If I am not for myself who will be?

ONLē Talks with $leazy EZ (@Sleazyez) by Jas Wilson

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With the oncoming wave of new, young, and talented artists coming out of New Orleans, Sleazy EZ pushes their way to the forefront of the music scene. With an eclectic and alternative rap sound, she promotes the message of collective unity and harmony within the global community. For her, this idea of community and unity is not limited to the catchy lyrics she promotes to her fans, but also one that she embodies in her everyday life in the streets of New Orleans. A fierce advocate for her friends in the local creative scene, EZ makes it known that her support lies with the artists of glbl wrmng, a collection of musicians championing the cultural spirit and identity of the city with their artistry. Sleazy Ez is not confined to any boundaries or limitations when it comes to their creativity or style. Embedded within their songs, they share their life story and roots of origin along with instrumentation that evokes a cosmic presence and transports listeners to a higher consciousness, inviting them to free their minds. With funky beats and pillowy lyricism, Sleazy EZ invites us into the inner corners of her psyche by sharing her own personal experiences and instigating feelings in listeners everywhere. 

What’s your stage name, instagram handle, and pronouns?

My stage name is Sleazy EZ. People call me the motherfuckin Sleaze. Deadass. My Pronouns are she/her and they/them. @SleazyEZ

How did you get started in music?

So basically, I'm a creative overall. Practice Musician. Practice visual artist. I can draw, I can sing. As a kid, that just put me in the path of being a creative and as I grew up, the talents that I honed in on started combining with my passions. It just so happened that I really was singing more and I was falling in love with music too. I was a music fanatic and had a large plethora of influence in music. And now I’m just doing the shit. 




How does the culture of New Orleans influence your art?

Well I’m definitely a New Orleans nigga until I die, no cap. I think that with the mentality that we have and because we are so detached from the music industry, I approach music in a totally different aspect. I approach music more aggressively and more passionately. When I get in that studio, I try to outdo me and I try to outdo people who aren't near me. Nobody in my city is my competition. Everybody outside of my city is my competition. I look at shit like “Who is the most successful,” I need to get there. I don't want to do it in my city because there's a lot of crabs in the bucket and it's a lot of birds, ya know? So I put it into something positive and this is just what it is. 

What is the message you put out with your music as it relates to your city, your fans, and even yourself?

I just want people to be comfortable being themselves and accepting themselves. Love themselves. To learn that you have to love to exist, you have to love life. And not even in a super toxic positive way, but just in a way in which you have to love the ups and downs. You have to love the lows just like you love the highs because it's all a part of life. If you learn to look at everything whole, you can love everything whole, you know what I’m saying? When you start thinking like that you start to free your mind. You start to exist more peacefully and you can enjoy shit… like my music on all streaming platforms [they laugh]. 

As a nonbinary person and person in the LGBTQ Community, where do you feel like your place in the rap game is and how would you describe your type of rap?

My type of rap is definitely alternative rap across the board. I don't think I aim for the direct communities that I belong to but I aim for the communities that resonate with me and the community that I’m building. Essentially I am building my own thing. So I kind of keep it simple to be able to be identified on the charts to make sure it works on paper so I can be on top. But we can still spread the message and help the people when the money comes and the numbers go. I used to think that LGBT rap would box me in because a lot of people tell you that. But I would consider myself a LGBT friendly rapper because I don't talk about shit that we don't relate to. But I also don't disassociate from a lot cishetero people, you know what I’m saying? I was able to come out on top because a lot of my audience is black.

What is the motivation behind what you put into your music? What is the story inside of your raps?

The life I live is my music. My music is the soundtrack to my mind and my perception of my existence, you know what I’m saying? We’re all perceiving our own existence based on our perception. Somebody else is going to experience us and perceive us the way they perceive us and it's never going to be the same. So I think because I'm giving you such a close to home perspective, it's very hard to copy and it's very hard to find. And I'm able to find a lot of ways to translate that sonically. I think a lot of my inspiration comes from just me living and knowing that just because I’m alive, I have something in common with everyone around me. And that's how we subconsciously promote that unity between people. Essentially we’re not that different. I will make you feel like you want to hug everyone around you. It's like a collective synergy that creates a subconscious unity. You come to a Sleazy EZ concert and you feel like everybody around you is your brother and your sister and you go out into the world and you're just living that way.

It sounds like there are a lot of spiritual elements to your music. Are you a spiritual person and how does that play a part in your music?

I definitely am. I feel like it impacts it because it impacts my life so directly. Because I have consistent practices that I’m confident in and that I cherish, I get my blessings and learn my lessons and that reflects in my art because I talk about all these things.

Who are some of your biggest influences?

Shit. No cap, my homies. I could name my favorite rapper and shit, but it's the homies. They're all doing the same shit as me and we’re all supporting each other. It's a real life family and we’re real life winning. Everybody at glbl wrmng. Kr3wcial. Pell. My sister Blu. Blu inspires me so much. Alfred Banks. All them niggas I’m name dropping for a reason. We got like 25 members.

So is the NOLA creative scene strong? How has it impacted you?

It's better than what it was when I was younger and coming up off of open mics and shit and not really knowing what to do industry wise. But I wasn't even worried about it because I made good music. From the first song I recorded, I knew I was built for this shit. I'm not even trying to be cocky, but I knew that. When I was younger, you couldn't get in and learn from nobody and do anything, but now you can almost talk to anybody. Everybody is available and you can do anything and succeed. 

Can you talk about your latest project?

So obviously I’m gonna tell y'all to go check out glbl wrmng Vol 1. You can get a vinyl, weekly merch. It's me and all the homies. If you need a breath of fresh air, that's definitely what you should check out. If you wanna check me out, look up $leazy EZ with the dollar sign. I’m on all streaming platforms. I just dropped a single called “Stuck Inside.” I definitely think you're gonna love it. All the dogs and cats love it. Animals love it. I'm dropping another single soon or an EP. Come check us out.

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