Linescratchers has a long history with Young Sim. He was one of our first interviews way back in 2008. A year later, I did a podcast interviewing him about his childhood, and I later wrote an in-depth account, from Sim’s own words, of his family’s escape from the murderous Samuel Doe, dictator of Liberia. You could say that Sim has been one of our strongest and most ardent supporters since the very beginning. Now, Sim’s Feel Good Music Coalition has been expanding by leaps and bounds; “Teach Me How To Jimmer,” a less-than-serious rap about Jimmer Fredette written by Sim and his colleagues, has a million views on YouTube; and Sim has just now released a new album called Audio Diary. In this interview, Sim talks about his recent successes, his inspirations, and his plans for a grand takeover of the future of music.
First of all, I think our readers are all wondering about “Teach Me How To Jimmer.” Whose idea was that song?
A: Teach me how to Jimmer was an idea presented to me by my labelmate Sean Curran (aka Definit). It was an idea he and a friend of his were toying around with for a while. Sean ended up sending me the song with a request to do the chorus/hook on it. I agreed, the song actually sat in my inbox for a day before I listened. After I listened I recorded the chorus and then decided to add a University of Utah perspective on the last verse. We knew it was going to be hit and had a surface level understanding of its viral potential but watching it happen was amazing for us and Feel Good Music Coalition.
Have you sold the rights to the song? Made any money? Inquiring minds want to know Sim!
A: I personally don’t like to talk about finances period. Let’s just say we own all the rights to the song and every time you hear it played we are getting paid.
Sim, when we first interviewed you in 2008, you barely mentioned Feel Good Music in passing. Now FGM is a thriving music community with regular shows. Why do you think Feel Good Music has been such a success?
A: Feel Good Music is thriving because of the people, a good product and social media! My labelmates and friends here me say this all the time but the “Power is in the People” I remember when I thought in order to do what I love at the level we want to get to, that I would have to kiss up to DJs, record execs, and promoters – which is not in my character at all. As long as you have the support of the people, you can literally bypass the politics of the game. Take Lupe Fiasco for instant who is an international superstar. His label wouldn’t give him a release date for his project, [but] due to protest and the voice of the people he was given one.
Feel Good Music has established a reputation for high quality entertainment minus the vulgarity and sexually explicit content and seems to have filled a niche that people have, by their support, voted for. Social mediums like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter have given us the opportunity to have that one on one connection with the fans that wasn’t afforded to us in the past. Information is literally able to travel instantly to the consumer without middle-man politicking. We can make the music we want and give it to the people the way we want to and that is powerful.
So am I right in saying that FGM isn’t necessarily a Mormon group or even a Christian group, but a diverse musical community?
A: You are absolutely correct Arthur. Feel Good Music is a group of artists focused on having fun and creating music from the heart. We just fly under the principle of no vulgarity and sexually explicit content. We love to work with all artists from all genres. FGM literally is a music community that doesn’t fly under the banner of any one genre. WE DO MUSIC OVER HERE!
How would you describe one of your FGM nights?
A: FGM nights are always epic! If you live in Utah you need to attend one of these shows. The event is hosted at an upscale bar and grill downtown Salt Lake City called Legends (677 south 200 west). Usually on a Saturday at 9pm and are in 3-month intervals. The owner Lisa and I have become good friends since Oct 2010 when we first talked about hosting these nights. She was initially apprehensive about hosting a night to what she thought was a rough crowd due to the propaganda given to her by local authorities, but actions speak louder than words and the shows have brought in a lot of business, good music and a wonderful group of people.
Your last full album was with fellow hip hop artist Definit (My Life). What made you change direction and go solo again?
A: Definit actually to be honest started getting busy with school, work, and his fiancée so I decided to focus more on building Feel Good Music and doing independent projects and that’s where you get my 2 mixtapes and my solo album Audio Diary. Don’t get it twisted – Definit wasn’t totally absent during this time as he still did some shows with me and was featured on all my projects. I might be addicted to writing hence the non-stop music. Definit and I actually are back in the studio working on our 2nd full-length album together called My Time.
Between My Life and Audio Diary you released a couple mixtapes. How do those mixtapes differ from full albums?
A: My mixtapes differ in format only as the songs don’t follow a normal song format and a lot of the time they are done over popular instrumentals. The emotion is always still the same, real and honest.
One of the things people loved about My Life was its sense of down-to-earth honesty. I assume that hasn’t changed on Audio Diary?
A: The real and honest approach is the only way I know how to write. My music is just snap shots of my emotions in certain time periods.
What is different about your approach now compared to in the past?
A: Now I’m definitely more business-savvy, I feel like I received a baptism by fire and was forced to learn a lot about the business of music and am better equipped to make decisions in the best interest of FGM and myself. “You get what you negotiate and not what you deserve.” – Cam’ron (Diplomat recording artist)
Sim, you’re one of the hardest working guys I know. Tell our readers where they can hear news and information regarding you and Feel Good Music.
A: So much is going on with Feel Good Music. Our website (www.feelgoodmusiccoaliton.com) and our Facebook page (Feel Good Music Coalition) is the best place to keep track of the happenings of FGM! We have a ton of projects coming out this year, and will definitely be reporting to Linescratchers as we roll them out.
As always Arthur I love you and all you do for the world of music! Your friend and brother always. Anything you need from me don’t ever hesitate to ask!
So is Audio Diary ready to buy yet?
A: AVAILABLE ON iTUNES NOW!