Today, we sat down with our artist illiminate for an interview. Here is what he had to say:
1. How has your hometown shaped who you are as a musician today?
When I was young I felt like probably most people do, any town is better than the town they’re in, just have to get out. Especially me being so close to Nashville where everything seemed to be country music focused. But as I got older I started realizing that because my town had MTSU and it was like the third leading University in the country for recording majors, every semester musicians from all over the country pour into my town. Where exactly was I actually trying to go? The right place to be was right where I was. Being so close to Music City definitely influenced me into music my whole life.
2. If you could single out one artist or band that has influenced you, who would that be and why?
Hands down, the most influential artist in my life would be Rage Against the Machine. There was something about the speaking with passion and conviction I believe, that grabbed me. And stylistically, it also had me developing into a more aggressive flow type style than most.
3. If you won the lottery tomorrow, what is the first thing you would buy?
If I won the lottery tomorrow I would be trying to snag someone very seasoned and experienced in the music industry and looking to recruit the best and the brightest straight out of college to start building a beast of a record label, focusing on the new strategies to make tomorrow’s record label successful. I can’t say it’s the first purchase I would make but it is the first move I would be plotting on.
4. What is your advice to fellow underground musicians in regards to remaining discipline in your craft?
In regards to remaining disciplined in my craft this is something I also struggle with. I believe the ones who make it do so because they keep pressing forward. If you want it bad enough you’ll keep pressing forward. If you can’t press, then then you weren’t cut out for it.
5. Do you have any songwriting or recording tips you’d like to share?
I don’t have much tips on writing music I will say maybe try not to force it. I do buckle down and focus to get writing accomplished but when it comes to things like hooks, it seems like the best ones I’ve ever done came when I was sitting and listening to the beat and having a conversation and then some words came into my head on the conversation topic and I sang them to the beat. That’s where I found my melody then I just changed the words to the context of the song I’m writing.
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?
My great grandpa on my mom’s side was a songwriter and my mom was a singer so me doing something in music always seemed like a natural thing and she was very supportive. My dad on the other hand was a preacher and my choices in music never did and were never going to meet his approval, so there was a lot of struggling. He’s glad to see me do good but even today I’m sure he’d rather see me do good at anything besides rap music.
7. If you could open up for one famous artist or band, who would that be and why?
This is a difficult question because logically I would like to open for whatever artist would have the most audience of people who might be interested in my music, any artist with a large enough audience. My favorite artists come through and I have opportunities to open for them. If I had to choose one that I would hope for the largest audience it maybe would be Eminem. This is a purely logistical answer.
8. If you could have a dinner with one musician who is no longer living, who would that be and why?
If I could have dinner with one artist who has passed it would be 2pac. This man had insights well beyond his years and I’d be very interested to learn from his experiences.
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?
The thing I like the most about LiquidSound Records is a steady stream of interaction. To a new artist, I would say just be prepared to put in work if you expect to take advantage of the opportunities they have.
10. In ten years, where do you see your music career?
In 10 years, I hope to have built Grind Hustle Hustle Entertainment into a powerhouse like Strange Music, ready to groom and put out the hottest new artists.