Ransom Razina got me feeling Like The Man Right Now, and I’m a woman! This artist delivers spitfire, depth diving, mere rope hanging execution every time he says a verse. Some artists try so hard to be different but it comes naturally to Razina. The term ‘Powerhouse’ is merely unjustified to this artist. Let’s put this metaphorically. Razina’s music is like the current that runs back and forth through the wire to give that line the spark to burst with light throughout the whole arena. And other artists are just on stage waiting for that spark to start the show. Whoa! That was quite passionate and I’m no electrician but let’s be honest. Songs like the infectiously prideful “FLTM”, the sensually sexy “Overdose”, and the soulfully staining “The Pain” are perfect examples of his skill, diversity, and urban concept. He has a never ending passion to always give justice to any track that he lays down. Razina’s energy, focus, spiritual sense, and quick yet layed back north eastern demeanor play a big part in how he creates and performs. If this artist doesn’t break big, the music industry is more than full of money, drugs, video girls, and half a** show boating.
Now a moment of silence to the current mainstream music artists and a solid The Breakfast Club-esque air punch to the real artists out there striving and persevering to preserve those oh so divine treasures in this world that we enjoy through our music. Okay enough ranting. I got caught up in a refreshing shot of reality.
But ‘AYE CUZZ!’ as Razina would say; Go see for yourself and check out our interview below. And please don’t be afraid of taking that shot as well. As a matter of fact let’s see who’s daring enough. Go follow, listen, and support this driven young artist. He will most definitely take the world by Ransom.
Me: Where does Ransom Razina come from? Is it a more marketable moniker that you created, a sudden inspiration, or a title you just earned through your music career?
Ransom: Ransom is a given name. I’m the third. Before I didn’t understand the power in my name but once I did I took the name Ransom, which usually has a negative connotation and put a positive twist on it. So now I encourage people to take the world into your possession and to keep it until you get all that you want from it, or in other words, Hold The World For Ransom And Razina in Swahili means strong and patient.
Me: Where does the inspiration behind your logo come from? How do you and your music connect to the Egyptian culture?
Ransom: The symbol and logo for my brand ties into my name Ransom Razina. If you look at it it’s two Eyes Of Ra, Horus, The Third Eye, whatever you want to call it. But I knew I wanted something that represented wisdom, and my infinite, true, and limitless self. And not only is that symbol the epitome of that, it also looks like an R. So I took it and flipped it so that it could be two R’s (for Ransom Razina) and there was the logo. As far as the Egyptian culture goes that’s in my bloodline. They say Kamet, or Ancient Egypt was the birthplace of it all.
Me: Most artists just start on their music before branding themselves. Would you say that you are trying to build an empire?
Ransom: To a certain extent. More so a revolution. I want to wake people up and remind them of their true selves so I stick to my plan of being a mirror and so far it’s been effective.
Me: How long have you been writing, rapping, and overall involving yourself in the music industry? When did you realize that this career choice could be serious for you especially in this time in the arts where being different is the usual factor and specialty determines the best from the rest?
Ransom: Since 9 years old. I realized this could be serious for me around like 12 or 13 when I saw how much people truly enjoyed what I had to offer lyrically. But like you said, now it’s about being different and that’s perfect because I’m a rebel by nature. That’s why my hair is the way it is and my music is the way it is. I don’t drink or smoke, not because it’s “bad”, because I don’t believe in good or bad, but because a lot of people in my generation do and I just dare to be different.
Me: Where do you originally hail from? How long have you been pursuing a music career in Atlanta?
Ransom: I’m from the DMV if that’s what you want to call it. Maryland to be exact. I had high SAT scores and I moved to Atlanta in 2009 for school. With those scores of course I got accepted into all the schools I applied to but Morehouse was the only school I applied to in Atlanta and I knew that was where I wanted to be as far as music so I went to Morehouse for two years but I knew it wasn’t for me. I went out there knowing what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be and that wasn’t it.
Me: Why the big move to California, the home of big dreamers, opportunities, and higher stakes? What made you take that 50/50 risk of either being successful or failing?
Ransom: I wanted to take the risk so that other people knew that it was possible. People asked me if it was because of some big opportunities there for me but I just wanted to prove that it’s not where you are. I believe that you can create opportunities anywhere you go. Plus ATL doesn’t have this weather and scenery
Me: On your social media sites I read that you considered yourself to ‘spread love, knowledge, and positive energy to change the world.’ You also stated that you represent consciousness, royalty, and overall greatness. What type of changes did you undergo as an artist and individual to bring truth to these declarations?
Ransom: I used to be a completely different artist. At age nine I wrote my first rap about killing and robbing. Things I, of course wasn’t doing at nine years old. In middle school it got more conscious and had a little black power, civil rights kind of flow. In high school and college it was all about money and sex. My raps were relative to what I was experiencing but not at all the message I wanted to spread. I always knew that I didn’t want to be like everyone else and those were the things pretty much everyone else was rapping about. I wanted to show that there was more to life.
Me: How have the changes you’ve made impacted your life overall in a positive and negative nature?
Ransom: I visualize a lot. Even though people say things like you shouldn’t rap about things you don’t have. In my eyes I have it all because I believe in speaking things into existence. If you believe strongly in something, or as some people call it, have faith, you will manifest it. Like on ‘FLTM’ I claim all the power that I know I have and I let it manifest. In another song I spoke The Hip Hop Awards, and LA into existence. So my life has been a direct reflection of my change of thoughts. I’ve watched my life experiences change with my thoughts.
