Today, we sat down with our artist Bear for an interview. Here is what he had to say:
1. How has your hometown shaped who you are as a musician today?
What a great question! I come from a small country town in Michigan, and to be completely honest you do not see many people “make it big” around here. So being in the position to have done that and being able to go even farther with it really motivates me. I had a kid from my town come up to me after I performed at a local festival a few years back. He said to me very calmly but with seriousness “You are what gives small town kids like me hope”. I did not realize it at the time just how impactful that was to me. When I feel discouraged or defeated by this industry i just remember what that kid said to me and the fire burns a little hotter inside.
2. If you could single out one artist or band that has influenced you, who would that be and why?
That is a tough one! There has been a few who have influenced me at different parts of my life, but IF i have to choose only one I would have to go with Eminem. Cliche? Maybe, BUT we are from the same state and Marshal has helped me through some extremely tough times in my life and just as many great days. I look at him as the mentor i havent met yet. We will eventually, i am FOCUSED. There is so much to this for me. I want to learn from the best. Lets be solid here, Em is the best hands down. Just to be able to have a conversation with him would be so dope. I look forward to it. The stars will align.
3. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would buy?
The very first thing that I would buy would be, well not buy but I would pay off my mortgage so I owned my home outright. And then I would put money aside for my kids so that when they turned 18 they would have enough money to never worry and generations to come would be set up for success. The first “material” thing i would buy after those things are taken care of would be a brand new cadillac escalade with all the bells and whistles. I always wanted one. Im a big dude and big dudes should ride big bodies.
4. What is your advice to fellow underground musicians in regards to remaining discipline in your craft?
Just with anything, practice makes perfect. Masters are made when when time and effort is put in. It takes patience and consistency. Treat your craft with love and respect and it will treat you the same back. Most importantly we as artists are very powerful, our words and music hold extreme power. So be conscious of what you are putting out into this world. Also always stay true to you but be able to adapt the best way that you can. No music made is a mistake because there is no one like you and if you don’t create the music then it would not be heard.
5. Do you have any songwriting or recording tips you’d like to share?
When it comes to song writing sometimes simplicity is needed. Don’t over think the process that’s when we get writers block. Almost like giving the situation to much attention before its even made. Write where you are comfortable, write where you are inspired, go into nature, or into your car or go for a walk and brainstorm. When it comes to recording there is beauty in imperfection. Sometimes we try to be so perfect with vocals that we forget that we are human. Now im not saying be sloppy with songs and not be on point. What i am saying is dont be afraid to be a little rough around the edges when it comes to some things. Another huge thing is how many vocals you record. 90% or artists layer the vocals so much that it masks imperfections or makes it sound very muddy. Practice laying 1 main vocal, it will help you gain confidence in your flow and sound but also make you sharp.
6. How does your family and close friends feel about your music career? Have they always been supportive or have there been issues in the past?
This is another great question. To be completely honest family and friends havent been supportive since the beginning. EXCEPT for a select few on both sides. I can count on one hand who really been there since day one. I have so much for those people for never doubting me. One of the biggest issues when it comes to this specific area is the sharing and showing up for shows. Most friends and family will not share or show up to a show. It will be complete strangers who really rock with you and support you. When you blow up or make a name for yourself thats when the friends and family who didnt pay no mind to you will come out of the wood work and be like “I always knew you would be big or I always supported you, etc” when in all actuality that wasnt the case. I dont feel any type of way about it though because i will always still move forward regardless. But they dont realize that if they would really share you like they share and support the mainstreet artist we could and would be alot farther ahead than we currently are. Teamwork makes the dream work.
7. If you could open up for one famous artist or band, who would that be and why?
In all honesty i would want to be the headliner and have my own openers! In due time right? But until that time comes, i would love to rock a stage with Adam Calhoun, Struggle Jennings and JellyRoll, Big SMO, Ryan Upchurch. That would be one heck of a combination. The vibes and energy that this show would bring would be insane. I love all of the music i hear from them and each one of us is unique and incredible.
8. If you could have a dinner with one musician who is no longer living, who would that be and why?
I would have to say Tupac. I have so many questions. When you put creative people together in one room in a one on one setting, knowledge plays a huge key. We learn from one another all while being the stars that we are. Pac influences me to this day on how powerful his music is to the consumer. It would be awesome to spend some time with him and get to know him as a person. And I would be curious of the type of food he would get. Is it simple or is it complicated. Maybe someday he will let a country boy like me sit at the table in thugs mansion.
9. In your time with LiquidSound Records, what is the number one thing you have enjoyed the most? Also, what is your advice to those artists who would be interested in joining the roster in the future?
I would have to say the most enjoyable part of it would be conversing with Ryan. He is super down to earth, strait up with you and has that industry mind that is essential for artist growth. Outside of that I have had great success with LiquidSound, and I look forward to more growth and seeing where we can take this. For the new artists I would say trust the process and remember consistency is key here and LiquidSound can help you stay consistent. Its hard to juggle everything independently, Let LiquidSound help you.
10. In ten years, where do you see your music career?
I hope to be somewhere tropical preforming hit after hit, networking with industry giants molding myself into the next industry giant. Longevity is key. Make a career out of something that you love. That’s the goal. I want to touch stages and air waves all around the world. In the next 10 years that is so doable. Just have to stay focused.