Interview with Six Figure Serge of The Academy

Interview with Six Figure Serge of The Academy

The Serge Origin Story: An understanding of how the rapper got his name, inspirations, and what The Academy stands for.

Interview with Six Figure Serge of The Academy

The Serge Origin Story: An understanding of how the rapper got his name, inspirations, and what The Academy stands for.
What’s your name?

“Friends call me Serge. Rap name, Six Figure Serge.”

How did you get the name Serge?

“It happened freshman year, during move-in week actually. I came to college with a whole other nickname growing up and then I met one of my closest friends Kenny smh. I used to go by CeCe for my whole childhood and I introduced myself to him and he was like "CeCe?! oh hell naw bruh you too big to be called that... You look like a Serge Ibaka.. so I'm going to call you Serge". I didn't have a beard at the time, so I guess I can see the similarities of that comparison. Ever since then that name stuck no matter how hard I tried to get rid of it. Before I knew it, everybody that knew me has been calling me Serge.”

I know you’re a part of The Academy. First off, what is The Academy and who is/are the founder(s)?

The Academy started as a group of my closest friends: kp, Shaun, Ki, T-baby, Smook, and Leezy. I met them boys through kp freshman year of college and it’s been history ever since. We rap, make beats, and sell fye clothing. Kp really was the person to make The Academy a real thing. He and I chopped it up about it in person all the time freshman year and before you know it we had the whole gang down with it.”

What is the goal of the The Academy?

“The goal is to honestly become the best versions we could be with our musical and fashion talents. If we make it to a larger audience then it’s lit you know? At the same time, we are trying to spread our message. Our motto is “Let’s All Be Millionaires” so we are trying to share the idea that wealth isn’t just what’s in your pockets, but wealth is in the mind. Everyone should live life to its fullest potential.”

Is there one person overseeing things or is it a joint-effort in terms of decision making in regards to The Academy?

“It’s definitely a team effort with all decisions with The Academy. We vote sometimes on certain plans if we have to.”

What’s the hardest decision you all have had to make as a group?

“I don't think anything has been hard to do. Everything has been organic and nothing has been forced in our group. We have a lot of fun making music and merch, so we are enjoying the process of being better, pushing past boundaries, and expanding our brand.”

How did you and KP meet?

“Well before my freshman year in college, I was looking for a roommate. UGA had this roommate search service and I came across some people that I knew I wouldn’t get along with or feel comfortable. So one day, I tweeted something like “finding a black roommate is the struggle” and this guy named khari replied saying something on some” I feel your pain vibes” I say in his bio that he was UGA bound so I messaged him asking if he found a roommate yet. He said nah and the rest was history.”

How did you and KP get into making music?

“Well freshman year, we met with some of our close college friends within move-in week. Our dorm room became the normal hangout spot 24/7. I mean there was a point where we would have people stay over and sleep on our futon and floor like they lived there the whole time. When we wanted to pregame, there would always be a point where we would get faded enough to start rapping over instrumentals. Then there was a point where we would just start rapping when we were bored. By the end of freshman year, we found out that our school had a studio. The next year we started making our own music. I actually made a Christmas parody mixtape with kp called Merry Sergemas. It was supposed to be a joke but I guess UGA students thought that was me being serious. So ever since then I made it my vendetta to make better music. I was on a couple tracks for kp’s first mixtape DayParty. I made a couple of tracks by myself. The Academy dropped some tracks that made some noise. Now I made my first project by myself with In Serge We Trust and before you know it, I’m here getting interviewed by you.”

Is there a link to Merry Sergemas anywhere?

“I don't think so. That was an era but that's not something to take seriously. It was some shit that me and friends wanted to troll on. It should have been more viral at its peak smh.”

How do you describe your sound? And how are your working to develop your sound more as time goes forward?

“Wow that’s a good question. If I had to make my own genre then it would be “suburban rap”. I’m not from the streets in a sense where I had to struggle every day. I went to school, I graduated from college, and now I’m in grad school. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t been through some bullshit and I still have stories and messages to say. If anything I provide a new perspective to hip hop.

