We had the pleasure to sit down and speak with talented recording artist Larriet Poteat as she talks music, inspiration, and her new single Ride with me.
First up, tell us a bit about yourself — what first got you into music?
I come from an extremely musical family who are all so talented. Music has been in my family since before I was born. I grew up watching my father Lorence Michaels perform, write, produce, and compose amazing music. Not only my father but my brother Mikey Smit who writes, produces, raps, composes, and engineers. I have family on the east coast that does music as well. For me, even though I always loved it, I actually didn’t fully get into music until I was 13. I was more so into sports and I actually wanted to be a basketball player. Around that time, I was finding it hard to express myself, I got my heart broken, and I isolated myself for a long time. I feel as though God set me free through music. I finally felt that I could truly express myself and through my story, I could help someone else. I had my own experience with music.
Were there any particular bands or artists you took inspiration from?
Of course! First I’d have to say my father Lorence Michaels, he’s taught me so much and has helped me become more confident with my gift. My brother Mikey Smit who’s helped me a lot as well, Marvin Gaye, Kierra Sheard, Bilal, Dino of H-town, D’Angelo, Sade, Anita Baker, Angie Stone, Karen Clark, J Moss, Fred Hammond, Prince, Michael Jackson, Lauryn Hill, Janet Jackson, Slum Village, J Dilla, Nas, Missy Elliot, Pharrell, Timbaland, John Mayer, Fleetwood Mac, Jay-Z, 50 Cent lol I could keep going.
How would you describe your musical style?
When I create music, I create based on how I feel at the moment and I don’t like to put a limit on the sounds I use. Whatever is hitting at that time and whatever feels right is what I’m going to go with. I don’t want to put a limit on my musical style. One day I might create an R&B/Soul record the next day it could be Pop or Dance. My heart is with R&B/Soul, so no matter what music I create that would be the base of it.
Why the name ‘Larriet Poteat’?
My maiden name is Larriet Poteat but my stage name is Larriet Emari which is, of course, my first name and middle name. I always felt that my name was so different. People would love it and tell me they’ve never heard of it before. Then I had those people that would choose to make fun it because it’s so different. With my name, I feel like it’s my power. My name means a lot to me because it was given to me by my great auntie Melissa Oaks who was also a pastor. She was the rock of our family. When I was younger and even throughout the years, she spoke many blessings and prosperity over my life. Not just my life but my family’s life as well and every day I’m watching those blessings come to past. She passed away a few years ago and what she gave to me was a jewel.
If you could collaborate with any living artist, who would it be?
I’ve always wanted to do a song with Method Man because I always loved the way he raps.
Tell us about your new single, ‘Ride With Me’. What’s it about, what are its themes?
Ride With Me is about me admiring where I grew up which is California preferably Los Angeles. I wanted to share that experience with the guy I’m interested in. Another theme in the song is if you ‘Ride With Me’, I’ll always ride for you.
When did you write it and where did you record it?
I wrote ‘Ride With Me’ in 2016. I have a home studio so I recorded it there.
How does ‘Right With Me’ represent your style?
‘Ride With Me’ is calm, chill, laid back, and sort of mysterious. All those traits are my personality. I feel as though it leaves you wanting more and you have to ask questions and get to know me to find out who I am.
What are your hopes for ‘Right With Me’?
I hope people can relate to the message of having someone being there for you and you being there for them. I hope Cali and L.A. embraces it and the world as well. I hope one day when people think L.A. that song comes to mind. Kind of like ‘California Love’ with 2pac and Dr Dre.
What can you tell us about your plans for the rest of 2019?
Definitely releasing more music, videos, tours, and shows with my team Ha La Entertainment and Soul&Gutta. Be on the lookout for my debut album …theillestmelodies coming soon.
Finally, if you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, when would it be and what would you say?
I would say to my 15-year-old self, you have a purpose, a destiny, you are blessed, you will make it, you are a flower that will soon bloom, don’t rush and enjoy the process.