1) Do you remember the moment you wanted to be a hip-hop artist?
I always loved to write songs but I did not write rap songs until I heard Eminem at a young age. I converted my knack for writing pop songs at 10 years old to writing dirty rap songs and never looked back since. I always have known that I am a musician and performer. So it just got molded into HipHop by what grabbed my attention most.
2) What was it like creating your latest project – Return Of The Nasty?
It was a year-long process that was entirely produced by songwriter/engineer Jason Jet. I spent the most time sonically preparing this album for release than any of my last projects
3) What are you trying to achieve with the project?
Telling people to have fun! Let go!
I am trying to let people know that underneath all of us is a quality. An intrinsic sticky-stuff that we all share but hide from each other called THE NASTY. Sometimes we hide it from ourselves. Sometimes we lie to ourselves. Sometimes we build ourselves to fit the Mold. And then sometimes you just say, Fuck it.
I am encouraging more people to say “Fuck it” and show who they are. I want them see reality as they choose to see it as opposed to what’s the world tells them it is.
4) What are your thoughts on staying independent or signing to a major label?
My thoughts are: “Give me money to help me make us money. After I give your cut back and get on my feet, Get the fuck out of my way because I’m in business alone now.”
5) How do you feel about the independent hip-hop industry right now?
Its cool but it still sucks like before, until you’re actually on your feet, in it, moving and shaking. While it’s great to be able to put your stuff out for people all over the world to hear but the artist is still faced with major label-esque hierarchies on the promo and indy-blog circuit.
You don’t have many writers seeking talented artists that they like and want to share with their audience. However you’ve got many writers reposting major newlines and hitting up any artist on social media to charge them for an interview. Indy journalism has grown to be kissing cousins with Hypebeast Journalism.
On a lighter note, once an artist has his or her elbow room in the game, it’s easier to make the money and keep the money for yourself. You’ve gotta work, but there’s nothing wrong with that.
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?
Alternative merchandising and alternative branding. See me, I’m not like anybody else o the scene so instead of shy away from myself and try to fit some mold of “what’s happening”, I bank on that difference and I market myself on it. For example, I dress in suits or shirt and tie when I perform. It makes me stand out, yes, but it’s also representative of how cool and MFin smooth I am on stage.
Also, I’m big on doodling. Not the greatest drawer, but I LOVE to draw random doodles. So instead of brushing those under the rug as another hidden talent, I’ve marketed myself with the doodles. Now I’ve got coloring books for sale! So it’s a constant “try this, try that” dance that I’m always playing but it works.
7) How do you think you’ve grown as an artist?
I’ve learned four major things:
1. I’ve learned a lot about taking initiative and looking out for yourself in this business, because no one will handle your business with the same amount of care and devotion as you will.
2. I’ve also learned the value of cooperative effort, with a team you can go further than you can imagine on your own.
3. Making music is easy, but it’s also easy to not push yourself musically when you have a talent in it. I never settle, I never give in and go easy or do the same as last time or try to create my music for a marketed outcome, fuck that.
4. Nothing worth having comes easy.
8) How do you feel about hip-hop today?
It’s whatever man. Music is music. You’ve got shitty music with no soul and great music with soul. You’ve also got great songs that will mean absolutely nothing in 1 year and a half, and you’ve got well-intentioned, soulful music thats just blah for me.
I honestly don’t give a shit about “Hip-Hop” but I do give a shit about the “People”. So I’m just going to deliver great music people. That’s all.
9) What artists in the game today do you look at for inspiration?
I like a lot of artists who are different and artists who emerged on the scene and shook up the sound. They include Kid Cudi, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, James Brown, Pimp C, Chuck D, Public Enemy, Outkast, David Bowie, Pharrel, Peter Tosh, Supacat, NinjaMan, The Beatles.
I dig it all man.
10) Who are your top 5 rappers dead or alive?
Who cares? Like for real… what does this age-old question matter? Maybe it does. Maybe it stunts our development and creativity. Maybe it doesn’t, so here it goes anyway:
2. Pimp C
3. Chuck D