Messiah’el Bey is an accomplished author, composer, electronic musician, DJ, filmmaker, music producer, and poet from Hempstead, Long Island. He is one-half of the electronic music duo Warlock Asylum, a pseudonym that he also uses in his solo work. Bey has just released a new album, entitled, iWealth eSoul. Recently, we had a chance to talk with him about the album and other personal projects.
Congratulations on your new album iWealth eSoul! How is this album different from your previous work?
Ans: Well, it’s my first solo album for starters. Other Warlock Asylum albums were collaborations between Steven Berson and me. However, since I use Warlock Asylum as a pseudonym for the books I’ve authored, I just felt it was good for marketing to keep it Warlock Asylum, as it may even open the door for music lovers to check out previous albums.
Usually the first person that people think of when they hear the name Warlock Asylum is Messiah’el Bey. Plus, I wanted to let out that I’m not just a poet, but also an electronic musician. When Steve and I first started working together on the Kiss of the Immortal album, it was initially set to be an EP of instrumentals and then I wrote some lyrics for a track called Soulmates and it became vocal. So I wanted to return to the foundation and let the music speak for itself in the literal sense of the term. So everything you hear on the iWealth eSoul album I did on my own.
Do you plan on working with Steve Berson in the future?
Ans: Of course! Everything is business as usual. The cool thing about the Warlock Asylum band is that we always kept the friendship before the music. Music is music and Steve is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and mastering engineer. What’s good about keeping friendship before the music is that we never get jealous with each other because of the friendship we have individually with music.
Since Steve and I have developed our own personal relationship and friendship with music, one cannot dictate some mechanical role that a person should play with music as a friend, entity, and a form of consciousness. If I want to write a song, that’s fine. If Steve has a poem he’s written, that’s fine too. It’s all about a wheel of relationships that are both tangible and intangible, and that’s to be respected also.
What do you think listeners and music lovers will get from the iWealth eSoul album?
Ans: I think they will get a rich experience from listening to the album. Look at the title, iWealth eSoul. It’s a lucky charm based on the virtue of making good music. Every Warlock Asylum album has a credible amount of time put into the quality and production of the work. This album is no different.
Who are some of the artists that you find to be a source of inspiration in your own work?
Ans. Phillip Glass, Ngoma Hill, Arzachel, Jimi Hendrix, Chemical Brothers, Sade, Suheir Hammad, Wu Tang Clan, Prince Charming, The Beatles, Jean-Pierre Rampal, and quite a few others. I would love to work with Flying Lotus. Ironically, we have the same birthday and make similar music. I would also like to work with Cappadonna. I think his flow would go good with my production. The same goes for Norah Jones and Snoop Dogg.
Aside from creating music, you have a bigger reputation as an author, mentor, and spiritualist. Is it hard juggling so many roles?
Ans; I can’t speak for everybody, but I view the different facets of my work as coming from the same source, and see each aspect of my life’s work as a different instrument in a band called life. I also look at music genres in the same way. For example, Sgt. Pepper is a Beatles’ classic, but Wu tang’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, Raekwon the Chef’s first album, is another classic album that comes from the same source as Sgt. Pepper, but just a different genre.
So am I correct in saying that your spiritual outlook on life helps you in multitasking?
Ans: All there is in life! Regardless of what museum people walk around with in their minds, also called religion, they still have to deal with life. Make no mistake about it, life is man’s only religion. This realization is what connected me to shamanism. Mainly because the work of a shaman is the study of life. Most anthropologists regard the shaman as the inventor of music, writing, and etc, as these are all tools of a shaman’s spirituality. Art is the emotional expression of life. It’s very simple.
Do you have any upcoming projects that you’ll like to tell us about?
Ans: Well, Steve and I have plans for a new single. I am also making quite a few new tracks myself and remastering a spoken word compilation album I did back in 2000 called Ghetto Wars. It should be available soon. I am excited because that was a really good spoken word project that preceded Def Poetry Jam and really gives listeners a glimpse of a nostalgic time in spoken work history. I also have plans to release two new books and an autobiography later this year. At the same time, I’m working to raise a family and really promote iWealth eSoul.
Do you have any one particular song on the iWealth eSoul album that you favor more than the others?
Ans: All the track on the album are my favorites. Some days I like certain tracks more than others. I guess it depends on what day of the week you ask me that question. Today, my favorite two tracks off the album are “Wifey from Japan” and another song called “Trotman House.”
Wifey from Japan is a track dedicated to my wife, which should be obvious from the title. It’s a track that really puts you in the atmosphere of a Japanese nightclub, but in a way that everyone can relate to without explaining what’s going on. Something that everyone can feel regardless of their culture. Trotman House is dedicated to an old friend Todd Trotman, a real lover of club and house music. Personally, I think Trotman House is a classic. Still, it all depends on the day of the week that questions like this arise.
What advice would you give to a newcomer trying to make their way into the world as an artist?
Ans: Practice safe sex. Take responsibility for your art and how it is created and developed. Learn all the phases of the work from composer to producer to engineer to promoting. It helps you gain insight into what is real and possible. It also helps you to understand the value of the people around you fulfilling their role in the process.
Listen to music. Study the history of your art, so that you will know where you are at with it and where it is at in the world. For example, the 60’s was a guitar era. The 70’s was a bass era. The 80’s was a synthesizer era. The 90’s was a drum programming era. The new millennium is a glamour of art era. Study music’s relationship with society and etc.
Thanks so much for your time. Any finally thoughts?
Ans: Thank you for having me as a guest! If you’re a true fan of good music, check out the iWealth eSoul album. If you want to keep up with events, upcoming shows, or news on Warlock Asylum, please subscribe to our website and blog at www.warlockasylum.com. Thanks for all the support!