Interview with the members of Gospel Hip Hop group, Go2. Vizun and Lerish spoke to Knowmebetter about their upcoming Album and their past successes (pronounced [Luh-reesh]).
1. How did you get your initial start in music?
Vizun: I grew up listening to Hip Hop and R&B. I was pretty much surrounded by it. My father would play his old school records in the basement at home, (Parliament was one of my favorites) and that became my hangout spot. My mother loved gospel and soul music. My older sister and cousins would always play the latest Hip Hop or R&B songs and that eventually made me want to try to make songs of my own. I wasn’t much of a singer, (Even now, I leave that part to Lerish, lol), so I gravitated to writing rap music, which wasn’t too much of a stretch because I was already writing poetry at the time. As I got older it became less of a hobby and more of a passion. I couldn’t (and still can’t) go through a day without listening to music.
Lerish: My initial love for music came from dancing back in high school. I was so into the music because it made you dance and I was always listening to music when I was going through a rough time. Music was like a getaway and a medication for most of my teenage years. I began singing and playing music around the age of 11 (that’s also when I sold my first song to my next-door neighbor, lol). After a ton of talent shows and near brushes with stardom and after I gave my life to Christ I was convinced that it (music) was in my blood and started to seriously pursue music as a career.
2. What would be your ultimate aim in the industry?
GO2: We really want to make a mark in the industry for the sake of the Gospel. Jesus has impacted our life so much that He has caused us to change our life and the content of our music. We listen to a lot of music and really think there is a need for something other than, what we call, the status quo. We are definitely not the first people to infuse Hip Hop or R&B into gospel music but we do think we can help to grow this particular portion of the industry. We also want to assist other artists with similar desires to reach those that God has called them to reach as well. We believe that the talent God has given us is a gift to be used for His purpose and when it’s all said and done, our desire is that He is pleased with what we’ve done with His gifts.
3. How long have you been writing your own music?
Vizun: I think my first rap was written when I was about 8 or 9. I haven’t stopped since, lol.
Lerish: I’ve been singing and writing as well as playing music since the age of 11.
4. Who are your top three influences and why?
Vizun: – At the risk of sounding cliché, I’d have to say.. Jesus – From a practical sense, there are times when I really am about to make the wrong choice and more often than not if I ask Him or go to His word to read, it keeps me from that wrong decision. To be a little more blunt, Jesus has kept me from making poor financial decisions; He’s kept my marriage in tact when I’ve seen others fail. He’s kept me from injury when I put myself in harms way. Definitely the most influential person in my life. My wife – Hands down, the most creative person I have ever met. She causes me, sometimes without saying a word, to be a better man. Not to mention that she’s a great mother as well. I don’t think God could have placed me with anyone more suited for me. My Pastor – I have yet to see any man truly try to perfect walking in the will of God like he does. I’ve learned so much about how to be a man of God from him, not just in the public eye but even when no one is around.
Lerish: I will echo Vizun and say Jesus first and foremost because his examples of kindness, strength, love, forgiveness and sacrifice has had a major influence on the person I am and strive to be. My mom is and will always be a huge influence in my life. I’ve seen her overcome physical abuse, being homeless and fighting cancer with a silent strength that I haven’t seen in anyone else. Now that my mom has passed, I’ve started to notice those same qualities in my wife; I think that’s really cool. My Pastor would have to be in my top three because he has been like a father to me for over 12 years. In the absence of my real father I’ve learned so much from him about being a Godly father, and husband and man. I met my wife in church and I went to my Pastor to ask his permission to marry her, because I looked at her as his daughter, lol.
5. Is there anything you would like people to know about your current release?
GO2: Nothing on you is our first single from our sophomore release called “Innerman”. The album deals with a lot of introspection into the issues that we face within ourselves as Christians and how to keep living righteous in the midst of many negative influences that you encounter on daily basis. This release will deal with some real issues but at the same time provide some great music to listen to.
6. Where are you based and what’s your local scene like? Any favorite venues?
GO2: We are based out of Atlanta; GA. Atlanta is a great place for local artist. We have concerts, festivals, celebrity events and music festivals in the major parks like Olympic Park, Piedmont Park and other parks Downtown that always have large crowds and feature many local artist. Whenever there is a festival in Atlanta be it the Jazz festival or Caribbean festival etc., there’s always an opportunity for local bands to share their talents. We have bars and saloons like Hard Rock Café, Dark Horse and Nine Lives Saloon that feature local bands as well. Atlanta has no shortage of clubs and concerts either; you can go to big arenas like the Phillips Arena, The Congress Center, and The Fox Theater and catch some really great performances. The Phillips Arena is where (Lerish of GO2) got to perform in front on 30,000 people at Birthday Bash 15, an annual Hip-Hop/Rap concert.
7. Who else can you recommend from your local scene for people to have a listen to? There are a lot of great artists out here. Some of our favorites are, Obie One B.A. @ https://twitter.com/ObieOneBA, Ric Flo @ https://twitter.com/thebeatsnatcher and Trish Standley @ https://twitter.com/Trysh777.
8.Give our readers a round up of where they can find you online and hear more of your music.http://www.twitter.com/therealgo2 | http://www.facebook.com/therealgo2 | http://www.ourstage.com/therealgo2 and of course http://www.soundcloud.com/go2