Sam Watson eloquently pays tribute to Neisha Neshae in a laudatory new video.
The Ann Arbor R&B artist-engineer-producer honors the emerging Detroit R&B trap songstress in a four-minute, MTV Cribs-style video for her namesake track. Neshae co-stars in the video with Watson and Ypsilanti hip-hop artist Young’n Destined.
“Having Neisha in the video was dope; I appreciate her coming through. In fact, I speak for everyone who was there at the video shoot. We all appreciated and loved her for being there. I’m not sure how she found out exactly,” said Watson, who’s racked up over 25,000 views on the video.
“We were promoting the upcoming shoot so I assumed someone tagged her and kept sharing the post. Her presence brought more life and more energy to the video. Everyone was bringing their best to the table, but Neisha brought some more light to this bright environment.”
Filmed by Xerox Visuals, the “Neisha Neshae” video features Watson, Young’n Destined and a bunch of friends celebrating together at a lively house party. Watson and Young’n Destined each serenade Neshae as the party’s guest of honor at an Airbnb in St. Clair Shores.
“MTV Cribs was always a great show so I figured why not bring that back to life in the video. Recruiting everyone was pretty easy. Everyone who had heard the song did tell me that they wanted to be part of the video if it ever came up,” Watson said.
“We contacted all of our friends and told them to come and bring their friends, too. Everything fell into place. We’re all about good vibes so everyone knew what to bring to the table; besides everyone was good people.”
While Watson dropped the video for “Neisha Neshae” in April, the track was released in 2020 and originally started as an instrumental for Neshae. Watson teamed up with Brxxklyn Beats to produce “Neisha Neshae” and shared it on Instagram while asking friends to tag Neshae.
“She heard it later that day and contacted me to let me know that she liked it. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get her into the booth due to our schedules not aligning with each other,” Watson said.
“I put the song on hold until further action was taken. After some time, I forgot about the track until someone asked me about it. That’s when I decided to write the track and finish it myself.”
As a slow, romantic jam, “Neisha Neshae” beautifully blends vibrant, ascending electric guitars with pulsating bass, clicking electronic drums and sparkling synths. Watson soulfully sings, “Let’s go out tonight/Be my treat tonight/Don’t worry about your friends/Push them to the side/Cause they don’t got you like I do/I’m just telling you the truth.”
Later in the track Young’n Destined shares his truth as he reflects, “Hold on, hold on/I ain’t trying to come too strong/That vibe is too strong, too strong/Can’t be without it too long/I like the things you do, me and you/Gotta be right, can’t be wrong/We rolling up off the jealousy/Can you promise there’s no one ahead of me.”
“Neisha is a hard worker, and I like her hustle. She’s a great example of what a dope female artist can be – strong, positive, relentless and comfortable in her own beautiful skin,” Watson said.
Deconstructing ‘The Process’
“Neisha Neshae” is one of several thoughtful, poignant releases from Watson’s rapidly growing catalog. Earlier this year, he dropped the second fervent installment in The Process concept album and EP series to chronicle the rise and fall of passionate romantic relationships.
Watson’s companion Process projects seamlessly weave dramatic skits with contemplative lyrics, mesmerizing beats and stellar collaborations to depict a hero’s heartbreak, growth and strength across 25 tracks.
“What sparked the idea was an artist named Joey Sativa who did a project with a story as well. It was really dope, and I thought, ‘If he can do that, maybe I can do that, too.’ The story wasn’t based on anybody; it was just something I came up with on the fly to work with the songs I had at the time,” said Watson, who released The Process EP in 2019.
“That’s how the first Process came into play. Everybody was mad that I left them with a cliffhanger on the first one. They were like, ‘What happened? Does she come over or not?’ And I realized I’ve got to continue this, obviously.”
The Process 2 quickly resumes with the brokenhearted hero calling a former lover and asking her to come over. After she declines his request, the hero struggles with depression and numbs his pain with alcohol.
In his darkest hour, the hero contacts his past love again, rekindles that relationship and rediscovers a sense of purpose. Watson beautifully depicts that path to internal recovery on “I Need” as heartfelt piano, thumping electronic drums and intermittent finger snaps converge against an introspective backbeat. A dynamic collaboration with Deonte X also solidifies the track’s emotional intensity.
