My name is Chandler Barker aka Amb1shn (pronounced Ambition). I am a United States Marines stationed in San Diego, CA. I have been rapping since I was 13. I have a lovely wife and daughter, and have very strong family values. I have a old school rap lyrical base, with a more modern hip hop/trap soul sound.
1) Do you remember the moment you wanted to be a hip-hop artist?
I’ve loved hip hop as long as I can remember. I’ve been writing since I was 13. I think I realized, I really wanted to be an artist while I was watching J Cole’s breakout music video for “workout”.
I had been listening to Cole for awhile up until then, and watching that video made it clear that he had to switch up his style to get heard.
I loved that song and I’m a huge Cole fan, but it was definitely not his style. I consider myself versatile, and I can adapt to an audience, but I really just want to do my own thing.
2) What was it like creating your latest project?
Creating my last project was a blast. I got to work with my best friend Jamie aka Tony Vale the producer. From the moment I heard the beat for Strapaholics, I knew I had to slay it. My engineer Nathan Scott is so skilled at his craft, that the production side is always on point.
The video production company I used for Strapaholics(Haystack Media) was amazing. Terry Blanco the owner was very responsive and hard working, and George Heras, the director, and his crew were spectacular. Overall this project has been sensational.
3) What are you trying to achieve with the project?
Fame! Wealth! Prosperity! I feel like no matter who the artist is those are the main goals. We all have a message we want to send. We all want to be the center of attention. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to be an icon. I do understand as a celebrity you have to be a role model, but there’s nothing saying a rich guy can’t be influential.
4) What are your thoughts on staying independent or signing to a major label?
If the offer was fair, I could see signing to a label. However, in today’s media powered society, it is fairly easy to get heard while being independent. The work load is definitely greater, but you keep what you create.
5) How do you feel about the independent hip-hop industry right now?
Independence is no longer the same as it was in the early stages of hip hop. It used to be if you weren’t signed to a label, you were nothing more than a hometown artist. Now days social media can propel you from an average Joe to a superstar overnight.
With the change in the outlook of independence, there have been a plethora of fairly average artist who have gained super stardom. Some may say this is diluting hip hop, which makes sense to an extent, but I think it also gives great artist who may have once never had a shot, a legitimate chance.
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?
I’m being interviewed by you, aren’t I? Lol, but no, in all seriousness, I am involved in 100s of facebook groups. I’m constantly posting snippets of my project. It gets me a solid amount of plays, but I needed something more premier.
I started reaching out to promotion services like yourself hoping for the best. Being a conservative, I understand that it takes money to make money. I will do whatever it takes to ensure my dreams get fulfilled.
7) How do you currently make money as an independent artist?
Well currently I’m a United States Marine. I have made a good chunk of change off of my music, but unfortunately not enough to pay the bills. I’ve done shows throughout San Diego, and streams have helped some, but the Marine Corps pays the bills.
8) How do you feel about hip-hop today?
Hip hop as a whole? Oh goodness, that’s a pretty layered question honestly. It’s definitely different, and it feels like the sound changes from day to day. You never know who is going to be at the top of the charts. You can make educated guesses; like Drake, Future, Kendrick, Cardi B, Nicki Minaj,or Migos; but artist come and go constantly.
I enjoy the climate of hip hop for the most part. I think sometimes there’s an uneccesary amount of popularizing poor behavior. Which I don’t have a distaste for, but there’s not much of a balance between good and bad. Drug references, and womanizing content is the norm. It sells, but I feel like voices like J Coles, and Joynar Lucas’ are needed to balance todays hip hop content.
9) What artists in the game today do you look at for inspiration?
Wayne has always been my favorite rapper, and where I get a lot of my inspiration. If we’re talking about today, I would definitely go with Drake, J Cole, Kevin Gates, Post Malone, Travis Scott, Kendrick, and Joyner Lucas. They are much more versatile and lyrical than the majority of musicians.
They’re out of booth presense is definitely enjoyable too. They speak their minds, and like myself enjoy debate, discussion, and civil discourse. Their music just sounds good, and you can tell they put a lot of effort into their craft.
10) Who are your top 5 rappers dead or alive?
Damn it, I knew this one was coming!! Even though it’s an entirely opinion based question, I feel like you can never be right lol. No matter who you say, someone is going to say you’re an idiot. Honestly though, for me it would have to be Wayne, Nas, T.I., Andre 3000, and Drake.
Thank God it’s opinion based, and not who ARE the BEST. Because if that were the question, the top pics would be Biggie, Tupac, Eminem, Jay Z, Kanye, Wayne, Rakim, Nas ect. But, top choices aint my choices, are they?