Get Familiar: Salomon Faye

Get Familiar: Salomon Faye

Get Familiar: Salomon Faye

Interview by Passion Dzenga | Photography by Violette Esmeralda

Salomon Faye is a talented Senegalese American hip-hop recording artist and songwriter hailing from the diverse cultural hub of Harlem, New York. With a unique sound that blends elements of spoken word, soul, and jazz, Salomon has garnered attention from music critics and fans alike for his introspective lyricism and thoughtful social commentary. Drawing inspiration from his multicultural background and upbringing in the melting pot of New York City, Salomon's music tells a story of self-discovery, identity, and the struggles of modern life. With an impressive discography and a passion for using his platform to bring awareness to social issues, Salomon Faye is an artist to watch in the hip-hop scene.

Your music has been described as a unique blend of spoken word, soul, and jazz. How did you come to develop this distinctive sound, and what influences have shaped your musical style?

My top 3 influences are Lauryn Hill, Tupac, & Kanye West. Ultimately, I grew up on Hip Hop.

Growing up in the culturally rich environment of New York City, how has the city and its diverse communities influenced your approach to music and your perspective on the world?

Growing up in New York there was a time when sharing a verse with a fellow MC was normal, I miss that. Until high school I was unaware of anything happening outside of Harlem. After being exposed to more than Hip Hop and Black culture, I gradually absorbed what was for me and developed aspects of my character that could operate in a different cultural context without losing balance. The cultural diversity of the city has prepared me to travel the world comfortably and perhaps made how I express myself more universal.

Your lyrics often touch on themes of self-discovery, identity, and the challenges of modern life. Can you share some personal experiences that have inspired your songwriting and how you navigate expressing these themes through your music?

Searching for truth in my life and making a work of art out of whatever I discover is the only constant in my process.

In your discography, there seems to be a deliberate effort to address social issues. How do you see your role as an artist in bringing awareness to these issues, and what impact do you hope your music has on listeners?

At times I feel compelled to use art to address certain social issues even if the focal point of my artistry is of a spiritual essence.

Your multicultural background is a significant part of your identity. How does this influence the stories you tell through your music, and do you believe it has a broader impact on the hip-hop genre as a whole?

Truly embracing being West African started in 2017 with a trip to TOUBA Sénégal, but this is still apart of myself I’ve only began exploring. How this influences my creativity is mostly seen in how I incorporate some religious elements of Senegelese culture into my image and music. Most notably with my unconventional use of Khassida’s, which are usually groups of men singing or chanting the prayers and poems of Serigne Touba also know as Amadou Bamba. I think my approach will be apart of the impact Africa is having on Hip Hop over all.

Can you take us through your creative process? How do you approach writing lyrics, developing beats, and crafting a song from inception to completion?

An awareness of feelings, sounds, thoughts and "aha"moments (epiphanies) act as a sort of net. With this net we catch the vibe, the vibe is like a none physical living creature, and we bring it to the 5 senses via music, lyrics and visuals.

Your performances are known for their energy and connection with the audience. How do you prepare for live shows, and what do you hope your audience takes away from the experience?

My biggest preparation is that I live the life my music draws its inspiration from. So what I share with my audience in all sincerity is a life force of energy focused on its connection with The Most High. & when connecting with my audience I would like to think they gain a heightened awareness of their connection to The Most High.

As a French-American artist, do you find that your cultural background adds a unique dimension to your music? How do you balance the influence of different cultural elements in your work?

I’ve never thought of myself as a French American anything but my connection to Paris is unique. Whatever it adds to my music is through who I’m able to collaborate with in both the visual and sonic space such as artist like 22, Antoin Peyote & Pierre Juarez at Motor Bass, Famile Faye , Jimmy Whoo & Rose at Ciel Rouge, Camneh, Enzo Premier, Loubenskii, Raphael Ribichesu, Lionel Elsound to name of few and even tho we’ve yet to work together I have to say Bonnie Banane.

Are there specific artists or movements that have had a profound impact on your artistic journey? How have they inspired your growth as a musician and a storyteller?

My top 3 influences are Lauryn Hill, Tupac, & Kanye West. Lauryn for the substance in her song writing ability, Pac for his attitude & intellect, and Kanye for his overall artistry. & and I’ll add GonjaSufi because of how soulfully outside of the box he is.

Looking ahead, what are your goals and aspirations for the future of your music career? Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations that you're particularly excited about?

My only goal is to put out a master piece as a full length album while the world is listening and to take it on tour.

Your performance at our radio broadcast during Paris Fashion Week in January brought tears to some eyes. What was your thought process behind it and when can we expect more performances like this?

What feels honest, what sounds good ? These are the questions that lead the construction of my set. 2024 I expect to perform more than I ever have.

Please tell the people about IlluZion Entertainment.

Illuzion Entertainment works with artist & brands in production & creative direction. They are particularly involved in everything I’m doing right now.