1) Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My name is Madoa Sankara and I was raised in Newport News, VA but moved to NC after graduating high school. I have an associate’s degree and bachelor’s degree in history.
I am currently working on my master’s degree to teach English as a foreign language. I can speak Mandarin.
2) Who were some of your musical influences coming up?
I like all types of music, including alternative rock, hip-hop and r & b. My hip-hop influences growing up were Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Mobb Deep, AZ, Cormega, Styles P, Scarface, Ghostface, Kanye West, Dead Prez, Little Brother and Common.
3) How would you describe yourself as an artist? Has your style changed much over the years?
I consider myself a diverse emcee. I try not to stick to one genre of hip-hop and be boxed in. My subject matter can be considered conscious and I also try to incorporate a lot of storytelling in my music.
My style has changed over the years as I’ve listened to different artists and been inspired by different types of music.
I recently tried incorporating elements of trap music into my repertoire, not subject matter so to speak, but more instrumentation.
4) What’s your process like for making music? Do you have a set routine or does it vary track by track?
I just like to chill, drink some beer and vibe to instrumentals. I let the beat direct .my thought process.
I never go into the musical process with a predetermined topic; I let the beat guide what I am going to say.
5) Can you run me through the making of your latest project? Where were the studio vibes like?
My latest project is called “Witt” and it is inspired by a character from the movie a Thin Red Line that touched me immensely.
I’ve been working on this project for some years now. They say “it takes your whole life to make your first album” and I guess I took that literally.
I want to make sure this project encompasses all the emotions and experiences I had in the past few years.
6) What sort of independent hip-hop promotion and marketing are you doing to differentiate yourself from other artists?
I’m just trying to really find some reputable people that can get my music to a broader audience. I plan on shooting a couple videos too.
7) What are you thoughts on the current state of hip-hop music today?
Hip-hop today is OK. I’m getting older now so I guess I don’t completely see the artistry in what a lot of these new guys are doing.
I think that might be natural so I try not to overly criticize the young guys too much because we’re from different generations.
Lyricism has definitely suffered in the new climate of hip-hop. However, a lot of the subject matter is still the same, just different beats and ways of conveying the message.
8) What music are you listening to these days? Anyone in hip-hop really blowing your mind?
I listen to a lot of old stuff honestly. I love J. Cole, Ab-Soul and Odissee. I listen to a lot of Elzhi and Royce too. I like the entire Top Dawg camp.
9) If you could work with any artist you wanted, what would be your dream collaboration?
Ghostface, Elzhi and Odissee.
10) What has been the best moment in your music career so far?
I don’t really have a moment but I feel good when I release music and it gets a positive reaction.
11) So what’s next for you?
Dropping “Witt” and seeing how it’s received and just living life and trying to accomplish my dreams before my number gets called.