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Q&A with artiste Trish Hosein
Trishes is a project by Trinidadian native Trish Hosein, created to express Freud's constructs of self (the primal, conscious and spiritual) through spoken word, live looping and vocal effects. Her undeniably original songwriting, fleshed out by hip-hop beats and pop hooks, examines human struggle through an anthropological lens.
Hosein began touring the U.S. and abroad after graduating from the Berklee College of Music, and has opened for acts like Damian Marley, Vic Mensa, K. Flay, Neon Hitch and Gavin Turek. Her dynamic live show awes audiences as Hosein takes them into her museum-like mind and creates a sonic blanket with her unique sound. After seeing Hosein perform Marie Claire, Allure and Cosmopolitan writer Shyema Azam called it "Enchanting," continuing, "It wasn't hard to see that this one woman show was super talented, making her own music and expertly layering her voice over catchy tunes as she went along."
Hosein's upcoming album "Ego" focuses on the entities that define humanity while addressing the current cultural and political climate. Each focus track on the album will be aided by art collections and personal essays. When not working on music, Hosein helps resettle refugees in the Los Angeles area, volunteers with Rock n Roll Camp for Girls, and is on the board of the Elder Entertainment Organization. She is also a brand ambassador for American Express and Discover LA.
What inspired the track Hydra?
I wrote Hydra as a response to rising white nationalism in the U.S., particularly after the Un ite the Right Rally in Charlottesville last year. When Heather Heyer was murdered during a counter protest, I remember watching her mother speak at her memorial and feeling a sense of hope. I knew that her death wasn’t in vain because next time even more people would show up in her place because of her. It reminded me of the Greek myth of the hydra - a creature who would grow two heads whenever one got cut off.
Tell us about the EP 'EGO'. What should we expect?
EGO explores the things humans have constructed to separate ourselves from our primal drives, but fail us because we haven’t been able to fully reach our spiritual selves yet. Things like government and money. The idea behind government is great. It’s noble. But every government fails its people in some way and is corrupt in some other way because people aren’t perfect. Same with money. Without money we wouldn’t have been able to make significant social and scientific advances. We would still be stocking up bushels of corn to trade for wool and stuff like that. But money also makes it possible for one man to have more property and wealth than he could ever use or need, while another man is begging me to buy him chicken nuggets on Hollywood Boulevard. It’s really bizarre.
So EGO explores money, government, language, self awareness and creativity and does it with songs, music videos, spoken word pieces and small art collections.
How long have been on the music scene?
I’ve been working on TRISHES for five years now but I think only started narrowing in on what I really wanted to do and say about two years ago. I’ve been touring pretty consistently the past couple years as well and my live show has really felt like my strength up until now.
Tell us about some other songs specifically.
Well we talked a little bit about “Money” and “Caesar” which are about money and government. I’m also really excited about a song called Language. I think that it’s probably the most beautiful thing I’ve ever written. I love words. I love writing. But language can only be so accurate. It can only describe emotions and experiences to a degree. It’s also amazing how much we can communicate without a shared language and I think that’s really beautiful as well.
I’m especially excited about Language because we’re going to meet several important people in my life who are also immigrants and who grew up speaking in a different tongue. We’ll meet DREAMERS and refugees and clothing designers and music managers. It’s going to be really personal and really fun for me to show off my team and my friends.
How politically committed are you?
I’m very committed to the equality of black and brown Americans and to the well being of immigrants in America. I’ve been deeply disturbed by the treatment of people of color by law enforcement and within the criminal justice system.
What ambitions do you still have?
So many! In the past year I’ve started diving more into the visual aspects of my art. I’ve started drawing and I want to get better at that. I’ve started directing and editing videos and I’m excited to keep working at that too.
I really want to play more festivals - particularly international ones. I want to give a TED talk. I’m not sure about what yet. I think I’ll get my associates degree in anthropology because I like taking anthropology classes in my free time.
What is the greatest achievement thus far for you?
I’m really proud of my personal growth and I think my greatest achievement has been learning to love and value people for their sheer existence. Learning to be happy for people. Learning to pull myself away from jealousy or anger or negativity. My friends say I’m a lot more tender than I used to be and I’m proud of that.
What is you creative process like?
My whole project is concept based so everything stems from the core concept. My name is Trish so the project is called TRISHES to represent the Freudian constructs of self: the id (the primal self), the ego (the conscious self) and the superego (the spiritual self). I decided to start with the conscious self because this is the self we are the most in touch with.
When beginning to write for “EGO” the first step was figuring out which human structures I wanted to focus on. The decision was based on an amalgamation of current events, my personal experience and human history and philosophy. Once I decided on the five ideas I spent a lot of time meditating on them. Watching documentaries and reading articles. Then I start writing essays and those essays sometimes morph into spoken word pieces, and at some point into songs. After I write the songs then I begin thinking of how those songs and ideas should be represented visually.
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