Shami Sosa (a.k.a. Shami Noir) is a musician and visual artist who uses street art to promote both his music and a larger idea of The Self.
Mackenzie Wilson (MW): Why make street art to promote music? As opposed to flyering or putting up more typical promotional material?
Shami Sosa (SS): Street art speaks to everyone. Young, old, rich, poor. It’s for all of us. Whatever I do, I like to make an impact. I wanted to promote my music, my art, my agenda in a cohesive manner. Street art is a vehicle. A great communication tool.
MW: Can you describe the process of making your street art portrait pieces?
SS: The process is simple. I have a vision. I make it tangible. Some ideas come from my freelance photography work, some from my hobbies and interests, even life experiences. Shami Noir is a collaboration between myself and Clintonium Laboratories.
MW: Your street art avatar always has some form of a keyboard with him. Do you make your music completely on a keyboard? How long have you been playing?
SS: I use many different instruments to create my music, from Theremins to sitars, cellos to melodicas. I love old synthesizers and am a big fan of Moog. I’ve been playing since I was two years old and started making my own productions when I was a senior in high school. I started off as a DJ, now my focus is mainly the producer role.
MW: In your email you said that in addition to promoting your music, your street art is meant to promote “self identity.” Is that a larger concept I haven’t heard of?
SS: I’m not just promoting myself. I am promoting “the self.” Self identity. Self awareness. I want people to be inspired. I want people to know they have a voice. The problem is we have been taught to be helpless and jaded rather than to feel that we are empowered and can make a difference. I would like to help change this perspective.
MW: How did you select this particular portrait style? It doesn’t have your name on it or show what you look like. How does this help people connect with your music?
SS: Although I wanted everything interconnected, I wanted every aspect to stand on its own. You have to just know. I want people to make the connection on their own. Mystique goes a long way.
MW: How do you put them up? Is it in the dead of night? Or do you get permission. If it is in the dead of night type of thing, how do you avoid getting into trouble?
SS: I pay ninjas. They work at night.
MW: You have a new album out. SHAMI 2. Where can people find the album?
SS: You can download my new album from my website, www.shamisaidso.com. It’s free.
MW: What sub-genre of electronica do you feel best describes your style?
SS: I refrain from placing my music into a single category. I’m into many different types of music. I’ve had an open mind growing up and was lucky enough to travel in my youth and experience many different cultures. This reflects in my productions.