How did you start your music journey?
I started by rewriting lyrics from rappers I liked to try and memorize the words. Once I started doing that, I began learning about the structure of songs and tried creating my own. It was a lot of trial and error trying to teach myself, but it kept me busy and off the streets as a kid. All my energy was put into trying to get better and studying those artists I looked up to.
What has been the biggest challenge in your music career?
As a young artist, you tend to focus predominantly on the art and the business aspect isn’t always something that we know too much about. Some of my biggest challenges were trying to get the business part aligned with the art. This is a self-taught culture for the most part and it’s a learning process throughout the entire time because unless you have people with some history in the industry, you’re left trying to make your own way. Learning how to navigate that and finding that balance was a challenge early on.
What inspires you?
Being able to deliver a message and a story that others may relate to a great inspiration. I also honestly just really enjoy putting words together and seeing a song idea come to fruition. I find inspiration for those songs through life lessons, family, friends and also a lot of the times the production dictates the direction of the sound.
Any project you’re working on right now?
Yes, I have an album called Modern Mexican Art: Radio Sonido which will be available on April 24th, 2018 on all streaming services, as well as my site http://www.NavarroMusic773.com
What do you think of the current music industry?
I like the fact that it seems like a free for all at the moment. Major labels are trying to figure it out just like us independent artists. It levels the playing field a bit for up and coming artists, but as artists, we also have to understand and take advantage that we can have an upper hand in this climate. The newer artists leading the movement of remaining “independent” even when getting major looks, need to continue that path so we can hopefully see some actual change in how the industry works down the line. It’s great to see young artists being able to create their own fan base, successfully release music and book shows with little to no help from an industry co-sign. Obviously, those things still exist, and just like any other field, help a person advance. The difference is that now a kid without that co-sign early on could still be successful on their own terms.
Any advice you can give us to other aspiring artists?
If music is something you are consciously making a decision to pursue, then commit yourself fully and surround yourself with trustworthy people. Be involved in not just the creative process of the music, but also the process of booking shows, interviews, merchandise etc. At the end of the day, if you’re pursuing this full time and really trying to make a career out of it, you should be involved in different aspects of your business until you feel you have the right people around you to help you make some of those decisions.
What’s the best thing that has ever happened to you as an artist?
Honestly, someone/anyone listening to my music. When I started writing raps as a kid, I never intended for others to listen to what I was making. I just appreciated having an outlet to be creative and get some things off my mind. As it evolved though, having people take the time to listen or come out to a show is a blessing as an artist.
Can you tell me a little bit about your youth mentoring and music program?
My program is called Beats and Bars and it has been running for over 2 years now. I work with teens in the Little Village community in Chicago. The idea was to give them the space to create music and an outlet to express themselves. I also have brought in video directors, music journalists, producers, Grammy award-winning artists etc to talk to them about other career paths available in the music industry. I wanted to expose them to the possibilities and instill the idea that they can create something out of nothing. Ownership and entrepreneurship are things our youth should be talking more about. Using Hip-Hop as the tool to deliver that message is powerful and helps them understand the impact they can have.
Are you doing any gigs & tours now or near in the future?
Once I release the album we’ll start focusing on booking shows. Looking to make it out to the West Coast at some point this year. That’s a personal goal of mine.
Anything you want to share with the fans?
I appreciate the support and hope they enjoy the new album. Make sure you visit www.NavarroMusic773.com for videos, music and more. Also, Modern Mexican Art: Radio Sonido comes out April 24th, listen and share with a friend. Gracias.