Gig Seeker Pro



Band Hip Hop Rock


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Interview with Semaj"

Link to article:

It’s a fact. Music listeners of all sorts get bored easily. We need that instant spark to attract our attention and keep it for us to continue to listen or eventually buy the album. For artists, it must be hard to please an inundated and attention deficit audience. But, what’s good about the independent music scene is there's a lot of variety. So to all artists, you may not get everyone’s attention, but the streets are listening and we’re keen on what’s next when it comes to worthy music.

Enter Semaj. As Jay-Z stated in Reasonable Doubt’s, Dead Presidents II, “we don’t just shine, we illuminate the whole show, ya feel me?”

It’s official, live music is making a reappearance. Instrumentation and singing in its purest form is the test of true artistry. Semaj passes. Her name had to be her first blessing, meaning one society in Hindi. She embodies a communal love of what her music means to her and how it affects you.

Born in Chicago, raised in New Orleans and now living in New York, she definitely knows how to use her Midwest, southern, east coast swagger to reach out to curious listeners that want to know what it’s like in the world of Semaj. Hip hop is her 1st love. “I’d like to say the three “Ls”, Lauryn (Hill), (MC) Lyte and (Queen) Latifa.” Hands down, three powerful forces within the world of hip hop, gave her the strength to become the driven poet, emcee, singer/songwriter she is today. Not forgetting her southern roots, her music possesses a lot of drum/bass, horns, and southern swing that she grew up on, but not negating her new found east coast edge that she’s mastered as well.

Having a background in performance arts, she not only gives you an audible experience, but also visual. Her powerful single, Wet’em Up tells the familiar story of urban city life that takes away the lives of many young men and women today. The musical journey from the heavy bass line to an emotional rock break ending with the reggae inspired beat keeps you locked into her and the words that spill out truth of the reality that surrounds us.

“A lot of my songs are story oriented; I wanted to bring a visual aspect to them as well. It’s not over the top, but I wanted to do it in a way that hasn’t been done before where it enhances the powerful messages.”

Directness in music is appreciated. When live, it’s definitely desired. Listeners want it all; they want to see it, hear it, and feel it all at the same time. Semaj takes advantage of that.

For example, in her song, L.O.V.E, she breaks down the definition of love and how if expressed right, there’s no confusion of feeling real love. “ But it’s more than a physical, add an emotional, multiply the spiritual….When it gets complicated, acclimated, appreciated, celebrated, never underrated, betrayed or jaded…never outdated..”

In juxtaposition with L.O.V.E., My City displays the good, bad and ugly of a city. She goes into her love for New Orleans, the trepidation of Katrina and the mental and emotional confusion that’s associated with it. “What you really know about your city?? This is what I know about my city…show pride, rep your city!”

Semaj is dedicated to expression of self-identity and authenticity. “We’re looking to changing people’s minds about music. My band and I are confident that what we are doing is fresh, new, and unique and because we do it well, the labels will come to us. We just want to continue to put ourselves out there and until we have a finished package, we aren’t going to search for labels. We have some offers, but I want to be 100% ready and I will not allow myself to be shelved, so there has to be a respect that we earn from the labels, first.”

In the meantime, Semaj and her band are appearing all over NYC. An album is expected mid December and tour dates will follow. For information on how you can witness the visual, audible and aesthetic experience of Semaj, visit

- Rebel City Simone Banks





“It’s music that’s a little left of center.” -Semaj, 2007

Semaj rightfully names their website, because upon listening to it, you realize that its self-title best describes it – a raw, yet innovative musical journey influenced by past and present hip hop and soul predecessors, infused with poignant messages that gives a universal voice to an array of messages. Meaning “One Society” in Hindi, Semaj looks to emerge as a voice that speaks universally to its audience, with intentions to spread self-identity and authenticity.

A Chicago born and New Orleans bred balladeerist, Semaj leads a 7-piece band that conjures up the elements of some of her influences, such as Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill and Jill Scott. Combined with an agility to perform by combining an acting and spoken word platform, Semaj’s unique approach to hip-hop, soul and rock will resonate in the palates of connoisseurs alike. From each tragedy and triumph, Semaj’s music exposes itself in rare form, sans the glitz and glamour. A graduate of the University of Illinois-Champlain with a degree in Performance Studies, Semaj’s background includes a stint as director of Rap City on BET, as well as producer and director of a hip-hop project brought to the off-Broadway stage.

“I have a desire to relate to people on a mass level and bring life stories to the forefront,” says Semaj. “I don’t come with complex messages or ideas; they are simple and done to start conversations and dialogues between people.”

Like her predecessors, it’s extremely important for Semaj to bring messages to the masses on an artistic level that positively represents black women on a larger scale. She credits the ‘90’s movement, her upbringing in both New Orleans and Chicago, and her daily on goings with love and relationships as being part of her regime for influential music. Semaj’s lyrics repeatedly challenge its listeners—to listen, and to feel, while representing funky intelligence.

2008 has been a successful year for Semaj thus far. On the heals of a second place win in the Shure Microphones and Sam Ash Music Present: OriginalSessions National Band Search, Semaj also placed as a semi-finalist in the NCADV (National Coalition Against Domestic Violence) and NABFEME "BREAKING THE SILENCE IN SONG" theme song competition. The “BREAKING THE SILENCE IN SONG” theme competition was an inspiring evening of song and honors held at the New York Society for Ethical Culture. An impressive list of celebrity judges included Grammy Award winning Singer, Michael Bolton, Cissy Houston, Ben E. King, Kevin Liles and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, who recently won an Emmy.

Semaj continues to focus on the release of her Fall 2008 album, affectionately titled Relatable, as well as performing in upcoming shows in New York City and throughout the United States. For more information on Semaj, please visit