Mr.A The Martian is a 23 year old African, German born rapper hailing from Brampton, Ontario Canada. Always loving music and expression he found rap at the young age of 11 in his elemntary school.

Loving anything and everything that’s not of this earth he crafted his style and sound to match his beliefs; always get better and always strive to be greater than you were last time.

He will rise above the negatives always telling you his story or a story that you need to hear.  Come journey with Mr.A The Martian as he takes you on a sonic trip that you’ll never forget and will always be asking to come back to.

1) What inspired you to be a part of the music industry?

What inspired me to get into the music industry is the same thing that got me into music: expressing myself through sound and specifically rap. I feel like the music industry as a whole is a great place regardless of genre for exploration in terms of sound and growing as an artist and a person.

That’s what got me into this business, growing and learning as much as I can while expressing who I am and projecting my emotions through music.

2) Talk to me about the making of your latest project. What was the inspiration behind it?

My whole entire brand is about space and so with both the titles of my projects and my lyrical content mirror that fact. I always had a love of aliens and just life outside of earth. With this LP “Invasion” I wanted to always have this type of story: what would happen if an alien invasion were to take place right now.

This has been discussed many times through movies using the military but never really from the perspective of a person on the ground.

This is a story about how a regular individual would deal with the ramifications of experiencing the first initial contact of a mass alien encounter, to when they decide to leave the earth and what the aftermath of that interaction would be like.

3) What was the process behind making the project?

‘Invasion’ was SUPER FUN to make because I already have a home studio set up in my room so I could record whenever. As for the process and the reasoning behind it: it’s a story of how one person or maybe of group of individuals would deal with a real life alien invasion.

When it comes to albums, LP’s or any project really, I always want to have some sort of story for the project in question. I start by picking the instrumental that I want to use and then work on how long I want this audio journey to be. I work my way sonically into the overall feel of he project.

After that’s done, I work on the chorus first actually instead of the verses. I tackle the chorus first so that both me and the listener can get a sense of what the song will be about and what tone the song has regardless of the instrumental.

The beats that I pick will always tell an intertwining story as well. By that I mean that my instrumental choices aren;t simply if it’s the hardest beat or has the best kick but the instrumentation enhances the lyrics to my projects and really emphasizes the message that I’m trying to get across.

4) What are your thoughts on the hip-hop industry at the moment?

Hmm that’s a hard one because I could easily say that this new wave of music is simply a fad and that it’ll pass by but realistically it won; and it’s not. I commend the artists that are currently on top like Lil Yatchy and XXXTentacion for doing what they love.

It’s easy to dismiss them based on them being weird or not having any real lyrical content but you have to remember : this is what’s in right now. They got lucky doing something that they already did and we as a collective simply agreed and pushed it further.

If you get down to the main core of this era of hip-hop it’s still the same: expressing your thoughts and beliefs and that will never change no matter what it sounds like. I mean yeah sure, it would be great for more lyrical artists like myself to get more recognition when it seems like these guys just came out of nowhere.

At the end of the day it is what it is, I can;t be mad. All I can do is continue to make music and push out my sound as much as I can so I can be in their position.

5) Do you enjoy grinding it out independently or would you prefer to be signed to a major label?

I see the appeal in signing with a major but personally I’ve been doing this for so long that it would seem weird having a person or large corporation tell me when to release my music.

I enjoy the freedom of not having to worry about pre-made deadlines months in advance to drop an EP or an album.

Having a major sure does help when it comes to getting your music out there but now a days in this digital world, it’s much easier connecting with your fanbase and especially easier to get your songs on to streaming platforms using sites like: Tunecore, Record Union, CD Baby, etc.

I feel like the grind will be worth it in the end even if I don’t make Kendrick, Cole or Drake level success. I enjoy being able to have my core team with me and have them rip apart my music to get the best out of me with their genuine​ support ad criticism.

So my overall stance is: I enjoy the grind and wouldn’t change anything about it. you learn as you grind and that’s the best thing.

6) What do you think goes into building a loyal fanbase?

With building a fanbase, that’s always a hard question to answer correctly or at all. I would say that to build a strong base to gradually build up a dope fanbase is to have people around you who support you.

Why I say that is because those same people that support you will share you to their friends and so on. Now that’s the route that everyone takes, if you want to grow that fanbase try performing constantly and see who comes out. If a certain group of people ALWAYS show up to your performances, you’ve found your first few loyal fans.

With tech now being a driving force it’s now easier than ever to really connect to those same people that may have heard your sound through a recommendation and so on. You always have to remember as an artist your music speaks volumes as well as your personality.

Another thing to building a loyal fanbase is to be genuine​ whenever you interact with anyone. But the one thing that you have to remember is to have at least more than 3 songs out.

The reason I say that is because even if you have a great fanbase, if you don’t have the output then your fanbase will get bored waiting for more music. Consistency is key: even if you only release a project every 3 months that’s something that your fanbase can look forward too.

7) What sort of online promo and marketing are you doing to reach your fanbase?

The online promo i’m doing to get the word out about my music is exactly what i’m doing now: responding to questions about me and getting my music to different publications and or emailing different blogs and indie magazines just to get my foot in.

It’s better to get your foot in the door instead of just looking at a closed door that you could open only if you decide to take that leap. In terms of promo, I’m just getting reviews on my LP ‘Invasion’ as well as getting my friends and co-workers to spread the word about my music. The more places you place yourself the more likely you are to get seen or heard.

8) As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?

I would say my name is branding enough. When you think of a Martian, you automatically think of space and just that aliens. Everything about my name is a reference to my branding of alien lore and themes of space.

Even the first three letters of my stage name are an acronym ‘Musically Rising Above (Mr.A), just like The Martian. What that means is that I am musically rising above m own levels of expectations and who I am to reach a higher state in both life and music, like a Martian.

Something that many people don’t get but always assume have a higher sense of being and understanding. My brand is that exactly: continually growing and learning more about music and myself so that I can be the greatest artist that I can realistically become.

This is why i chose the Martian because it fits perfectly well with the belief system that I’m known for, both my branding of space and aliens embodies that perfectly well and works even better for merch (coming soon) seeing as no one alien is the same.

As I call my fan base no one Martian or Space Invader is the same, everyone is unique in their own right and will always grow and learn in their own way.

9) How do you currently make a living as an independent hip-hop artist? What sort of income streams do you have?

I have both a 9-5 job as well as making money off streaming. My main source of income from streaming comes from Spotify and Apple Music. I have also been doing paid gigs during the summer which I plan to continue during Summer 2018 and hopefully i’ll progress to doing a mini-tour and concert of sorts.

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Written by Hao Nguyen

Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.