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HeatCasters Exclusive Interview w/ Erick Dayz: Fulfilling a Dying Wish
HeatCasters.com starts off 2012 with an exclusive interview with the up and coming Erick Dayz. Read the entire article after the jump.
Erick Dayz: Fulfilling a Dying Wish
Interviewed by Imade
At 22 years old, Erick Dayz embodies the strength and courage that belies his youth. On the exterior, his Pittsburgh fitted cap and matching hooded jacket seems to come from a fashion handbook for up and coming rappers. But there’s something that lies beyond Erick Dayz confident, demure demeanor. In every song and in every act of worship, Erick Dayz fulfills a dying wish. At the close of his mother’s battle with lung cancer, Erick Dayz’ mother only wanted two things from her Haitian son: a college degree and an intimate relationship with God. In being a Florida A&M senior and a transparent Christian, Erick Dayz is on his way to fulfilling his mother’s dreams, one step at a time.
In working a full-time job to support his laid off father and cancer stricken mother, you would think Erick Dayz was the perfect church kid in high school. Not exactly. “I was in a relationship that was obviously out of God’s will. One thing led to another…she was pregnant. First thing I thought was have an abortion, I can’t have this kid.” The fear that Erick Dayz initially encountered as he contemplated not only helping his family, but his future child gave way to a holy fear of God produced by his church upbringing. “I called and said we can’t do it. I’m going to own up to my responsibilities.” However, unknown to Erick Dayz, something quite different happened. “Later she called me back a few weeks later out of nowhere and said ‘I went to the clinic today.’” That heartbreaking experience became encapsulated in pro life off his introspective February 2011 mixtape, SOULED OUT. The raw, unfiltered song is devoid of saccharine catch phrases and crowd-pleasing hooks, but it is a realistic account of a young man wanting his child to live.
Erick’s First Steps of Faith and Christian Hip Hop
After many abrupt awakenings to his need for God, Erick Dayz’ aversion to Christian Hip Hop lessened as his growing faith emerged. “I was anti-Christian Hip Hop. I didn’t feel like the quality of music was up to par to what I was listening to. I was into a lot of Little Brother, Kanye, and The Lox. But a couple of years ago when I tried to get into [Christian Hip Hop] when I got serious with my faith, I was surprised at the level of talent that these guys have.” As Erick Dayz became acquainted with talented artists in his home state of Florida like Rhema Soul and Eshon Burgundy, Erick learned the positive and negative aspects of the Christian Hip Hop industry. “There’s got to be a balance. We want our fellow Christians to enjoy [our music] but we can’t lose sight of what our real mission is which is reaching the lost. We need to make ourselves available”
Becoming a True Artist
While many rappers try to take advantage of the latest trends, Erick Dayz wants his music career to be based on originality and ownership. His latest singles on Bandcamp (Writer’s Block and Trouble) reveal a man baring his heart and finding his sound. “My music is a form of worship so I’m going to try to be excellent at it.” By his previous work, it would be expected that Erick Dayz would continue to use classic soul samples and booming Hip Hop percussion. However, his answer was completely unexpected. “I really don’t know what to call it. Europop mixed with Hip Hop. When I say Europop, it’s taking old Europop songs and sampling them and chopping them up.” With this unconventional vision, Erick Dayz has tapped producers Top Rank for his higher learning EP that will be released later this January. His EP launch marks the beginning of his indie label, iron Mic music, which is a great sign of an emcee well versed in the music business.
Growing Past the Pain
Years after his mother’s death and his pregnancy scare, there is healing that rises from the ashes. “My mother really opened my eyes to a lot of things and got me closer to God. I can actually talk about my mother and not be in pain as much. I actually think about it and smile and be filled with joy because I know that she was suffering while she was with us and now she’s not suffering. I know she’s with the Lord now.” This defining moment has inspired Erick Dayz to take his faith seriously while developing relationships with Christian brothers that can hold him accountable. “I was able to get through it and I want to be transparent and I want you to know who I am. Once I was able to put it into words, I wanted to do just that.”
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