Somojo Magazine

Young MC

Hi, how are you?
I am doing fine.

What made you decide to be a solo artist and not want to be in a band?

As a rapper, I found that I performed better solo. My style was unlike other rappers around me.

Do you work with the same musicians when recording as you do when performing live?
I mainly do track dates. It saves me money, and a lot of the venues I perform in cannot accommodate a live band. Plus my show is easier for me to memorize and get through without having to worry about the timing of musicians on stage.

How would you describe your music to someone who hasn’t yet heard you?
My music is lyrically skilful, clean classic hip-hop. Good for all ages.

What music did you listen to while growing up?
I listened to KC and the Sunshine Band, Parliament Funkadelic, Chic, The Eagles, Kool and the Gang and Fleetwood Mac.

Which artist or track inspired you to want to make music yourself?
Jimmy Spicer “Super Rhymes” and The Fearless Four “Problems Of The World ”

When was the ‘I want to do that!’ moment?
I was 10 years old and I saw guys rapping in a friend’s basement. I loved the thought of being able to express myself through lyrics.

What was the last music you put on your ipod or mp3 player?
Don’t have an MP3 player. I just bought the Black Keys CD after seeing their performance on Saturday Night Live.

What have you been up to recently?
I’ve been performing live and I just finished rewriting a screenplay that I am going to submit to studios in the near future.

What can your fans look forward to in the next 12 months?
Fans should just stay tuned. This business is too unpredictable right now for me to give a definitive answer to that question. I would most likely predict something that doesn’t happen, as well as leaving something out that does happen.

What is your current equipment?
I have an MPC60 and 8 sound modules including the Roland Fantom, Yamaha Motif ES, EMU Proteus 2000, Planet Earth, Roland 5050 and others.

Do you have a favourite piece of musical kit that you couldn’t live without?
My MPC60 is the piece I can’t live without.

If you had an unlimited equipment budget what would be on your shopping list?
I’m still waiting on the perfect hardware to be created that would make me abandon my current setup.

Do you use the same equipment live as you do when in a studio?
No. I just bring the tracks for my performances, but I make sure they sound better than everyone else’s. That’s because of the amount of preparation I do.

Do you try to capture your ‘live’ sound on recordings or do you think that the ‘live’ sound and recorded sound should be different experiences for your fans?
My vocal performance on stage brings the live element. I can shout out the city, the audience, call and response, etc. Most hip-hop fans want to hear the backing track live that they’re used to hearing on the recordings. The vocalist makes it “live”

How much involvement do you have with the arranging and production of the songs when recording?
I do all the arranging and producing of my songs now.

Is the production side of things something you’d like to get involved more in the future, maybe working with other artists?
I’ve worked with other artists, and I have to make sure that they have the right attitude to be a successful artist. I don’t work with dreams, I work with reality.

Do you find the process of recording enjoyable and does it get easier the more you do?
Yes. I’ve been recording for nearly 30 years. The studio is my 2nd home.

Do you have any new recordings planned?
I do have some tracks in the works. I’m focused on the licensing and multimedia opportunities for those tracks so that I can create the music to fit the opportunitites.

Which are your favourite original tracks?
Bust A Move, Feel The Love, Rollin’, Babe, The Chase Is On.

Who are your favourite songwriters?
Carole King, Rod Temperton, Barry White, Don Henley.

Who are the main songwriters for the band?
I write everything. Songwriting is my strongest talent.

Do you have a set routine when writing and recording or does it depend on each track and the inspiration?
I usually create the tracks first and then add the lyrics, but I can do it the other way if a certain lyric or hook is what inspires me.

Do you have a method for writing songs?
See previous answer

Do you find song writing easy or difficult?
I find that writing memorable songs is very difficult. Writing average songs is easy.

Is there anyone who you would like to collaborate with on writing songs or performing?
I enjoy most people I work with. It’s a fun experience normally.

Would you sign with a major record company?
I was signed with major record companies for nearly 7 years and 4 albums. I learned my lesson from the experience. If I had music that needed a major label to promote it on a massive scale or multimedia opportunities, I’d consider it.

Which countries have you gigged in?
USA, Canada, Mexico, England, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, and Jamaica.

Which countries would be at the top of your list to tour?
Japan would be at the top of the list, and then the rest of Europe.

Who would you like to tour with?
Anyone good with an open-minded fan base.

How do you promote your music and get your music out to new fans?, facebook, myspace, twitter, live shows, music placements, etc.

Which music promotion websites do you use and do you have a favourite?
Various sites. No favorite

Do you think such sites and the internet are good tools for independent and unsigned artists?
The sites are good for exposing artists. They’re not as good at compensating them.

With such a variety of similar websites that exist now for independent artist to promote music, is there something missing from them that you would like to see?
There are sites that do pretty much everything an artist would want. It’s just not very centralized and that hurts small acts.

What is your opinion on ‘battle of the bands’ competitions?
Fun for the audience, hard for the band. Not a fair means of judging talent

What's your best/worst experience at a gig?
Best experiences involve enthusiastic crowds. Worst experiences involve bad sound.

Do you get nervous before a gig? How do you calm down?
Everyone (not on drugs) gets nervous before a gig. The first 15 seconds of my performance usually calms me down.

Has your music been used on any film soundtracks?
Yes, I’ve had music in nearly 70 films.

Is composing for film or tv something you’d like to get involved in if the opportunity came along?
I’ve composed music for several TV shows, and I enjoyed the experience

Is there anything you'd like to add?
Thanks for the interesting questions.

Young MC

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