Sheen Magazine, a steadfast advocate for showcasing emerging talents, once again illuminates the path for rising stars. In our relentless pursuit of providing a platform for voices to be heard, we have uncovered yet another remarkable artist: Peter Jericho, a Chicago native and exceptional singer-songwriter. 

His latest EP, “Outsidah,” weaves together the soulful influences of Afrobeats and R&B, reflecting his dual heritage as a first-generation American-born Cameroonian. With profound duality and a captivating musical narrative, Jericho invites us to embrace the intricacies of cultural identity and embark on an introspective journey through his evocative compositions. Prepare to be enraptured as we bear witness to the ascent of this musical force—a beacon of hope bridging divides and celebrating the beauty of diversity. Check out the full interview with the “Rain on Me” Singer below. 

What inspired you to create your latest music project? 

There has always been a desire for me to tap into my cultural side. Every album, ep, or mixtape I’ve done previously has had a touch of my Africanness. This time around though, I wanted to be more intentional about my EP being an African Fusion project. I pray it translates as such. 

How does this project differ from your previous work? 

The last EP I released was called the New Normal. It had more Rnb influences in rhythm and lyrics. It was my Pandemic project. Outsidah is more of me getting back to the basics, my Roots. 

Can you walk us through your creative process when making music?

My creative process involves several collaborations. I usually reach out to Producers I have worked with in the past or they reach out to me. We either go through catalogs of what they’ve previously created music-wise or I shoot them a vocal idea or lyric I have brewing in my musical brain. I do a lot of my writing and vocal recording solo because it’s time-consuming and very experimental. I don’t write lyrics down most time. It’s just a bunch of combinations of lyrics attempted until something feels and sounds right. Then once the right sound is put together, my Engineer friends put the final touches to the clarity of the sound. 

What message or theme do you hope to convey through your music?

The first thing I feel is important for people to take away from what I create is that I enjoy being who I am and what I am. Which is a black man on planet Earth. Also, I am not different than any other human being trying to provide for his family and loved ones. I want it to be known I am also positive and my end game is for everyone to find some sort of love. Because we need it. 

Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

Influences first of all start at home. My Mom and Dad met, sang, and played big roles in the choir of their church. This trickled down to their children. Then Motown. (Jackson 5, Stevie Wonder) Nat King Cole, and all contemporary music from there on out that sonically had appeal. 

How has your personal life influenced your music? 

I write a lot about my experiences. Some of them are mine some of them are those of others around me. But it can be pretty personal. Outside of that, with me having a son, there has to be a balance between me knowing how much of my efforts in life go towards his well-being and my creative side, which motivates my drive. I am always working on that. 

What was the most challenging aspect of creating this project? 

I think the challenge with creating any project that takes more than one person to realize it, is the compatibility between everyone involved. Meeting deadlines, and agreeing on a plan. Executing a plan and being ready to take a loss if need be. 

Can you share any behind-the-scenes stories or anecdotes from the making of this project? 

I believe my favorite behind-the-scenes story is the fact that my African Father is on the opening song. A song about where he is from. I found a way to set up a mini recording studio and grabbed his vocal. Him speaking in his native tongue and all. And then I released this ep on his 80th birthday. Went to his native land and shot a music video there for the song “Douala” Watching those ideas leave my thoughts to reality is such a powerful experience for me. And I am so grateful I got a chance to do it with my Dad and we both still walk the earth! 

How do you see your music evolving in the future? 

The sky has always been the limit for me. My story is unique in itself and I can attempt whatever environment because it’s been what I have had to do my whole life. With the right exposure and new doors opening, it will create more experiences and stories to tell which I will put on wax for a listener to appreciate. Stay Tuned 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 

I always tell aspiring creatives to first make sure they enjoy what it is they are doing. Because there is no guarantee any of it will make you a millionaire but if it makes you happy, that’s worth just as much. Second of all. Trust your instincts. Pay attention to detail and lastly. Take some risks. Why not? 

How do you define Afro-SOUL music? 

I believe for my generation, especially someone like me who was born in the States but also lived in Africa for 11 years, I was influenced by both soul music from the 60s and 70s. And also African music. And there is this fusion, in correlation to in-depth topics and sonics that make me sound soulful to many, yet African at the same time. Truthfully speaking, it’s just good African vibes for the Soul. I hope it speaks to you.

Photo Credits: Courtesy of Peter Jericho