- What inspired you to pursue a career in music, and when did you first realize you wanted to be a musician?
My family is very musical, my father is blues legend Chuck Wallace of 70s group Chuck and Mac, and my brother was a DJ early in the 80s and 90s hip hop scene. Growing up, my home was full of music.
- What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as an emerging artist, and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge is promotion and marketing, trying to get people to listen to an artist they have not heard of. You often need a major, but being independent gives me more freedom to have trial and error and learn the business of music. And outlets such as yours help further our progress.
- Who are some of your biggest musical influences, and how have they shaped your sound and style?
I am a producer as well, so Dr. Dre and Kanye West, as well as pioneers like Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Nas, and Jay-Z, as well as Gucci Mane, Lil Wayne, Ross, and Jeezy. I like to think I am a hybrid of all of those dope artists.
- How do you approach the songwriting process, and where do you draw inspiration from for your lyrics and melodies?
My inspiration comes from things that happen around me or people I know, as well as where the spirits take me with the composition.
- What can listeners expect from your upcoming album or project, and how does it differ from your previous work?
Well, my latest project "All Cash No Apps" is a mixture of hard-hitting beats and lyrics that touch on everything from the streets to racism, as well as a few club bangers. I feel my previous release "R.a.w Real Always Wins" was more of me finding myself as a solo artist. I think I am mastering my craft at this point, and I know my overall lane.
- How has your background or life experiences influenced your music and artistic vision?
I feel like growing up in St. Louis and living in Atlanta for 16 years, I have a Midwest-meets-south approach to music with a sprinkle of both coasts. Growing up in the Midwest, we love everything from Snoop Dogg to Jay-Z and all in between. If it's hitting, I don't discriminate on music, dope is dope.
- Can you talk about a particularly memorable or inspiring performance you've had, and what made it special?
Early on as an artist, getting to be on the road with Hall of Fame artist Run DMC taught me about crowd control and having different setlists depending on the demographic. It was a tremendous learning experience.
- What do you hope listeners take away from your music, and what message do you want to convey through your art?
That I take this seriously and I give them my heart through my songs, and that I will always provide quality music, period. I think my project "All Cash No Apps" captures that perfectly.
- How has the music industry changed since you first started, and how have you adapted to those changes as an artist?
Well, CDs were more prevalent and now streaming and playlists are more prevalent. Now I have adapted by using both QR codes in the CDs as promotion for the streaming, and you can have a CD as merch at a show, so kill two birds with one stone. Also, now social media is more current than magazines, so blogs and vlogs help further your brand.
- What advice would you give to other emerging artists who are just starting out in the industry?
Keep going, do all that you can to promote and market your music, and keep God first.