion. I’m real. I’m an artist fueled by my emotions, beliefs, and sentiments. I’m just trying to let my voice be heard, get my thoughts out of my head before they make me go insane, and in the process I want to spread my insanity and send people on a journey through the world from my eyes. The way I know it to exist and the reality I create for myself in a world I’ve chosen to live in surrounding myself with the people I need to survive. Join me on ride through my mind…
For Shneaky’s Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and all things Shhhhneaky, visit http://www.shneaky.net.
Collaboration: The Way We Live, Learn, and Create and Inevitable (mixtape), featuring Five82Six COMING SOON!