Watson sadly sings, “I never thought I’d feel this pain/Never thought it would end this way/Caught up in this phase/Realizing my mistake/How could I be so selfish/I lost my baby girl/And now I realize/I need you/I could never have someone like you/Wish I could’ve changed my ways for you.”
“Some people would say, ‘This is what I’m going through currently, and you’re just speaking life to me.’ I would call myself a therapist in a way because I understand what you’re going through. You don’t need to explain it to me because this story alone struck a nerve for whatever reason,” Watson said.
The stirring storyline takes a welcoming turn on “It’s True” as the hero and his rekindled flame profess their love for each other. Deep, fluttering synths, subterranean electronic drums and calm finger snaps surround listeners in a warm embrace as Watson and SDNY bring the lovers to life.
Watson soulfully sings “Here we are once again/Face to face, hand in hand/What’s the point of being close if we separate again/I don’t wanna let you go/I don’t wanna see this end/I wanna give this thing a try/Not gonna lie and pretend.”
“That was the song I least expected to really blow or gain attention faster than other songs off the project. I didn’t think ‘It’s True’ was going to be one of those,” he said.
As the latest relationship crystallizes, the hero shares his undying devotion to his lover on “Confess, Pt. 3,” which elegantly blends ethereal, repetitive synths with bright piano and pounding bass and intertwines them with romantic, soaring beats. Watson and Niko’s heartwarming duet ends The Process 2 on a lasting, upbeat note.
Watson reveals, “I know I haven’t kept in touch/These last few years have been so rough/Without you babe I feel so numb/I was with her, but it wasn’t enough/I was torn between the two/Baby I was lost/I had no clue/But that until I chose you/And now I thank God he led me to you.”
“I have to say The Process 2 was probably the most stressful project I was working on at the time. I have this thing where I work on more than one project, including The Process and Release. I thought I might as well repeat the same course again where I release an EP and then release the major project I want everyone to tap into,” he said.
Following a Musical Path
Watson discovered his love of music while growing up in Muskegon and watching his dad play piano. He started singing at age 4 and later took up piano at age 10. In eighth grade, Watson performed at his graduation and quickly became a songwriter.
“Once I realized I wanted to write songs, I started performing throughout high school, and everybody kept asking me, ‘Do you have a music outlet?’ I said, ‘Oh no, I don’t; I need a studio.’ When I was 16, that’s when I started taking everything seriously and started recording my own music,” said Watson, who’s inspired by Chris Brown, Usher and Owl City.
Watson later moved to Ann Arbor, where he attended high school and honed his musical skills at The Neutral Zone. He focused on production, engineering and recording and quickly found a manager, who helped him release a mixtape along with his 2016 full-length debut, Truth Overrated.
“The guy who helped me with the production is a hip-hop, pop artist, and that’s what inspired me to mix pop and R&B on Truth Overrated. He was a big part of the process of just finding my sound,” Watson said.
“Not to leave out my brother TwoFace Suave, he’s the one who got me started in music period. Without him, I wouldn’t have gotten my start and known what to look for in terms of resources.”
By 2018, Watson released “You (Confess Pt. 2),” which later appeared on 2019’s The Process EP and served as the project’s dramatic storyline cliffhanger. He also dropped a new video for the track on Friday.
Watson continued to drop a series of singles and EPs, including the emotionally charged Release and the cathartic Release 2 in 2020. He recently recognized the one-year anniversary of Release 2 and a milestone of nearly 100,000 streams on Spotify through a reflective post on Facebook.
“I grew to love this project a hundred times over and so have you guys. This project pulled me out of my depression. Some could say it saved my life. I might agree to that to a degree,” Watson wrote.
With a growing roster of singles, EPs, albums and videos, Watson plans to add a Release 3 EP to his catalog soon.
“I’m currently working on the project. The first Release was just something where I had all these songs that allowed me to feel what I felt in the moment. Release 2 was more of a concept, and I gave people a map that led them through a tough journey I went through at the time,” he said.
“With Release 3, I want to be happier with this one and get everybody dancing. Right now, I’m looking at releasing that project next year, but maybe in December if I finish it earlier than that.”
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