28-year-old John Sha comes from the lower east side of Manhattan and has been making music for ten years total, but has really started developing his skills and quality over the last two and a half years. Making his own sound it seems his music stems from gangsta rap. Having been compared to musical opposites such as Tyler the Creator and Beanie Sigel, John Sha finds himself somewhere in between, in his own lane. 50 Cent, Will Smith, and generally “Everybody born in the 90’s” play an important role in inspiring John Sha’s music and helped lead him to where he is today. “50 is definitely one of my favorite artists. A lot of my fellow 90s babies are my new faves and are definitely inspirations as well.”
Since grade school John has been a writer “Words come easy to me, they always have.” This aided him in the process of taking those words, putting them to a beat, and creating a song. Throw on a beat and he will be able to rap to it. “my best music comes when I find a beat that moves my soul. Like literally I feel my chest open up”. It’s obvious that the music making process is complex and different for each individual artist, and is also oftenly influenced by the mood of the artist. John Sha specifically references the songs coming from those dark mood moments as significantly important to him. “The songs that have came from those moments keep me going. Sadness and despair inspires me because I can relate to that, and I know how to get out of that.”
Growing up in Manhattan John Sha’s mother made it a point to attempt and shelter him from what was going on on the streets. “I was the coolest nerd in my neighborhood. The kid drug dealers could tell to keep a lookout but also ask how to spell a word.” He got his time to hangout was when she sent him to the store, or anytime he could get away. As he got older his depression got worse and the young artist struggled to learn ways to manage it. Thats when he found music and developed himself into an artist. “Figured out I was more of an artist than a brainiac.” Using music to vent John Sha isn’t afraid to put his vulnerabilities on the front line unlike the majority of his peers. “A lot of my peers are learning lessons the hard way because nobody knows how to talk about their feelings without feeling like a punk.” A common message found throughout his music seems to be a reminder that if your doing “fucked up shit” its because you truly need the money rather than you wanting to.
Along the way he realized the value of self reliance and keeping people around him who had similar mindsets and goals. Going to events and finding the right people to network with helps propel you towards your goals faster. “The game is 1% talent 99% effort.” When we asked what first lead him to making music John said, “I wanted to be the first black president. The night Obama won I read ‘The Alchemist’. I been making music ever since.” He hopes to one day get to the point where he can make $75,000 or more strictly from his music.
“Big shoutout to one of my producers, illa Truth. I actually met him by sending an email asking if I could use his beats. He responded a couple days later and it’s been lit ever since.”
Check out John Sha if you like music that can make you feel like you want to cry, have a good time, or knock someone out. You can look out for his next tape Hard Brushes and Durags coming later this summer. With high intentions the NY rapper looks to set the tone and landscape for the sound expected in his are in the future. “It’s a tape about balance and how struggles lead to greatness. All original sounds.” Other than music you can look out for his hats and stickers, as well as on a variety art show called as the host. It will be titled A.C.E, which stands for All City Elements, that will be debuting sometime in July. “I interview graffiti artists, gallery artists and try to learn what makes them tick.”