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Daily Inspiration: Meet Era Wadi – Joseph Joel Salinas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Era Wadi – Joseph Joel Salinas.

Hi Era Wadi, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
I started like a lot of us do pursuing a dream that someone else wants for us. I worked my way up in the tech start-up scene here in Austin and was making the money that I’m sure all of us think is the goal. Now, this is in no way me saying I was rolling in dough but to say that at 22, I was making a higher yearly salary than my father did in 40 years of back breaking manual labor. You know what I found out? I think from my tone you can guess, I felt just as empty as I always had. In the words of one of our greatest modern day profits the Notorious B.I.G – “Mo money Mo problems”.

Now I’ve always loved music, my parents are much older than my age and supple skin may suggest, and I grew up like most kids do listening to our parent’s music. It was a childhood long lesson in some of the most soulful and influential artists that ever poured Mana into our culture, and as we all are when we are young I was a sponge and I absorbed every last bit that poured out of those door panel speakers. I remember hearing hip hop for the first time it was Nas “I know I can” and it was an anthem that plays in my mental jukebox to this day. A fire was lit, this was the same feeling The Temptations and Aretha Franklin and the man Marvin Gaye made me feel. Call it pain, call it struggle; it has many names but to me, it’s called Soul. Now back to the not so distant past, I had this ability to make music meaning I have all the tools necessary, but what was missing was Soul in the job, Soul in the work, Soul in my life, I really was Soulless.

Some things in life are tangible meaning we can feel them in our hands, under our feet, this world we experience is tangible. A dream is just that, in our heads.

We are not supposed to be able to feel it but I can. It’s not something that should be sensed but I can tell you I can taste it. However working towards something you don’t believe in and for somebody else (as I was) for me began to sever that connection I had to our dreams and aspirations, the dreams and aspirations that were the reasons we started working in the first place. Not to bore you with my employment history but I was eventually fired but unlike most rational people all I felt was relieved, I had tried and I had failed, but I was free.

The music industry is sus but you know that. Of course, you do have ears don’t you?

There I was fired, no musical prospects of any sort, trying to infiltrate this Goliath of an industry. Not knowing where to start, you think make dope music and the rest will follow. So that’s what my plan became. Make the dopest songs and be the next kid’s door panel influence. It’s not that easy though and anything worth doing is going to be work, so I put in the work trying to get my 10,000 hours in.

A few months in I got lucky, not knowing about music publication I was uploading rough mixes to my YouTube channel and posting those videos to Reddit. Yup Reddit, that’s where a Danish producer, signed to a major label, asked me to do essentially adlibs for him to sample in his music. Instead, I made a whole song over his beat and that led to my first major work and spawned several more collaborations and features that have instilled a sense of confidence that I could never buy. This overflowed into my own music and translated to a developing fan base here and I am eternally grateful for that opportunity.

But and this is a Sir Mix A Lot sized but, that didn’t mean the work was over it was just the proof of concept.

Now the fight continues, for me this is a lifelong pursuit no matter what happens from here until the end I’m good. Because I already got my Soul back.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Self-doubt is a hurdle we all must clear if we really want to see where our limits lie. I have released music I am proud of that few people have heard and I have sat on music that should have its day in the sun. I have been wrong and I have guessed right but either way, I tried. For me, the struggle was getting out of my own way and controlling my emotions. Never let someone’s opinion influence your art especially before your art and abilities are cemented in fact. Let them catch up.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a hip-hop artist and I make rhymes with words and paint pictures over beats. My music comes from a place of frustration and has an energy and flow that catches your attention even if you don’t realize the meaning woven into the music. You really won’t find another MC like me, everything that you see or hear from my direction is authentically from my mind and there’s only one of those so far.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
You don’t need everyone to love or support your pursuit, you need 2-5 people that are down. You need that group that lifts you when 95% of the people put you down. Now, most people are nice and even more are uninformed, the more unique your pursuit is, the less the general public will relate or support you. You need those people who operate at the same level as you. The saying “Real recognizes real” are truly words to live by.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Emma Garcia De Alba

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