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1) Do you remember the moment you wanted to be a hip-hop artist?

I had to turn in a creative writing project for English class, and I decided to write a story about a personal experience in my life. The process of writing my own story and creating a piece of artwork was such an amazing and incredible experience that I knew I had to continue doing it. Growing up in a musical environment and listening to Hip-Hop music, it was only natural I start creating Hip-Hop music.

2) What was it like creating your latest project?

Creating my latest project, “When All Things Go” was amazing experience to look back upon. It was self-produced, self-written, and self mixed/mastered in most every single song in the project. Having to solely take on every aspect of the music making process was both difficult and time consuming. It mostly showed me that the idea is the easiest and quickest part, its 99% putting in the work to make the idea come to life that’s the most strenuous and difficult to do.

3) What are you trying to achieve with the project?

I wanted to provide a very personal and introspective experience for the listener when creating this. Every song has that personable quality to it, whether its about me talking about my internal struggles or its more directed at the different mix of aches and pains everyone has to face throughout their life, or the little joys and moments of peace. I really try to take the listener through the full spectrum of emotions.

4) What are your thoughts on staying independent or signing to a major label?

I think the main thing between being independent or signing to a major record label is resources. If you have the resources to stay independent there’s really no need anymore for record labels.

With the availability of the internet and different musical programs and equipment becoming more feasible, it has become easier for artists to self sustain themselves. It’s still very much a difficult thing to handle all parts of the music career yourself, and if you don’t have the resources required its more reasonable that you would want to sign to a record label.

5) How do you feel about the independent hip-hop industry right now?

The independent industry is probably the fastest growing part of the music industry in general. Record labels are on the decline now, and are signing less and less artists now because they themselves don’t have the funds to support the artists and the business.

Especially now that its hard to make any money off of strictly your music. Nobody pays for music anymore, and the music industry really hasn’t found a good way to bounce back from the loss of income from that angle. Because of this, the record labels and big businesses don’t really have an upper hand on the independent world.

6) As an independent hip-hop artist grinding it out, what sort of promotion and marketing are you doing to stand out from the rest?

You really have to get creative with your marketing and promotional techniques now that the industry is flooded with so many more artists. Really almost anybody has the ability and tools to become an artist, so there’s a lot more competition. Now you really have to put in a lot more extra effort in terms of the marketing side to really have your music heard.

7) How do you think you’ve grown as an artist?

I think the more I grow as a person and human being is what I try to work on most. Being an artist for me is to explain yourself at that time. The technique and mastering of the craft will come with time, so it will be easier for me to explain myself through music, but I don’t think that means you’ve necessarily have grown as an artist. With the most unique and successful artists, they’ve really figured out themselves and really have a strong understanding of who they are, and the music came along with it.

8) How do you feel about hip-hop today?

Hip-Hop has grown to be one of the most dominating forces in popular culture today. And the fact that really its only been around 45 years or so, and its had this much of an impact not only in the US but on the entire world is amazing.

It is still really the only genre that has done the most work politically and socially as well. No other genre has caused as much controversy as what Hip-Hop has in the short years its been around. It really brings out the best and worst side of America and the world, and it is why it’s simultaneously the most hated and the most loved music out there.

9) What artists in the game today do you look at for inspiration?

I listen to a lot of old school Hip-Hop because it consistently reminds me of how this all came to be and the kind of values and incentives the founders had when they started this movement. I also tend to listen to every genre but Hip-Hop when creating Hip-Hop music. It’s a way for me to try and find new and creative ways to create Hip-Hop music from different angles.

10) Who are your top 5 rappers dead or alive?

Top 5: 1.Tupac 2. Nas 3. Atmosphere 4. Eminem 5. Kendrick.

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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.