Congratulations on the recent release of your first single “Steps” It’s been getting quite a lot of buzz! Can you tell us what motivated and inspired you to write the song?
Well, as my vision for #TSIO came together and I first heard this instrumental off SoundClick, produced by Malakkor, I loved how the beat progressively built. It felt like it was something that I needed to talk to em’ on and drop some ‘nuggets’ on what type of structure you need to survive in this game called ‘L.i.F.E.’
It’s one of the tracks from your upcoming album “The Struggle Is Over (T.S.I.O)”, yah? How many tracks will there be in the album?
Yea’, this is my first single we’ve decided to release, which will be followed up by another banger as the second single before the official release of the project, “The Struggle Is Over (T.S.I.O.)”. I’ve decided to just drop T.S.I.O. as (9) hard body, lyrically enticed, headbangers!
How long have you been working on the album? What was the driving force behind it?
The idea of this project came to my conscious years before it was anything tangible, and to be honest, it kind of came together on its own because I found myself just writing my emotions as I listened to each beat.
I know that this gift that God gave me is for a bigger purpose than me, so I’m just doing my part and ‘passing it forward’ while trying to enjoy it at the same time.
Were there any obstacles or any memorable moments during the making of the album?
Aha, aw man, it definitely was. I mean, yes, #TheStruggleIsOver in a sense of everything I sacrificed to get to where I’m at today with me having all of my legalities behind me, along with me being homeless on the streets of Orlando, to the homeless shelters, the jail sails, the probation offices, so-called friends kicking me while I was down, to no having my license for 6 years, to me losing everything, to gain everything…if that makes sense, lol. Pretty much, there’s a new devil every level.
What do you want the listeners to take away from your new record?
I want my listeners to take away the simple fact the anything they want, is highly attainable as long as your heart is into it and is catered with a guaranteed plan. After that, it’s all about following the #Steps to get there without skipping NOT one of them, and lastly, STAY FOCUSED!! Nobody is holding you back you that person in the mirror. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail” – Benjamin Franklin
Let’s talk about the beginning of your journey. How did you get interested in becoming a musician?
I believe music was something I became naturally engulfed in with me growing up around instruments in church, I think the drumset is what first caught my eye, ha. During my 6th, 7th, 8th Grade years at Clark Moores Middle School in Richmond, KY, I sat in the role of the chairman of the Percussion section. Although, at the age of 11, I found myself recording all of my favorite songs on the radio over my mom’s gospel and church sermon tapes. Then I would rewind, write down a line for line, rehearse until I knew it, then move on to writing my own songs after a few years. Once I turned 16, that’s when I first heard myself on a microphone and said out loud, “DAMN, I sound DOPE!” Hahaha *Real shyt tho*. Since then, I’ve been working on my craft and began starting to record/write my own songs in the same format of those who I used to record/write/rehearse on my mom’s tapes growing up wrote; Tupac, LL Cool J, Boosie, Pimp C, Jay Z, Nas, etc.. Since then, I birthed my first music ever, “The Movement In The Making (www.myspace.com/hardtolink), to the world in Sep 2009, and the feedback from the people is what really pushed me in the beginning to keep rapping for those alike.
I was reading about you and learned that you grew up all over the States. How has that experience shaped you as a human being and as an artist?
Growing up around many different races, walks of life, ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, environments, climates, and many other things that I could mention, I gratefully feel it has made me a well-rounded, empathetic, logically open-minded individual that can endure nearly any circumstance that life may throw at me. As an artist, it has given me an inside view on how non-complicated this industry really is once you begin networking everywhere you go. It’s not what you know, but it’s who you know”, then again, “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you” With that being said, it has given me an organic boost in my fanbase reach and an extra word of mouth promo.
Who were your biggest influences growing up?
Growing up some of my biggest influences were my mom, my aunt, my uncle, as they assisted in passing down some great trades that became the foundation of me as a young man into adulthood. I was musically influenced by LLCool J, BIG, Tupac, The 69 Boyz, Lil Wayne, T.I., Nelly, Cassidy, Cameron/Juelz Santana, Nate Dogg, Snoop Dogg, & Jay Z.
