By Ally Najera
This past summer, hardworking Granada Hills Charter senior Hassan Nafi, also known by his rap name Shedim, produced an album that exhibits his hard work and ambition. His outspoken nature and big personality really shows on his final product. His self-titled album, “Shedim,” which was released on SoundCloud, includes ten tracks all of which promote his relaxed vibe.
In the hopes of making it big, Nafi has played at venues such as the Northridge Mall, where he also handed out limited-edition “Shedim” albums. He was actually the only rap artist to play at the concert there.
“I’m in control of my own destiny,” he rapped on the album’s last track, “London Crack.” Putting himself out there and hustling his own albums was a major part of his work ethic during performances. Nafi even personally burns his music to discs and sells them.
Many artists write about and expose their listeners to their own experiences and worldviews. For Nafi, who sees the world as his target, he feels fame is his most important motivator. In fact, dropping his album on SoundCloud is the first step on his journey to share his musical vision with the public. His work deals with personal encounters that he has had with adversity as a Mexican-American and growing up in a difficult environment.
“Whether by coincidence or not, my group is predominantly Mexican, which is a struggle. Our background and the way we were raised has a lot to do with our music,” Nafi said.
Channeling his background has made for a passionate album full of what he has not always been able to express in words. Putting his emotions to pen and paper has made for relatable lyrics. “All that cash ain’t anything if in your own heart you’re still broke,” he raps in “Crack London.”
He often writes about these negative emotions with easier to digest casual synth sounds, but not too upbeat. By comparing himself to renowned rap artists, he chooses to live by a self-motto, “Never had a role model, I was too focused on trying to be the next me.” He has compared himself to well-known artists such as Jay-Z and Kanye West because of their similar drive for success. His contemporary feel and mellow beats have certainly gotten the attention of students on campus.
“He has a lot of songs that go hard. They’re good and he has a lot of potential. I believe he can make it into the music industry,” senior Eddie Arias said.
Much more is in store for this student with his musical career. He has many projects and events to look forward to. There are many things he has yet to do to further his passion for rapping. He plans on releasing “Shedim” on all-streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, and Amazon Music.
He will also be performing at another Northridge mall event called “Night of Vice” during which he will showcase his rap skills. Additionally, a second album is in the works to build on his work of being the best musician possible.
“The album is a timestamp of my time at school and being a teen. It’s all about the base feel and not worrying about the future, because there is never a time to worry,” Nafi said.