The Enigmatic HeIsTheArtist Gets Back To His “Roots” In This Exclusive Interview

Best known as an enigmatic Christian neo-soul/jazz/r&b singer-songwriter and performer, HeIsTheArtist recently released the first single from his forthcoming AMERICANA/ROOTS/AAA EP, aptly titled, Roots. On October 12th, the singer released his re-working of the Fleetwood Mac classic, “Landslide.” The EP will drop on November 27th.

Hailing from Central Islip, NY and formerly signed under his birth name, LeeMann Bassey recorded and released secular r&b and dance music for Bentley Records. Inspired to release Christian music after hearing a sermon by Bishop TD Jakes, HeIsTheArtist cites influences including Prince, Chaka Khan, Sade, Maxwell, and D’Angelo.

HeIsTheArtist talks about the etymology of his unusual name, his transformation to rootsy/americana music, and what it means to be #1, in this exclusive Nashville Gab interview…

HeIsTheArtist is such an unusual moniker. How did you come up with that, and what do people call you when they speak to you directly?

Well I’m a Christian and as a Christian the Lord is a big part of my life. So one day I prayed to the Lord and asked him to help me choose the perfect stage name, and soon enough it came to me. My stage name actually means “God is the creator.”
When people speak to me directly however, they call me HITA.

You have some really iconic influences, from Prince to D’Angelo to Sade and Chaka Khan. You can hear them in your songs. When was it that you first knew you wanted to be a musician and artist?

I’ve loved music all my life but It wasn’t until I was discovered on Instagram singing covers by a local producer and recorded my first single “Honey” that I began to take singing as a career seriously.

You’ve released several covers in the past couple of years. Which cover song of yours is your favorite, and why?

My favorite cover is definitely “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. I’m approaching 30 years old and it’s a great song to soothe others to not be afraid of aging.

“Landslide” is your latest single release from your “Roots” EP (out on the 27th.) What made you decide to do a rootsy/americana music record?

I had great memories living in the mountains as a kid Upstate New York with my babysitter blasting country music on the radio nonstop, and the best way I could communicate that experience was through Americana music.

What artist would your fans be surprised to know that you like?

I’m a big fan of Carrie Underwood. She’s such an amazing Country Music Artist and I hope to work with her one day.

What has been the highlight of your music career, so far?

Going number 1 on iTunes South Africa was definitely a huge highlight for me. That day was the day I saw all my hard work was paying off.
What are your plans for 2021? More music releases, more videos?

I plan on releasing more music videos in 2021 and a special music video release of my original song “Bright Ideas” off of my “Roots” EP.
Any last words for your fans and our readers?

Yes, to keep dreaming, keep believing and you shall achieve.


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