How would you describe your sound?
My sound is southern playeristic Psychedelic Universal Swang! But nah, on a deeper note, I would describe my sound as intuitively pure with intentions to endure the true meaning of hip-hop just as we, The United States, uphold and live by the Constitution.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the industry?
To be frank with you, the more that I learn about the industry, the less that I want to be in it. This is the ugliest game in the world; everyone has their mask on with ulterior motives, a huge smile, and greedy/envious intentions all for the gain of wealth and power over others and that’s just something that doesn’t interest me as the man I’ve grown to become. Talent wise. it’s definitely watered down from when I’ve seen it flourish from 2002-2009 and seems to be a lost culture from what it was intended to be, which was to share our stories and touch someone else who may be going through it. To uplift the community and not deminer it talking about shit that 99% of the world isn’t going through, let lone – Yourself.
You went to Full Sail University for Recording Arts. How has that helped you as an artist?
Yes, I did graduate from Full Sail University with my bachelors, with 8-months left to complete my masters in Entertainment Business. Attending Full Sail has played a huge role in me understanding the technicalities and speaking the ‘industries language’, per se’, while answering questions and connecting the dots from what I learned prior to enrolling. It allowed me to understand the song and business structure a lot more than I thought I did, along with knowing the ‘why’ of some of the things an engineer does to equate that emotional feeling out of your listener. I can also say that I’ve met some lifelong friends/colleagues during my time there that I will forever value in this business of life and entertainment.
What would be your advice for other artists that are trying to break through?
First thing first, make sure that you are 100% POSITIVE that this is what you really want to do with your life, you are passionate about it, and you are not just doing it for the money and fame because it’ll never last. Once you get past #StepOne, then you now need to begin the groundwork & foundation of gaining the standard knowledge somehow/someway and begin implementing it towards your 10,000 hours of Expertise in your field.
What is your creative process like? Do you experiment with sounds a lot?
My creative process is very experimental, as I do have a huge imagination and there’s no telling what may pop in my head, ha. Although, yes, most of the times I would listen to an instrumental first, then after I get the instructions on what to write about, it kind of just flows. I never really know HOW I’m going to put it together, I just go off of my gut instincts of what energy I want to emit to my listeners, then the next thing I know, I’ve got a dope song! Then I add it to my library and keep creating. Only because it’s real, and it’s genuine, which means someone else out there can relate to it, as I am not the first person to go through it.
Now that you have your new album on the horizon, what would be next for you?
Next for me would be starting my upcoming mixtape series called, “Late Nights, Early Mornings” #LNEM. All the while, I’ll be also working on finishing up my next album TBD, To get more face time with my fans (more booked shows), Find an established manager to help with the load that’s getting heavy, and really just getting the word out about #TheNuWave while expanding my fanbase!
Anything you want to share with the fans/audience?
I just want all of my riders out there to know that “I love you, as I love myself”. We need to do better out here as people, fuck race; it’s only one race and it’s the Human Race.
Let’s stop becoming slaves to this materialistic world we live in, let’s stop living for today’s satisfaction, and let’s plan for tomorrow’s future by taking cautious measures in our decision making and following the steps of a plan that will lead you to your end result. I’m going to do my part with the gift that God gave me to be a voice for those who don’t have one, so help me make a change by just simply ‘Doing Your Part’.
Follow me on any social media site by adding “.com/hardtolink” after the website name and it’ll put you straight on my page! I’ll see you on the other side! PEACE.
FOLLOW HIM ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
You can stream / buy the single below:
APPLE MUSIC: https://itunes.apple.com/us/ album/steps-single/1385381157
AMAZON: https://www.amazon. com/gp/product/B07D3NMY1M
TIDAL: http://tidal.com/ album/88957969
ITUNES: itunes.apple.com/ us/album/steps-single/https:// 1385381157?app=itunes&ign-mpt= uo%3D4
SPOTIFY: https://open. spotify.com/album/ 7fJWfVWTue3SdGktbsUiUO