From coffee houses to hip hop shows, Sunni Soper’s words have won over intimate gatherings and hushed concert halls. After deflecting requests from fans for recorded performances, Sunni has teamed up with producer Trent Spears (aka DJ Supreme) to bring her poems to life off the stage. The results of this collaboration are captured in time and presented for the world to experience. Her debut album, For Public Consumption, represents the crossroads where tenacity meets dreams.
Ujima Magazine: Who is Sunni?
Sunni: Honestly? I’m just a girl with a magic pen that translates all these crazy thoughts for public consumption. (That’s actually how the name came about).
Ujima Magazine: Do you think that poetry stems from music or vice versa?
Sunni: I think poetry and music are forever intertwined. Soul-mates. Instrumentals inspire lyrics and poetry inspires rhythm. I don’t think they could ever be separated. As far as one stemming from the other, they are both dependent upon rhythm so I think they naturally developed in concert.
Ujima Magazine: Did you fall in love with Hip Hop? Lol
Sunni: LOL! Ok, Brown Sugar! Of course I did. I got The Message and it was over from there. That being said, I fell in love with music as a whole (almost lol). Quality music is amazing and timeless. I can’t relegate that to one genre.
Ujima Magazine: Tell us about the birth of For Public Consumption?
Sunni: I started sharing my poetry at open mics on a whim in February 2013 and I really enjoyed getting it out there. The craziest part to me was, so did everyone else. A couple of months later, I had a woman ask me where she could buy more. I was taken aback, for sure! Almost a year after that, around March 2014, I was having a conversation with my producer Trent Spears and Terrany Johnson aka Tee-Double about recording. I was really joking, but Trent pointed out that he has a full studio at his disposal. He asked me why we weren’t recording anything and I didn’t have an answer so two weeks later we were recording my poetry. Terrany has an organization, aside from Kinetic Global Media Group, called Urban Artist Alliance; with his help, Trent and I navigated the business end of how all this works as well as production guidance in general. Without UAA and Notably Proficient Music (Trent’s production company), this project wouldn’t be happening.
Ujima Magazine: Were there any challenges that you faced producing this project and if so, how did you overcome them?
Sunni: I would say the most difficult part of the whole process was the budget. This project was started on such a whim that I had zero budget set aside. Making something happen when you need it to isn’t always ideal when you’re not financially prepared. Everything has worked out, but album two will definitely be different.
Ujima Magazine: Who are some of your musical interests and why?
Sunni: My musical interests are all over the place. I go from Jimi Hendrix to Wu Tang Clan, from Bilal to Bajka, from Metallica to The Police, from Tee-Double to Gary Clark Jr. (to put some Austin love in there). I love quality and passion.
Ujima Magazine: Are there any special appearances on this project?
Sunni: Trent Spears aka DJ Supreme and I are the only two contributors to this project, as far as the album goes. Other contributors to the project are: Dwayne Hills, Sr. (Photographer/Graphic and Web Designer), L. Marie Nelson (Make-up Artist), Erma Salgado (Hair Dresser), and C. Davis Writing (Freelance Writer-all my promotional materials).
Ujima Magazine: What are some words of advice you would give to our readers that aspire to live out their dreams?
Sunni: The time will never be “right” to do something. People are always saying how they’re waiting for this or that to do something or follow a dream. Life isn’t going to stop so you shouldn’t either. Push. Do one thing pertaining to your passion every day to be better than you were the day before. Even the smallest thing. Just grow.
Ujima Magazine: Do you have any future plans for more projects or book releases?
Sunni: Plans for the future include release in a book in 2015 called For Personal Use Only, my sophomore CD (yet to be named) in 2016 and another book in 2017 while finalizing which direction I want to take my company Proficient Poetry over the next two years.
On August 28th Sunni will debut For Public Consumption at Neo-Soul Lounge presents Ladies Night
at Mr. Catfish & More 1144 Airport Blvd Suite #220 Austin, Tx 78702 Doors open at 8:00pm, cover is $6.
Ujima Magazine would like to thank Sunni Soper for the interview.