Elijah “Genesis Renji” Furquan, 20, lyricist and poet feels powerful and vulnerable on stage while bringing forth an indescribable experience to his audiences.
“I give all of me in a performance and you can tell I do. After performances I’m back to creator mode,” Furquan said.
Images of the show leave mental imprints in his head of not just the performance but the actions before. After every performance Furquan reflects on where he can improve or vibe with the crowd more.
“As soon as I step off stage I’m mentally replaying my performance and seeing where I could’ve done better, or what to keep in my performances, where I ran out of breath, and things of that nature,” Furquan said.
For Furquan, prayer comes before every performance. He does a sound check, listens to other artists then focuses on offering authenticity.
“Listeners will get a piece of me in my music, but a chunk of the world in my music as well. I use elements of story-telling, hip-hop, and spoken word poetry in my music. So, I just want to give my audiences something enjoyable, timeless, and mind opening,” he said.
Furquan shares something other than a birthday, June 16, with the late rapper Tupac. He wants to provoke people to develop an understanding, not of him, but each other and the world around them. Furquan writes his lyrics with passion and depth to emphasize acceptance.
“Being able to get paid to create something that will be cherished, hopefully forever, and that others enjoy is great to me,” Furquan said.
He explained his calling to Hip Hop as a way to make himself feel cool. Once he saw his cousin Pierre rapping, he started rapping developing an appreciation for the influence of lyrics.
“I wanted to become a rapper because I wanted to be accepted…The reason why I’m still rapping is because it makes me happy,” Furquan said.
Furquan indulges in music of other artists such as Lupe Fiasco, Pizzle, Kanye West, Gerald Walker, Childish Gambino and Kendrick Lamar but he said if he could listen to one artist for the rest of his life Amy Whinehouse’s songs would play all day.
“The music she created is music I enjoy and relate to, from her battles with substance abuse to her family issues to her war between love and infidelity. And her voice; her voice has always pulled at some strings to my soul,” he said.
Furquan has always thought as his personal sound as something ‘unexpected’ to audiences who had never heard it before, a quality he enjoys.
“In an industry so over-saturated with everyone doing the same thing as I am, I have to stand out in a good way and consistently build on that attention,” he said.
Furquan plans to develop that recognition as Genesis Renji, a recording gospel and secular artists touring the country. As fans start to follow him he wants to develop a loyal relationship with them based on a mutual respect for defeating stereotypes.
“Not every Christian is a saint, and not every rapper is degrading. In five years, I’ll be the idea of defeating stereotypes. I’ll be the living example of changing the system(s) to fit you,” Furquan said.
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