Axcess is an Omaha based rap artist, teacher, coach, and father who recently released a very DOPE video entitled "Save Me Pt. 2" featuring Trevor Scott. Dopecausewesaid caught up with the talented emcee to discuss his new visual, the music scene in Omaha, how he juggles work, family and music, his creative process, and the impact of God on his life and music.
After reading this exclusive Q&A, be sure to follow to Axcess on his social media streams, check out his website and enjoy his music catalog via Soundcloud.
Tell us about the music scene, specifically for Hip-Hop, in Omaha. Are local artists supported by the community? How does it compare to that of Colorado Springs?
Omaha has some deep roots when it comes to the music scene. Back in the day Omaha came up on Jazz, and now Hip Hop is starting to make some noise. One thing about Nebraska is that people will support anything Nebraska. Look at the Huskers. In Nebraska... the Husker Football team are GODS haha. I've only been here for about 5 years, but I'm constantly finding new artists around the area. I feel like Omaha has more support in the area when it comes to venues, companies, and the people compared to Colorado Springs. However, Denver right now is definitely on the come up with artists such as Trev Rich signing to Cash Money.
You are a teacher literally, in the Omaha Public School System, and figuratively, as an emcee dropping jewels on your listeners. How do you juggle both?
A little bit about my life right now... I am married to my wife Sarah Hammond (almost 3 years), and have a one year old son. I am the offensive coordinator for the varsity football team for the largest high school in Nebraska (Omaha South High) and also coach middle school basketball. I teach PE in middle school as well, so life is extremely busy right now. What helps me most is simply staying organized, and having a schedule. When I'm not at school or coaching, I'm home taking care of my son and family. The times where he is sleeping, napping is the time I have to spend on my music. Its overwhelming at times, but it is worth it in the end. I feel like as if I owe it to these kids to keep pursuing this music.
From start to finish what's the creative process for a typical Axcess song? Do you write the lyrics first and then looks for instrumentals or vice versa? And when do you know that a song is complete?
Honestly each song is different. Sometimes I have the concept in my head, and then try and find a beat to match my emotions. Sometimes I get a hold of a beat, and then come up with the concept. I do this, so I have some differentiation through out my music, and so I don't get bored with the process as well. One thing that is consistent, I will record a rough draft of each song at my home studio. Memorize the words, and play around with the delivery to make sure everything is hitting on all the right levels before I record at an actual studio.
Tell us about your new video "Save Me Pt. 2" featuring Trevor Scott. Who directed the visual and where can we hear Pt. 1?
The video was Filmed/edited by Cameron Mcclarty with Driven Creativity Media Productions. The video was shot downtown Omaha. You can hear the original Save Me on my Growth album (www.axcesspeace.com). The only thing that is different between the two songs is the mixing, and the chorus. I just felt like I could have came a lot harder on the song, and really wanted to redo it.
In listening to "Save Me Pt. 2", it's almost as if you are testifying through your verses. How important is it to you to reflect your relationship with God in your music?
Through out my early years growing up, I always wanted nice things because I never had them growing up. I was bullied quite a bit in my school days by the way I dressed, because I never had name brand stuff. Once I started taking matters into my own hands, I was all about the money. Didn't take me too long before I was hitting rock bottom emotionally and losing some of my closest friends. I was lucky I found a church in Kearney, NE where I was playing college football at the time at University of Nebraska-Kearney. The closer I got to God, the more my passion grew to help others. I started seeing the bigger picture in life, and wanted to tell my stories through my music so one day I could convince others not to walk that path. Some of us people are lost in the world because we feel like we are alone, but once we start to build a relationship with God our life changes. It gives us the confidence, and security we need to bring joy in our lives. My whole life I was living behind a mask, and now I finally can take that mask off. There is no greater sense of relief.