For those watching at home who were able to look away from the two gorgeous women’s faces, they would have noticed the name Bobby Session Jr. flashing underneath with writing credits for the song.
Session, originally from Dallas, goes by Bobby Sessions in his solo projects. He experienced a very rare career trajectory earning a Grammy for his writing on another artist's song before even releasing his own album, Manifest, released this past June.
Sessions was set to kick off his headlining tour here in Houston at White Oak Music Hall but made the decision to hold off on touring until the current spike in COVID-19 cases is under control.
“We made history together,” says Sessions of his contribution to the chart-topping hit. “Hopefully we can continue to make more history and make the state of Texas proud.” The song went on to raise funds for Houston's non-profit Bread of Life providing support to those affected by COVID-19.
Where "Savage" provided joy and relief to listeners during the stressful year that was 2020, Manifest gives listeners hope and empowers them to take their futures into their own hands by visualizing what they want out of life and the steps necessary to get there.
“I wanted the album to play as a self-help guide but in rap form,” says Sessions. “When people are in the self-help section and they're trying to maximize their potential, they read books, go to seminars, watch TED talks or whatever they can get their hands on and I wanted to make the musical contribution to that space. I wanted to make something that would be the soundtrack for people closing the gap between who they are and who they want to be.”
Sessions, who knows first hand the power of manifestation and the law of attraction, describes how one day his then girlfriend and now wife suggested they watch The Secret on Netflix.
"I wanted to make something that would be the soundtrack for people closing the gap between who they are and who they want to be.”
He agreed to watch it, not knowing exactly what he was getting into. Though he was skeptical at first, he began thinking about times in his life where his negative thoughts brought on negative results and vice versa.
After working a string of “unfulfilling” jobs, he knew he had to make a change and Sessions began seeking more information and knowledge about the power of positive thinking, even creating vision boards and achieving smaller manifestations towards bigger jobs and creative opportunities before hitting the jackpot and signing to Def Jam Records, a goal he had written for himself in 2014, four years before it happened.
“In my journey of self discovery I realized that I had a calling to do music and to do that full time. I just felt like if I don’t go after this then I'll pretty much guarantee that it would never work out and if I go after it and leave it all at the field so to speak, then I can be at peace with whatever happens at that point.”
“It definitely has worked out,” says Sessions of listening to his gut and putting in the time and energy towards his goals. “It’s working out and I hope that the story serves as a testimony or an example of the effectiveness of some of the principles that I rap about in this album.”
The track “Cog In The Machine” and its accompanying video provide a real glimpse into Sessions' process and journey towards self-realization. The song crescendos into a breakthrough moment of the narrator finding the strength in himself to push out of monotony and into greatness.
The entire album comes at a perfect time in history when many people are re-evaluating their life choices and commitments due to the rapid changes in society. Manifest’s strengths lie not only in Sessions' mighty and poetic lyrics but his ability to use the accompanying beats and rhythms to further portray his messages, an aptness no doubt strengthened by his father’s love of jazz and the influence it had on him.
“My ears were attuned to listen and to internalize music differently and to hear the messaging in sound as opposed to only thinking people are speaking when they speak words and learning to hear what an instrument is communicating. I think on a subconscious level, it made my antennas go up when I'm selecting music for my own songs to make sure that the music is communicating lock step with whatever my message is with my words.”
Prior to Manifest, Sessions released three chapters of his EP series RVLN where he took on current day issues and called on listeners to join the revolution. The pain and anger due to racism and police violence in our society is tangible in Sessions’ lyrics.
“I think there's always potential for me to add more chapters to that series. Each chapter is its own season that's supposed to tell its own story,” says Sessions who describes chapter one as establishing the conflict, chapter two as the clash between the two divided states and chapter three as dealing with the aftermath of the conflict.
“I saw this happening for a long time, many years before it happened. I just didn't think it would have been a virus combined with a police killing that would take it to that level. It was something that was inevitable, if it wasn't George Floyd and the pandemic, it would have been something else. People have just had enough and I think it's revealed a lot of hatred in this country.”
Despite all the chaos and destruction, much like his vision in Manifest, Sessions continues to be optimistic about the future. “I do think the silver lining is that people saw that there's a lot of issues and it brought certain things to light and I do think we are better because of it. It got so big that people just can't hide from it and pretend like it's not a real thing, you have to address the elephants in the room.”
When asked if he still creates vision boards, Sessions answers, “I have some of the things I want to manifest now and I still have vision boards of things that I wanted to manifest that have manifested already. I keep them almost as receipts so if there's a time down the line where my belief isn't as strong as it is for whatever reason I can always reference this and be like let this serve as proof of concept no matter how excruciating it can feel at times to think positive, just to remember to stay the course and the storms when they do come, will pass.”