Underground Interview With Persian Butter
Neema was born in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles, and lived there until age 11. His family moved to Orange County, where he lived until he was 19, and until college took him to Santa Cruz, where he stayed and called home.
His father, Reza, was a professional musician and flute player and played in philharmonic orchestras for a long time, gracing the family with musical genes.
Neema first played bass in a cover rock band in Orange County, then co-created a band in Santa Cruz called BroMagnon. The band was a popular and even played the locally famous Catalyst nightclub in Santa Cruz. After BroMagnon faded out, Neema started playing for a rock band Homebrew, and played lots of great shows all around Santa Cruz. Rap was always a passion for Neema after finding an Atmosphere cd when he was in high school. After Homebrew, he started rapping as Persian Butter, releasing his first material in Fall of 2018, called the P.B. EP. The second album, The Pursuit of Rappiness, had a great single Anti-Trap that was turning heads. Finally, his third and most recent album, Churn It Up!, is being slowly released with great content and reception.
Currently, his songs California Cruisin’ feat. Ducky and Mic Ripper have music videos on Youtube that are garnering attention and receiving universal praise. He continues to update social media and release new material in the form of music videos, lyric videos, or tracks with great artwork to enjoy. His aim is to play shows live, and get credit for his amazing lyrics and wordplay, as well as refined delivery.
Websites or Social Media Pages:
What Musical Genre Do You Feel Best Describes Your Music And How Would You Describe Your Sound?
Rap and Hip-Hop, with a new twist on the old school feel. I'm not huge on the melody/trap new style of rap. I like wordplay and skillful delivery, with tongue twisters and alliteration everywhere. Lyrics and flow are my main focus, but as an artist you are always working towards getting better and I;m improving my cadence and tone as well. Most of my songs have punchy boom bap beats, heavily laden with lyrics and rhymes!
How Did You Get Your Name? Is There A Story?
It kind of started as a joke, some co-workers saw me starting to rap and they thought it would be amusing to call myself Persian Butter. Persian coming from my heritage, and Butter referring to my smooth flow. Then as I was releasing music, well nothing really better came to mind so I went with it. I've been pretty happy with it, especially as I don't take myself too seriously anyway!
What Are or Have Been Your Musical Influences?
Old school hardcore rap for sure, the legends really, people like Big L and Big Pun and Rakim. Atmosphere was a major influence for me when I was young and first discovering rap, I accidentally found a cd player with one of his albums, hit play and was blown away. Eminem is obviously a major influence as his lyrics and wordplay are phenomenal. I used to play bass in rock bands for a long time, and Zach de la Rocha from Rage Against the Machine is very talented and has amazing lyrics and delivery. Also, I'm a big fan of UK rap, which I think is generally underrated. I love UK subject matter, which is typically centered around politics, society or street life. Artists like Lowkey and Rhyme Asylum, I think, are some of the best rappers and rap groups of all time.
What Are You Working On Now? Any Future Collaborations We Can Look Forward To?
I wrote an album during 2020, called Churn It Up!, that I am slowly releasing as of right now. I've been especially enjoying and working hard on making and releasing awesome and entertaining music videos for my songs. The two I've released so far this year are really cool, and everyone should check them out! My song and video California Cruisin' with singer Ducky, and my newest video for song Mic Ripper are released and are very cool. They are on Youtube and my Instagram also, @persianbutter. Shooting new music videos, trying to link up with a potential DJ and/or another rapper, and writing new rhymes with even faster flows is my current goal and focus.
What Is Your Ultimate Goal In The Music Industry? What Is Your Plan Of Action?
My main goal is playing shows live, which makes me feel alive and in the moment, and that doesn't necessarily require the music industry. I enjoy playing locally, and getting props and cred after shows. My plan of action would be to get more popular, get on Spotify playlists, and generally increase my ability to appeal and book shows at bigger and bigger venues. Money, though, isn't really an aim.
What Is Your Favorite Track To Perform Live and Why?
My song 'Santa Cruz' off my first EP, P.B.EP, is especially fun to play in SC because of the audience reaction to all the spots and places I call out. I basically take you on a trip around Santa Cruz in a rap song. It's also has some of my stronger punch lines that are both funny and are cool spots in Santa Cruz. Definitely the song that gives me the most reactions when playing live.
What Has Been The Biggest Challenge In Your Career Thus Far?
Getting exposure. I don't have a ton of motivation to email and keep up with social media and pay this or that for this or that. My life is very fulfilled and this isn't about making a living for me, I just love rap and making music and art. I just figure, if my music is good and people want to listen, I'll start local and move up.
What’s Your Typical Songwriting Process?
Start with the beat, get down the flow using freestyle or nonsense, then think of a topic that the beat makes me think of, and start with the lyrics. Strangely, I come up with good stuff at night, when I'm mildly intoxicated, so I kind of do my thing. It's weird how lyrics just find their way to you...but I guess that makes every rapper or artist unique.
How Has Social Media Influenced Your Career As An Artist?
Not enough yet. It's been incredible watching some artists use social media and propel to professional or famous levels, such as the almighty freestyle master Harry Mack. I admit I need to do more on social media, but when you think about rap and its culture and roots, it turns me off from wanting to open apps on a smart phone, and instead makes me want to play a beat and kick down some freestyles.
What Are Some Tracks and Artists Currently On Your Playlist?
I cannot stop listening to Joyner Lucas - Ramen and OJ, it's so good. Also, Status by Russ is very addictive.
What Did You Do Before You Started Making Music?
I played bass in rock bands for about 7-8 years, mainly in SC. I also love to surf and hang with my lady and friends and enjoy the SC life. A major influence for starting to record and release rap music was karaoke, actually. I can't sing well at all, which is why Ducky is on so many of my songs and kills it, but I love karaoke so I started to rap all the dope 90s covers, and I got really good reception. However many years I did that, finally after the thousandth person walked across the bar to tell me that my performance was great and how am I not rapping yet, Persian Butter was born!
Any Advice For Young People (Men or Women) That Want To Succeed In The Music World?
The grind is real, I know that because I see so many insanely talented people release and record amazing music, and not get very far. Keep going, don't stop, most people who make it to the top are just the ones that didn't stop, kept releasing songs and refining their sound, until something hit. It's almost everybody's story. We're all really good, but the music world isn't always about good.
What Would You Change In The Music Industry If You Were A Top Music Executive?
I feel like if I were a top executive, my music industry would have changed me. I can't even get in that mental state. Maybe stop signing sex and garbage lyrics, look at the UK rappers and sign talent and rawness.
How Do You Feel About Originality?
100% the focus, what's the point otherwise? I purchase a lot of beats, but I would never rip lyrics or take another style. Persian Butter is if anything, very unique. Not what I'm going for, but that should be a given.
Is There Anything Else We Should Know About You Or That You Would Like to Add?
Please check out my YouTube and enjoy my videos and subscribe! Same with Spotify! There is a lot more to come, as I will keep releasing awesome tracks and videos until I'm bone dry out of material, then hit the drawing board again. Thank you