Hi, so I know you are Abraham, but by chance, my reader may not know you. Can you please introduce yourself?
My name is Abraham “Bramso Carter” Terrah and I’m from Burkina Faso in West Africa. I am currently a Business Administration sophomore student at Antalya International University in Turkey. I am 20 years old. I am very passionate of music and the world of business.
So, you have a dream of becoming a rapper. How long have you been doing that and how did you get started?
Since I was 5 years old, I was already in love with music and singing. My mother travels a lot to France and she was coming back at the time with some CDs of French classic songs. I was so much in love with them and was singing them perfectly from that age. I remember in my elementary school, I was then taken by my teacher to the other classrooms to sing these French classic songs. The passion was born. Till the age of 12, I kept singing these classic French songs. But entering puberty turned me into other styles such as Rap, dancehall, reggaeton and RnB. From that age, I started caressing the dream of becoming one day the greatest singer the world has ever known. People were telling me that with the voice I had, I wouldn’t be a good singer. From the age of 14 then, I took a step further to reach my goals by starting writing my own lyrics and making instrumentals. Most of my money at that time, was mostly for music material. I didn’t have much, and I could just afford some headphones with integrated microphones, and I started recording with them. However, it would take me sometimes more than 12 hours to finish a beat, and after write lyrics for it. I first started with reggaeton style, but I rapidly switched to rap music, which was allowing me to express myself more freely and this music style is somehow explaining a lifestyle I wanted to have. At the age of 15, I was making my first stage apparition. It was in a high school cultural night. I remember, I was little bit stressed and was wearing sunglasses on stage even it was night. However, people liked my song and I was largely applauded by the crowd. This 1st success gave me the first and ultimate impulse for my music. 3 weeks after this 1st apparition, I was invited in another school to perform one of my songs. This was also a success, the people were screaming “bisse” which means in my country “do it a second time”. My passion really grew bigger from these 2 apparitions and whatever it will take me, I will reach this goal.
In the beginning, what motivated you to become a rapper?
Picture it this way: in the past, I used to be this kind of child. Calm, studying well at school and very thoughtful but not expressing. Rap came to me as a way to escape from this kind of prison I had deliberately put myself in and to express myself in a way that is different than the others. There are many things I needed to talk about, many things I wanted to give my opinion on. But what is sure, I wanted to be heard by all. I am trying to take people in another way of viewing things and I use my tongue as a mean and a weapon to portray the valuables I have in the mind.
Do you write your own songs, and what do you rap about?
I write my own lyrics since the age of 15. Most of the words I use in my rap are inspirational and motivational. I want through my music to give people the impulse, courage and power to stand up and fight for their goals. I mostly rap about how the life is hard in certain parts of my city, how people struggle, but at the same time, I give to myself and these people a mean and motivation to fight. I also rap about my vision of the life and the world we are living in, sometimes about love but very rarely.
What is your greatest inspiration or role model?
Sean Paul used to be my idol but since I started writing my own lyrics, I stopped having a role model. Of course there are some singers that I like a lot, such as Lil Wayne or Rick Ross, but I don’t want to identify myself to them. I am creating my own style and my own way of seeing the music. I wouldn’t like people, when hearing my music, to say that “He raps like Wayne” or again “His style is like Drake”. I don’t want listeners to assimilate me to some others. I am unique, and that’s why after Sean Paul, I couldn’t really have a role model.
What do you think would be the hardest challenge while becoming a rapper?
To me, the hardest challenge becoming a rapper is about the starting. Once I would have started in the right way, I am very self-confident in sustaining and at the same time updating with the changes in the rap music.
Do you think you made the right choice by pursuing college?
The thing is that even though I want to be a rapper and have a certain lifestyle, I am aware that I should have some knowledge, especially in business, finances, or marketing to better manage what I am planning to create apart from rapping. My father used to tell me: “You want to be rapper, this is cool, but don’t forget to have an intellectual language. It will make you unique and different than the others”.
However, choosing college doesn’t come at all before my dreams as a rapper. I would rather say that they come as a complement to reaching my dreams. The fact that I even reached the second year in University already makes me different then the common of the rappers, gives me a plus, and make me see the things bigger. And also, it’s not because I am in a University that I am putting a pause or break to my music. I still have 2 years to go before my Bachelor, and if during these 2 years, things turn out positively different for me, I will completely embrace my music. But I will still finish my diploma in progress.
As some might not know you are also a teaching assistant in the university, how did that happen?
Even though I was making concerts and dedicating lot of my time to my music, I wasn’t at all forgetting my studies. I kept being top of my classes in the rankings and I kept up with the good work when I came to university, all by continuing singing. At the end of my fist academic year, I had a grade of A+ in Economics and the Faculty proposed me an official job as Tutor for Freshmen students in my second year. Which I accepted gladly. But even from my country, people couldn’t understand how I could be that much into music and at the same time very efficient in my studies. I guess it’s just the fact that I am a very hardworking person, and when I want something, I really work hard to get it, no matter what it takes me. It’s a matter of priorities.
You are also a top student…how do you manage your time to fit studies, rapping and working as a TA?
My secret lies in my structured and highly timetable that is easily adjustable. This flexible timetable I am using shows what I have to do in a week basically and each beginning of week, I update it according to what I have to do except the basic things. Of course sometimes I cannot follow properly my own timetable, but the slacks that I voluntarily insert in help me catch up activities I would have missed.
What would you be doing right now if you weren’t here?
If I wasn’t here right now, I would certainly be in the US already in the music industry. Of course I would have gone there for university too, but in such a favorable environment for music, I would have easily sold my studies for the music. So somehow a good thing I am here for now.
How do you see yourself in a couple of years?
Well, my answer to this question will seem interesting to you. I am actually a student, and at the same time singing. But except these, I am very passionate of Business. I also have the dream to create a corporation. I am a boy from my era and I understand that investing my time in understanding the digital age will help me reach my goals of corporation. I surrounded myself with some people who are on the same mission as me and we started working hard to meet our objectives. As an example, just two weeks ago, we released on Google Store an application, Flappy Morning. Try it though.
What would you say to young people who are afraid of following their dreams?
To young people afraid to follow their dreams, I just have one thing to say: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained. In the morning, when you’d wake up, you have two options. Either you go back sleeping and continue dreaming, or either you stand up from your bed and do something to accomplish your dreams. It’s time to forget about your fears and stop just believing. If you really have a dream, do something to reach it. The rest will come by itself”.
Street performance by Bramso Carter and his friends in Turkey, Nov 1, 2012.