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[INTERVIEW] Savant Aka Stanstro- A Lyrical Veteran?- Get Hip w/DJ Mos Precious

That’s right! It’s Time to Get Hip with DJ Mos Precious #RealMVP

I want to express the first time I interacted with this Chicago Native was via social media, with a strong network in this area, he was introduced to me through word of mouth. I was determined to meet him to I made a special trip to a show shaped around him and his return to his hometown [TheChicagoBar], which took place at the same place #Thebestdayparty – [@SicSundays] takes place.

With the presence of a veteran lyrically, Savant aka Stanstro surely owned the stage he is building for himself. He surely demanded my attention, I am pretty sure he can capture urs as well from Chicago all the way to where he resides now in Los Angeles.

MP: Can you tell our readers a little about yourself? What’s your name and where are you from?
Savant aka Stanstro — From: Austin, Chicago, IL — Current residence: Brentwood, Los Angeles, CA
MP: Let us know what your social media is. How can we find you?
GET HIP WITH SAVANT HERE
@SavantRAREBREED for all social media and music platforms
MP: How did music come about in your world?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: My dad signed up three of my brothers and me for piano lessons when I was 8 years old (my brothers were ages 9, 8, and 4). After 2 years of that, my dad gave us the option to either continue playing the piano or switch to another instrument. Not playing an instrument wasn’t an option, so I chose saxophone. He thought I’d be a better fit for trumpet, so he ignored my selection and mandated that I play the trumpet. After 3 years of private lessons he enrolled all of us into one of Chicago’s premiere music conservatories, wherein we all took weekly courses ranging from instrumental performance, to vocal performance, to music theory and composition, to music history, to jazz improvisation. We were enrolled there until we graduated from high school. It’s almost 2017 now, I still play trumpet, and I resumed playing the piano in 2003. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, I fell in love with rap, both as a listener and artist, thanks primarily to Mos Def and his “Black On Both Sides” album.
MP: What do you find most challenging about the music industry? most complicated?

SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: I’m currently self- managed, so the largest challenge has been balancing my creative impulses with “the business side” of everything. It’s easy for me to find a common ground in the realm of artistry with anyone whom I decide is a viable collaborative partner. Finding a common ground amongst “the numbers”, if you will, is more difficult because more often than not, those conversations are had with actual music managers, agents, etc. Frankly speaking, their interests don’t always align with their artists’ interests.

MP: Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while performing? some of the people you wish to meet during your journey?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: Most notably, I’ve met Yasiin Bey (though, he was known as Mos Def at the time), Rodney Jerkins, Mike Elizondo, Amel Larrieux, Kool G Rap, Pharoahe Monch, Phonte Coleman, Royce Da 5’9″, The Alchemist, and Rahsaan Patterson. I’d like to meet Tariq Trotter, Amir Thompson, Julian Petty, Reggie Ossé, Omar Creadle, Brad Jordan, Dr. Dre, D’Angelo, Just Blaze, Erykah Badu, George Maple, and Faith Newman. Would’ve loved to have met Prince also, but… *shrugs*.
MP: What do you do when you aren’t  recording or rehearsing your music?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: A few things. I’m an executive recruiter for Michael Page. I’m a trumpet player (and sometimes pianist, vocalist, and composer) with a jazz combo called Quatro and a few freelance credits. And I’m a score writer with 2 web series credits, and a 3rd on the way.
MP: How do you keep coming up with dope music? Any inspirations?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: At the risk of sounding cliché, life serves as my inspiration. Every day brings a new level of and a new reason for excitement, and it’s been that way for me since I was 16. As long as that’s the case, there’ll always be something to write about. As long as I have something to write about, there’ll always be music to make. In addition to that, I’m from a family of terrific musicians, so my competitive urge always remains high. I’ve a slew of younger siblings who really enjoy hearing my work. And I’ve always been fortunate to work with a murderers row of producers and fellow emcees. Dope begets dope.
MP: What has been the most challenging moment in your career and why?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: I went through a depression of sorts from mid 2013 to late 2014. Most of my favourite emcees find solace in their writing during that sort of experience, but my depression also ushered in a massive writers’ block. My inability to write left me unable to create, which only added insult to injury.
MP: Do you have anyone that has influenced you in your career? Who and Why?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: Artistically speaking, I don’t think anyone has pushed me to expand my boundaries (in terms of sound/production) and get out of my comfort zone more than Marathon Jon. Vocally, my approach has become progressively more melodic over the years, and I’ve begun incorporating more singing into my hooks and bridges. I owe that to Sha Basso. My writing, from a technical/stylistic standpoint, has become progressively more diverse, and I owe that to Black Thought, Royce Da 5’9″, Pharoahe Monch, and Lupe Fiasco. My choice in content is primarily influenced by my parents, my siblings, my niece and nephews, and Therese Hollywood. The increased depth/exploration of that content can be tied to Charity Clay, Landon Wordswell, Segun Dent, and Joe Budden.
MP: Where do you see yourself in the next couple of years?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: Standing next to Marathon Jon and 3KubeBeats collecting a Grammy (or four) for our slowly fermenting (and likely my final) LP.
MP: Is the anyone you would like to give a shoutout to?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: Aside of yourself? Marathon Jon of Peerless Recording Group. Nerdy Rotten Scoundrels and the squadron. Mrs. Cory Howard. P1 and the Sic Sundays staff. Cam Wesley, and Royce Omar. Jess Leo. Vic Spencer, and Johari. Pugs Atomz, and Iridium. Sincerely Yours. Awdazcate. Ill Legit. Tony Baines. Kevin Winston. Risky. Elvy Smith, and Fredri Couture. Dee Jackson, and the ’80s Babies. JayCee. Segun Dent. Lorrin Cash of Read Up Chicago Magazine, and Jen Martinez. Sin, Preast, and Q of Carte Blanche. Charity Clay. DJ A-Ron. DJ 456. Shala. Kali Kennda. JR, and Birdy. Drew Rogers, Shel Jones, and Pete Mischenko. emphis, and Simon Simelli. DLC. Ben Owens of 100% Hood. BK, and Jessica Rae. Rae Hendry. Monica Jean. S. J. Gardner. Derek Passmore, and Mischa Cantu. Austin Fillmore. Troy Jarvis, Steve Pitts, Teresa Gerald, and Raven Nicole, of One Shot Tucson. Duffie Adelson, and the entire staff of the Merit School of Music, past and present. Everyone who contributed to #IEM, whether via verse, hook, beat, art, or any other capacity. And Therese Hollywood.
MP: Anything else you want to drop on us before we get out of here? Any Breaking News or Exclusives?
SAVANT AKA STANSTRO: New music (“Rock With We” single, #IEM project, and “Rock With We”/”Bar Enrichment” music video) slated to drop before the year ends via Peerless Recording Group, Nerdy Rotten Scoundrels, and Power 102 Jamz.
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