Michael Curry started his music career back in 2018 in Japan. Known to his devoted fans as “Foolish Senpai”, Michael is well known for his unique style and introspective rhymes. In 2019, Michael released three solo projects and a group project. You can easily see across these four different projects that Michael refuses to compromise on his style and vocals. If you’re interested in listening to music that is a little different, and above all else, independent, you should certainly consider some tunes from Foolish Senpai.
Fortunately for us, Michael was able to answer a few questions we had about his career and background.
Hi Foolish Senpai, thanks for answering some questions. What does your name mean and what does the Japanese culture mean to your music persona?
The word “Senpai” refers to someone that is experienced or someone that could be considered a teacher or master. For example, in a work setting, someone that has worked in the office for 5 years versus someone that just started. I call myself “Foolish Senpai” because I feel like I had to be “Foolish” throughout life at times to learn and become experienced to now be considered a “Senpai” and that goes for life and music. Growing up, I was always really into the Japanese culture. From Japanese entertainment (anime), traditions, culture, and food. Then when I had the opportunity to live and work in Japan that’s when I started creating music as the Foolish Senpai. The Japanese culture influenced me both as an artist and person, that’s why I’m always incorporating different elements from the culture into my music.
What encouraged you to start making music? Have you always loved music or was it a certain event/person who compelled you to start producing music?
I’ve always been heavy into music since I was a kid. I remember, I was riding with my teammate and his family to go to a baseball tournament in New York from Virginia. The whole ride up and back down to Virginia I was listening to 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Tryin”. That album had a huge impact on me and I remember listening to that album and pretending it was my music. That album was like a gateway into Hip Hop music for me which led me to start listening to all of the artist that we’re featured on it. When I was 12, I downloaded a music program called “Mixcraft” and started learning how to record myself and engineer the mixes for songs. Every summer, all the kids from my neighborhood would come over my house to rap with me.
How would you describe your music style, and in your view, what makes your approach to music unique?
For me, I’m always focused on telling my story through my music and I make that a main priority. I’m always working on my rhyming techniques and mechanics. I crafted my own sound, that way i’m not competing with no one else but myself each and every time I go to make a record. I feel that’s what makes my music unique. I have my own story and I choose to use my music to communicate my way of life to the listener.
What type of fans enjoy your music style the most? Is it a specific type of follower or is your fanbase made up of diverse music fans?
I would say people from different countries, walks of life, and backgrounds have gravitated towards my music. Almost every project, I feature an artist that is singing/rapping in another language. From Hindi, Japanese, and Spanish. I love to bring in other languages into my music because it adds a nice dynamic to the song and also represents me. I have lived and traveled all around the world so I will continue collaborating with artist from around the globe. That’s one of my favorite things about this music game.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your early career, and more importantly, how have you sought to overcome them?
I would say just getting my music heard and getting people to see my vision. Getting promoters, venues, and people to reply back to my emails or give my music a listen. I believe in myself and my craft so when someone tells me “no” or doesn’t give me a chance, I just keep it pushing. People been telling me I wasn’t going to do A LOT of things in my life, so for the music I approach it the same way. Once I got past my own Fears, my life got EAZY. I truly mean that.
In your view, what changes do you think we can expect to see in the music industry over the next few years, especially following the fallout of COVID-19?
I believe Artist will have to adapt to the ever changing music industry. With performances being cut back now, artist will have to step up their merch game or find other ways of income. No matter what I believe the music industry will be fine cause so many people rely on music just to get through life everyday. Artist and fans will have to keep making adjustments but at the end of the day we always have to keep the music/craft first!
Michael, thank you for your time!
You can also listen to his music at: