Introducing ‘Notes from Mr. Sandman‘ – a column slapping a spotlight on lyricists overlooked, under appreciated, or just plain criminally slept on. Or like a man named Nas once said, “I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death.” Enter Mr. Sandman with what y’all missed while chasing the REM dragon.
Seattle-based emcee/producer Proh Mic is a musical chameleon; he can adapt to virtually any style and excel. His versatility is a product of a tireless work ethic, one that includes projects with an elite squad of independent labels like All Natural and Cherries Records.
Proh Mic’s pedigree runs deep and he draws inspiration from every corner of the pop strata. And whether he’s pounding out beats as a producer or penning heady writtens as a lyricist the common thread remains the same: pure, body-rocking funk.
As a writer Proh Mic has adopted a free flowing approach. “I get inspired to write when I hear different kinds of music and sounds that attract my inner vibration and give me some type of feeling,” said Proh Mic over email. “Sometimes it’s hearing a new beat tape from producer friends, sometimes it’s going out to shows.”
One of Proh Mic’s most recent collaborations includes a 7″ with Cherries Records. The label is a haven for funk enthusiasts and Proh Mic settles right in with two songs produced by Vitamin D. “Right On Time” is a monster cut; it evolves slow and steady, from a fresh groove to a crushing dance floor jam: [LISTEN]
As a lyricist and producer Proh Mic approaches each song with a unique perspective. He channels a natural instinct in order to strike a balance between the beat and lyrics. “Before I start penning any lyrics to a song I usually ride around with the music for a week or so listening to the music and if it’s a really good song, it will write it itself,” said Proh Mic. “It’s like the music starts speaking to me then jumps inside my body and writes itself through me because I just start singing what naturally comes to me and before I even start writing anything down I have the whole song in my head and it always ends up sounding fonky.”
On the b-side to his 7″ (“I Like“) Proh Mic approaches the narrative from a different angle. He delves deep into the story, describing his courtship of a beautiful woman. It’s a heavy song with a penetrating groove, an anthem that can entrance a dance floor with a single spin: [LISTEN]
Proh Mic never stops creating, the music is in his blood. He has a new instrumental hip hop album out (Falling Babylon) and a forthcoming EP (Seward Park) both of which display his skills as a lyricist and producer. He’s a rare talent and his best has yet to come.
“Writing for me is easy, it’s second nature,” said Proh Mic. “My father is a writer and his father was a writer so jumping from producer to writer to singer to rapper is like breathing, it’s who I am. Whether it’s Hip Hop, Funk/Soul, Alternative, Dance or any other genre I’m producing, when I’m making the music, I’m also hearing a song in my head simultaneously. When I’m writing lyrics first, I’m also producing the music in my head as I write them.”