Interview with the founder of Shemspeed
Inspiring Story of Jewish Rap Artist and Producer:looking to collaborate.
Jan 28, 2010
(eMusicWire.Org) – Jewish Urban Music Producer with a Label Up to All Good.
Most know him on stage as Diwon only, while Erez Diwon Safar is a name notable in the music industry as well; Billboard magazine has recognized him and featured him on a cover. He’s no slouch. Based out of Brooklyn, this producer/artist is the most prolific energy that has hit the Jewish music scene in decades, and is the creator and fuel behind Shemspeed, a diverse, popular music site with incredible video, free downloads, information, history and more for the music lover of any background or culture.
When asked about how his music evolved into what it is today, he answered that he always had a passion for Yemenite and Middle Eastern music; his music does in fact, have that undertone. It’s electro-hip hop with that sultry foundation for sure; he claims that when he hears those Middle Eastern styles he has a tendency to want to “mash” it.
He went on to explain that the traditional Moroccan melodies coupled with the other aspects of the music blend struck him [Diwon] as a powerful balance of tradition, something that was new and a contribution to world music and also to the Jewish music genre that was not only significant but possibly incredibly important.
This volcano of spirituality and dedication to meaning is what makes his music and productions so incredibly rich, powerful and different.
“Truth is it has taken me a while to believe in myself enough to do some of the stuff that I now do every day.
“I started the Sephardic Music Festival 5 years ago as an annual 8 night series in New York and at the end of May I will be bringing it to LA. I (as in Shemspeed) just took on the ‘Israeli Keffiyeh’ as an exclusive item on shemspeed.com.”
Always looking at the bigger picture, never settling, he continued, “We are going to launch the Shemspeed Foundation to take on a bunch of the non-profit type of projects that we do in order to be able to bring them to more people and in a more massive and exciting way. And as always, I am promoting current albums and tours for our artists (Y-Love, Eprhyme, Electro Morocco, DeScribe, Kosha Dillz, Darshan, Brody, Dreams in Static, Shtar and more), producing upcoming albums, tours and music videos…..”
He is openly looking for people to collaborate with, and offers his contact information (found at bottom of this article) and says “hit me up, have tons of projects and always need more and more people from around the world to get involved”
“When we tour the world (he says as if most of us can even comprehend that as a norm) I would say its about 70% Jewish people that come out. We generally get great feedback from everyone who comes Jewish or non.
A grassroots element has helped Shemspeed to grow but they are harvesting for a more mass market appeal and message. It’s powerful and good, and Diwon recognizes this, and feels that as long as they continue fresh ways to program and promote, it will continue to grow. “People are loving it and that helps” he adds.
His music is worldwide. His image is down to earth. His talent is like lava erupting. His energy could light up Manhattan. His label, Shemspeed, the rapidly rising underground Jewish music label is a powerful promotional force and resource for Jewish music. It highlights artists around the globe, while exposing new unaffiliated audiences to the diversity that exists within the culture and its music.
“We have our releases written in up in mainstream magazines such as Rolling Stone, XXL, Spin, XLR8R, and the all the national Jewish papers, we have had our artists on everywhere from BBC World, NBC, and CBS. If you go to myspace.com/diwon you coudl download tons of my music. If you go to shemspeed and click Download you coudl find tons more.”
Ahhhh I know what the single ladies (or guys) are thinking. Is this handsome talent single? Nope. He met his match in the talented Nina Safar, his wife. A stunning beauty who is also a pioneer in urban Judaism culture, he beams when he speaks of her.
“Nina has some incredible projects, Maidelle, a forum for young Jewish girls and a way for them to express themselves in a safe and supportive way. She also runs a big Kosher recipe site called Kosher in the Kitch, she has a really big following and it’s really exciting to see it grow. Nina also helps a lot with Shemspeed booking, pr and programming. She helps me get some of my visions down such as the 40 Days 40 Nights tour, calling, shaping the program and documenting it. I help her with her companies by designing some of the graphics and working on the website and work-shopping some ideas, which is what we do for each others projects on a daily basis.”
What’s on the near horizon for Diwon? Maybe making or tweaking a song that resonates the feeling of your company?
“The one that we are doing now. It’s the Shemspeed MC’s vs. Electro Morocco. The track sounds like the craziest world music festival packed into 3 minutes. The music is clubby, banging and middle eastern and the Shemspeed MCs are rapping on it. It’s fire! and it features, DeScribe, Y-Love, Eprhyme, Kosha Dillz and Shi360.”
If you still don’t have a handle on how to compartmentalize this powerhouse of talent variety, Diwon sums it up with, “it’s a home to all types of incredible music, mostly Jewish artists, but not necessarily Jewish music as you would imagine it. If you like world music and hip hop, Shemspeed will be one if not, your favorite record labels.
On the horizon also, is the Shemspeed Foundation, tons more CD’s, music videos, remixes, tours, festivals, apparel and more. There is no limit to what could be around the corner.
Considering his deep knowledge of how we are all inter-related, when asked about society, he responds, “We have more similarities than differences, lets focus on the similarities and collaborate on those! celebrate those, create more of those….”
Looking at the big picture, I would certainly say that Diwon, Shemspeed and the entire organization and collaboration is certainly “taking charge”.
Looking to collaborate, www.shemspeed.com
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