My sound is definitely leaning more towards a “vibe experience”. Like with each track, I want the listener to feel the energy I’m giving off and resonate with the lyrics. I’ve had each track from In Serge We Trust become someone’s fav track. Each track had a whole different vibe so that just reinforced my approach to music.

Practice makes perfect right? So I just need to drop more music and trust the process. I can already hear the progression in my music so I know that if I continue to experiment and find the flows that fits me better so success will eventually follow. At the end of the day, I want you to feel what I’m feeling no matter your background. You don’t need to be from the streets to understand what I have to say and you don’t need to be the typical rap fan to understand me as well.”

Do you have any specific inspirations that you look to for guidance?

“My family is my main inspiration. My parents sacrificed a lot for me to be in America. So, if my parents can leave their careers and everything they knew in Nigeria for a new opportunity here than why can’t I have the same approach? You can’t expect to get the things you desire by being scared or something. You got to embrace failure because that’s basically the main way you can expect the better results to happen. My family been through a lot of downs but with each low point, we came out stronger and wiser. I have the same mentality with this music. In order to be successful, I got to take the L’s that come with the music game and grow from it. God willing, I’ll see the results that I pray for every day.”

Where’s your family from? And what was their life like there?

“My parents and I were born in Nigeria and from the Igbo tribe. I didn't stay there long enough to form memories and stuff like that because we moved to Georgia when I was still in diapers. My parents always tell me stories about their childhood and their lives after college. It's not like the negative stereotypical African ideas that people might have. I visited there when I was in fifth grade. Nigeria has cities, restaurants, modern technology, hospitals...everything that America has basically. My parents decided to sacrifice the good life so me and my siblings can have better opportunities than Nigeria presents.”

Are there any places (cities, towns, specific landmarks, trips, etc.) that have influenced your music?

“I mean I’m from Gwinnett County, GA, so I’ve been the minority for the majority of my childhood. I’ve grown listening to classic rock and pop songs and I really didn’t start listening to rap heavily till like middle school/high school. So it felt really great to have the childhood friends that put me on to bands like Queen and then met college friends that put me to rappers like Young Thug. My upbringing helps me to have a versatile taste in music

I went to rolling loud with kp, Leezy, ki, T-baby, and Jhawn in 2017. Seeing all of the rappers that I listen to on a daily basis perform in person changed my mindset musically. I used to think performing and rapping was just a naïve dream to have. Rolling Loud gave me a brand new perspective and it actually motivated me more to pursue music. On some “if they could do it, then why not me?” type of vibes. Like it was a crazy experience seeing people create mosh pits and dress up like their idols for the weekend. I know that I can create quality music that could bring me fans if they heard my sound. So after Rolling Loud, I took my music more seriously.”

Who are your role models and people that inspire your music?

“I mean the Migos, Rich the Kid, and other artists from QC records were the rappers that I looked up to when I first started making music. It wasn’t just the unique flows that made me take them more seriously. It was their ability to actually send messages that I still try to live through to this day. Migos talk about serious shit like losing their loved ones to talking about how hard it was to be heard. The fact they could make me feel what they were feeling was insane to me. I’m not trying to sound like a stan but I appreciate them musically. I also have a Nawf Side bias lol. We are from the same hometown so I got to show support.

I listen to Schoolboy Q a lot because he’s able to change up his flow and still deliver his aggressive bars. I listen to A$AP Rocky, Mac Miller, Thug, Future, K-dot, Famous Dex, Jay Critch, Travis, Uzi, Post Malone, Hoodrich Pablo Juan just to name a few.”

What are you currently listening to?

Daytona, Valee’s GOOD Job You Found Me, Lil Baby’s Harder than Ever, Sr3mm, Beast Mode 2, Scorpion, Rich Forever 3, and beerbongs & bentleys.”

Migos or The Beatles?

“Damn I like both groups a lot… I’m going to have to say it’s a tie.”