Author: Justin Grome
We had the luxury of speaking with rap artist and songwriter, Sean Greenstreet.
Where are you from?
I’m from Los Angeles, CA, I was so blessed to be able to grow up out here in California. Skateboarding and riding bikes were a daily thing. As well as listening to music and playing sports. I was your typical kid just trying to find my way in the world.
Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
Not really, I think my musical style is influenced by many different artists who come from all different backgrounds and diverse places. I’m a rare breed when it comes to musical tastes for a rap artist. I can listen to Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole and then flip to Deftones and onto Twenty One Pilots and Johnny Cash whilst enjoying them all. I'm heavily influenced by their individual styles and creativity. I think that’s why my approach to songwriting has a unique blend of clever lyrics and catchy hooks with a serious message behind it all.
What’s your background like?
I grew up being raised by a single mom and she gave me so much freedom to explore and experience life for myself. It helped me in many ways, to not be close-minded, and embrace people from different backgrounds and cultures than my own. Having that kind of trust from my mom, I made sure that I stayed out of trouble as much as possible.
Where do you stand on the music scene in your area?
This is a unique question, I’m a new creation in Christ and a new artist on the scene. I spent the entire year of 2020 drawing closer to God. He was putting these powerful songs in my heart and had me in the most amazing creative space. It is truly mind blowing what’s been going on in the recording studio. All glory to God.
What did you start doing first producing or rapping? How did you get started?
I’m a rap artist and songwriter. I was a big fan of Jay-Z and his clever wordplay. He was my favorite rapper and he definitely is someone that I admired as an artist. I just always loved music and felt like I would be a part of it in some way.
Do you have anyone that you consider a mentor?
Not really a mentor, but someone who believed in me as a rap artist. He was killed in a carjacking and it was devastating for me. His untimely death lit a fire inside me to never give up.
How has their help or advice shaped you?
His advice to me was work hard and good things will happen. I was deeply saddened by his death but it also gave me more motivation to prove everyone wrong. He made me realize that I had this unrelenting drive to accomplish anything I set my mind on doing.
What is one experience in life that? Without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
Once I became a born-again believer my entire outlook on life changed and everything I do now is to please him. I truly believe he has blessed me with some of the most incredible music any artist could ever wish for. God is getting ready to move in a powerful way with this album.
What do you hope to accomplish this year?
I hope to be able to travel the world and perform in every country, that would be amazing. I hope this album touches people in a powerful way. People need hope now more than ever and it’s found in Jesus Christ. I wanna help as many people as possible this year by encouraging them not to give up and to trust in God.
What does your work aim to say?
This album is a collection of powerful songs that will speak to people in different ways. There’s a message in each and every song that will allow the listener to figure out what it is that I’m truly saying. Overall, I hope this album will show people the power of God moving in my life.
Who are your biggest influences and what do you like about them the most?
Tom Petty, Kurt Cobain, Jay-Z, Twenty One Pilots, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Korn, Deftones, and the beautiful eulogy all of these unique artists are great songwriters. I’ve taken bits & pieces from each of them creatively and formed my own style with flashes of their brilliance in my music. All great artists steal from each other!
How would you describe your own style?
My style is a combination of all my influences mixed with the Holy Spirit as my ghostwriter. It’s a unique blend of clever lyrics meets catchy hooks over a message full of love, hope, and conviction. I would say my style is the new normal of purpose driven music.
In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
The biggest change in my music is that there’s a sense of urgency in the songs. You can feel that there’s something different going on in my music than with most other artists. This music is going to give people hope and let them know that I understand their struggle and that they’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
Everything you see that’s going on in the world right now inspires me to write and record music. There’s so much to pull from, it’s like we’re all watching one big freakshow. The creative canvas is wide open for beautiful pictures to be painted over these Cabbageheadbeatz, he’s one of the hottest beat makers in the game.
What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
It definitely would be the Staples Center also know as "the house that Kobe built". It would be so surreal to me to be able to perform there especially if it was a sold out show! Go big or go home.
What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
"Runnin’ Down A Dream" by Tom Petty, his songwriting has influenced me the most. The way he crafted lyrics with melodies was insane! Even though he was a classic rock singer and myself a rap artist, it’s crazy how when I’m writing my lyrics and figuring out where everything goes in the song, I think about how his songwriting played such a big part in the way I go about it with my own music.