What was the inspiration behind becoming a creator?
It just came naturally, I guess. I’ve always been a daydreamer and inventing little worlds in my head and my art is just a way for me to make those worlds real. Music has always been a huge part of my life so it was only natural that at some point I’d try my hand at it. I grew up around hip-hop my entire life and a lot of my favorite albums of all time are rap albums so I went with what was familiar to me.
What do you enjoy most about the creative process?
I think what I enjoy the most is the moment of completion. It’s such a gratifying experience to listen to something you made from top to bottom and say “There’s nothing more to add. There’s nothing more to take away.” It hits every time.
Can you talk through your creative process? How long does it take? Does everything you produce make money?
For me music always starts with a feeling. “How can I bring this feeling into the world and make the listener feel that too”.. From there it’s always the music first. I always produce the instrumental at least somewhat before I even think about writing. The instrumental is infused with whatever I’m trying to express and it informs how I write my words and how I say them. Songs can take a few hours, a few days, months, years to be honest. I’ve started songs and not considered them finished until a year and some change after. I think sometimes you get an idea, but you gotta sculpt your way to it. Sometimes you’re working with clay and other times solid rock. I do make money off my music but infamously streaming doesn’t really pay artists all that much. So full purchases off iTunes and Bandcamp is where the money really is when you’re an artist of my size.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about your line of work?
I think a big misconception lies with just how difficult it is. I feel like there’s this idea out there that being a musician is something that’s easy. Especially when it comes to hip hop. I mean every time someone hears a song they don’t like they say “Well I could’ve made something better.” But honestly, there’s a lot of work put into these things. Stuff doesn’t sound cool by itself all of the time. Hip hop is a competitive space and always will be. You have this pressure, this fire, to get to the top to dethrone the king while protecting your spot. You’re always trying to get better even if you aren’t spitting out a thesis worthy rhyme. Nothing is truly easy here, the best just make it seem so in my opinion.
What is the best piece of advice that you would give other creators in your field about copyright and how to protect themselves?
DO YOUR RESEARCH! If you’re not sure if something you’re doing musically is violating copyright, it’s always worth the time and effort looking into these things. The internet and all that free knowledge really comes in handy. Especially if you’re sampling something. Get familiar with what public domain means, the difference between a homage and copying another artist’s work, pay attention to current legal cases regarding the music industry and copyright. In the beginning before you make money, you’ll have to be your own advocate about this stuff so there’s no such thing as knowing too much.
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