MJ: MJ here with Hip Hop Forum, and tonight the spotlight is on rising artist hailing from Massachusetts, FireNation Flamez! Salute, and thank you for stepping away from the mic to chop it up with MJ. First things first. Some might refer to you as a protégé of Wutang affiliate Judah Priest. How do you define protégé? What are your thoughts of that association? Do you feel the positive attention and success you are gaining is based off of that?
FireNation: When I think of the word Protégé I think of being one of the chosen to continue on a legacy in my own unique way. My thoughts of it all depend on the situation. I say that because I will not carry on something that is not worth standing for; and to have someone like Judah see in me what for so long many overlooked is a huge honor to me. I get positive attention yes but I would not say it is completely due to that “title” as it is rarely used. I personally feel that I have worked hard and have been recognized for my personality and presence on and off the stage. Judah and myself actually purposely separate so that people don’t confuse family movements and support with Judah’s shadow. I am FIRENATION!
MJ: Do you feel any added pressure as a woman in a male dominated industry? I don’t like to coin the phrase femcee or female artist. An artist is an artist regardless of gender, and talent is talent regardless of gender.
FireNation: There is added pressure but I take it on like the untamable flame I am. I do not allow myself to be labeled as anything other than a lyrical Feloness. I don’t allow anyone to take away from my wants and standards. Maintaining a true to self-mindset I take on any pressure with an added level of untamable Flamez.
MJ: Let me say I’m a firm believer in building women up and supporting women, their beauty, strength, and talents! With that being said, you are a phenomenal woman! I admire your energy, your fire, and the words of encouragement you pass along to others on and off the mic! Talk about your positivity and the ability to lift others up and how that it intertwined into your music.
FireNation: I have been through so much pain and overcome so many hardships that I feel I have no choice but to represent being apart of the bigger picture. I try to encourage many people especially females that we are more than sex symbols and we don’t have to be just another drama to be watched. I know I cant make the world do what I do but if I can reach one person everywhere I go and they reach out it will make a difference.
MJ: You have said that you are seeking out to capitalize on every opportunity! Is one of those opportunities a role model for young women?
FireNation: ABSOLUTELY!!! I actually have a few young girls that I call my Princess Flamez that make accessories for me and some even wear different color yarn in their hair as well. I absolutely plan to expand that movement in a huge way. I want to inspire them to be unique and comfortable leading the crowd instead of following them.
MJ: Let’s take it back! You began writing poetry and that was the start of it all. How did that writing formulate into Hip Hop emcee? Were there certain influences that guided that transition?
FireNation: My poetry began as my way of expressing my feelings when I was going through life as a young girl. As time carried on I realized that everything around me made sounds so it slowly became my musical biography. My family has a very strong musical background so I would say that it was inevitable that I would be wrapped into music on a strong level. I would say musically I am an old school music lover of all genres, which I feel is the reason I don’t limit myself to one. It is important to be diverse in all that I do.
MJ: Since then you have released an album titled “The Lyrical Feloness” and an EP titled “The Lost Files”, both dropped in 2016. Talk about the motivation and creation behind those projects.
FireNation: Being overlooked and brushed off by so many drove my passion to tell my story and show that not only was I ready but I had a story EVERYONE ANYWHERE could relate to. I actually took time to build a studio in my room and create beats and work with my amazing friends Lloyd Harold and Cuzzin Pete as we call him from Virginia and do what I was told I couldn’t and wasn’t ready to do.
MJ: Your latest single “East Coast Rock” has created quite the buzz. What does that track mean to FireNation Flamez?
FireNation: “East Coast Rock” was produced and done with Smuve Mass Beatz. It was such an amazing moment for me. I remember my uncle Jarod calling Smuve and telling him about my drive as an artist and linking us together. I will never forget him saying “You are an undiscovered jewel and I plan to turn your light bulb on. We are going to make magic!” I was so thrilled that he wanted to work hand in hand with me I remember saying “I WANT IN!” Next thing I know it became the hook and I just spoke my truth. Then Smuve jumped on it and I fell in love with the track even more!
MJ: Tell the fans something they want to hear! Can you spill a little 411 on upcoming projects you are working on?
FireNation: There is never a moment I am not working on something new so its inevitable new projects and visuals are definitely being worked on. I have even started doing some cameos in movies!! I have lots of shows and magazines I am featuring in as well. I am thrilled with all of the blessings showering down in my life and I would advise everyone to say tuned because this truly is only the start of what I plan to bring to the table!
MJ: The hash tag #Hungry&Humble has become a trademark and lifestyle for you and your followers. Elaborate on that hash tag.
FireNation: I watch so many forget to say thank you, so many get caught in the hype they get cocky and comfortable and treat people like they don’t matter. I have been that person pushed aside and teased for not having the “popular” items and I remember my mother saying, “it’s not about being liked or being popular it’s about the legacy you are remembered for.” God rest her soul I took that with me all my life and made it my motto after she passed to stay hungry for the bigger and better picture and always be humble because as quickly as you get blessed is as quickly you can loose it all. #HUNGRYNHUMBLE
MJ: In the spring of this year you came out with your acting debut in the film “The Account” by Mike Mastif. Was that a reach or a challenge for you at all? Tell us a little bit about the movie.
FireNation: I will start by saying it was a huge blessing to be apart of that movie and much love to Mike and my brother Judah for allowing me to be apart of it. I have to say it was just an exciting new experience that I definitely plan to dabble more in!
MJ: Please take this time to let everyone know where to go to continue to support you, and to check out all your music and stay connected with shows and projects.
FireNation: To track my shows follow me on the Bandsintown app under FireNation, IG: @Firenationflamez, Facebook: @Firenationflamez, Twitter: @firenationflmz, and Reverbnation: FIRENATION. My album “Lyrical Feloness” is available on Amazon, ITunes, Google play, and Cd baby.
MJ: Entertain the 3Game…Name 3 places you would like to tour. Name 3 artists you would like to share the stage or studio time with. Name 3 skills needed to succeed in the music industry. Name 3 artists in your personal playlist.
FireNation: I would love to tour the UK, Australia, and of course everywhere I haven’t touched in the US. Artists I would love to perform with would be Erykah Badu, Rah Diggah, and Evanescence. There are so many so that one is to be continued.
MJ: Is there anything else you would like the world to know about FireNation Flamez?
FireNation: I am not what you are used to but I am someone to prepare and get exited for! Salute the #HUNGRYNHUMBLE #THEOVERLOOKED #THEMISUNDERSTOOD I BELIEVE IN YUR UNIQUENESS!
MJ: Thank you again for taking time out for MJ, much success to you!
FireNation: THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR THE OPPORTUNITY!!!