Me: How has the growth you’ve made set a path to enrich your future and the futures of your loyal fans?
Ransom: With my belief in the power of faith, in 2013, I quit my job and sold my CDs. I promised that I would never work for anyone again. I may not make all the money I did but I am happy and I do what I love. As far as the people, I go out and speak to people pretty much on a daily basis and I provide myself as mirror so that when they see me or my logo they can see the greatness in them. I try to help them realize who they are and it keeps people engaged because it’s like they get to see themselves taking the journey through me. I believe we’re all are one with different perspectives and that we’re here to provide our different ideas, experiences, and perspectives in life. That’s what my music is for.
Me: You work hard on pushing your brand and making a name for yourself especially through social media. You’re always speaking wisdom and spreading positivity. Invaluable attention is obviously not your aim. Where some artists get caught up in the hype and materialism, how do you stay grounded, humble, and so disciplined as an artist in this industry?
Ransom: I get in touch with my true self. I do not associate myself with the human body. I associate myself with my inner self. Posting what you have (on social media) all the time is a usually a sign that there’s a lack somewhere. I’m not impressed by the material things because I feel that I have it all and if I can make you feel the same without having to physically possess them in that moment then I’ve accomplished my goal. We’re all one and that’s what keeps me grounded.
Me: Where do you find your inspiration? What do you believe inspires your fans to support you beyond the music and the hype?
Ransom: I meditate. My inspiration comes from my true self so I take time to be with myself, because sometimes with the way we’ve allowed society to be, life can become a repetitive cycle. So I take time to meditate and find balance within that. I believe people enjoy my music because I’m a mirror. They can see themselves in me. It’s an ineffable feeling after shows or after talking with people when they tell me that I’m an inspiration and that they want to chase their dreams because I let them know it’s possible.
Me: You have a solid execution, spot on wordplay, and an open deliverance. You are very supportive of your fan base and have built up a great following. Today, labels look for an artist more for the following that they have rather than the talent because it is so rare to find someone who stands out. What fuels you as an artist aside from becoming signed to a major label?
Ransom: I’m definitely fueled by the feelings I get from doing music. Whether it’s someone telling me I’ve inspired them to keep going or the feeling I get from having the universe speaking through me. Anytime I surprise myself when I say something I know it’s not coming from my human self. It has to be something deeper. Like when I made ‘FLTM’, I wish that I had filmed it because I just went off creatively and physically because I was just excited about everything I was saying. As if I wasn’t the one saying it.
Me: It’s obvious where ‘Take the world by Ransom’ comes into play but where did you come up with these ad libs like “Aye Cuzz”? How does this kind of slang and your phrases relate to your listeners and personify who you are as a person?
Ransom: “Aye Cuzz” is back home DMV slang. I know it can be taken differently in other places, especially where I am in Cali, but for me it’s nothing like that. It’s how you get people’s attention. Everybody calls everybody cuzz where I’m from. It’s short for cousin. So when I say “Aye Cuzz” it’s just my way of grabbing your attention so that you can hear what I have to say. Just like if I was walking down the street and I saw somebody I knew I would be like “Aye Cuzz” to get their attention.
Me: Shop.ransomrazina.com has some hot clothes. Some artists start out with t-shirts, fan geared accessories, and posters but you have crossed your brand with your music, personal style, and an a-list worthy line that could be featured by a big name retailer like Kohl’s. What inspired you to create your own clothing line? What made you want to capitalize on the fashion market and industry? Is there another great mind behind this vision?
Ransom: I’m probably one of the least stylish people you might ever meet. I know what I like but I’m just learning to put stuff together. When I would do shows, I could never find anything to wear at the malls so I created something for me but other people liked it so I made it available to them. Designer Tiffany Cosey is my business partner, stylist, and visionary (behind the line). Every night I have a show, she makes another piece.
Me: You are a lyrical powerhouse. Your kind of dedication, honesty, and musical experience is uncanny, overshadowed, and belittled in today’s mainstream music. Though the purpose may be to gain on a larger platform, how while transitioning would you try to stay loyal to your current fans? What could you offer to today’s musically differentiating consumer without being considered a ‘sell out’?
Ransom: Honestly, at this point as an artist I don’t plan on compromising musically for the mainstream platform. For me to change would be disrespectful to myself. People can love it or hate it. I do what I love and I enjoy it. How people feel about it in my opinion is just addition.
Me: Though seriously pumped after listening to ‘FLTM’ the first time, I honestly did not expect to vibe to your music as much as I did but I must give respect to a true artist. What is your advice to other artists on their grind working hard to not be judged, cast aside, and stereotyped as a one track artist?
Ransom: Artists trying to get away from the stereotype should stay true to themselves. When you do what you love, everything else will come. Love is an expression of God, so doing what you LOVE puts you in alignment with God’s blessings. I never recommend doing anything “just to pay the bills”. Live for the moment because all we ever have is now.
Me: PLUG, PLUG, PLUG! You are our Next On Deck Artist to follow so open up one last time for your fans before we close out. Tell us something that we do not know about Ransom but would love…
Ransom: I got a lot of new music coming soon! It’s crazy right now! But y’all will see! Stay tuned!
“Take some time…to really be with yourself. We live these fast paced lifestyles and get caught up in paying bills and trying to reach certain places and levels in life. Get to know your self, understand your self, love your self. Because the funny thing about it is, once you start doing that, you start realizing that everything you’ve been chasing is already there within you. And once you realize that then you are fully prepared to HOLD THE WORLD FOR RANSOM.“–RANSOM RAZINA