Q: We always start off our interviews by asking, how are you doing today?
A: Great, thanks! Looking forward to the interview!
Q: If someone came up to you on the street and asked “What do you do,” what would you say?
A: I would say I run a website called MuziksMyLife.com and interview artists when they come through the area on tour and what not.
Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in the music industry?
A: Music really is my life. And since we only have one to live, I figured it made perfect sense to pursue my dreams at all cost rather than look back and wonder “what if?” I heard Big Sean say once that “you don’t wanna be 50, 60 years old wishing you would’ve, could’ve, should’ve done something” so “make sure you do what you wanna do” in life, and that statement really resonated with me and gave me the courage to keep going when times got tough.
I’ve always been one to follow my heart anyways, and trust my instincts at all times. I used to read a lot of books on Michael Jordan when I was younger, and one of his most famous quotes was “I can accept failure, but I can’t accept not trying,” so I adopted that philosophy at an early age.
But more specifically, in high school I spent most of my free time after school keeping up with other hip-hop blogs, so one day I decided to make one of my own. I started it in September of 2011 as a hobby, but it quickly evolved into something much more than that. The following May, I went to Kanye West’s “Glow in the Dark” tour and decided right then and there that I wanted to be a contributing member of this culture for the rest of my life.
Q: You have interviewed numerous artists, and so have we, and we have always wanted to get another’s opinion of this aspect of the game. What are your favorite and least favorite things about interviewing artists/etc?
A: I did see that you’ve done quite a few; congrats! The only thing that bothers me sometimes is the uncertainty that’s usually involved, but I’ve gotten used to it for the most part and realize now that it’s just part of the game. If I don’t hear back from someone, I just use it as extra motivation to put myself in a position where next time I’ll be more of a priority. And even if it is taking a while to confirm an interview, I’ll usually do the research and what not just in case because I’d rather be safe than sorry. That way if it ends up working out at the last minute, I won’t be scrambling to throw together a rushed interview. And even if it falls through, at least I’ll be prepared for next time.
An interview is never truly guaranteed until it’s completed either, because you never know what could happen between the time of confirmation and the time you’re scheduled to meet. Things don’t always go exactly as planned, especially when there’s so many variables involved. So it’s always a bit of a relief to finally have the mics on and the camera rolling.
Other than that, I love everything about interviewing artists, so I could go on for days gushing about it. Personally, I like to take a more in-depth, biographical approach to my interviews rather than attempting to report the news or whatever. So my favorite part would probably be giving artists a platform to share their stories—which, in turn, gives people an opportunity get to know them on more of a personal level as fellow human beings. It gives their fans a deeper connection to and appreciation for their music. It also serves as an introduction for those who may not be familiar with certain artists, and gives those people more incentive to check out their work and potentially become new fans.
Q: Speaking of interviews, you have spoken to some heavy hitters, who are some of the artists you have interviewed so far? Are there any personal favorites, or any just “odd” interviews?
A: Just so I don’t leave anyone out, I’m actually going to name everyone I’ve interviewed on camera so far in the order that they occurred: Sammy Adams, Calliko, Wiz Khalifa, Chevy Woods (twice), Jon Connor, Na Palm, Big Sean, SayItAintTone (twice), Lecrae, Mac Miller (twice), YG, Action Bronson, Casey Veggies, Boaz, Lola Monroe, Berner (twice), Tuki Carter (twice), Big K.R.I.T., Smoke DZA, Radical Something, Dee-1, Chippy Nonstop, DJ Carisma, Honey Cocaine, Mod Sun, Pat Brown, The Come Up, The Young Rapscallions, RiFF RAFF, OCD: Moosh & Twist, Huey Mack, G-Eazy, Johnny Polygon, Pac Div, T. Mills, Kid Ink, Boldy James, D-WHY, Hoodie Allen, Sam Lachow, Ty Dolla $ign, ASAP Ferg, Joey Badass, Trinidad James, Ro Spit, Adubb Da Gawd, k.flay, and Sirah.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each interview and every single artist has been an absolute joy to work with, but my personal favorite might be the one I just did with Sirah a couple days ago. She was super cool going into it so I had a feeling it would go well, but I had no idea that it would turn into what it did. People will see what I mean once it drops.
Other than that, I think the ones I did with Honey Cocaine and SayItAintTone (especially the more recent one, which hasn’t been released yet) have probably the best combination of quality and entertainment out of them all. Those two are hilarious! A lot of times the tone (no pun intended) of an interview is determined by the interviewee’s personality and responsiveness to the interviewer, and those two in particular had amazing vibes. But like I said, I’m proud of each one and had a great time with them all!
Q: Do you do any research on the particular artists that you interview? Or do you “wing it” lol?
A: I try and do as much research as I possibly can for each artist, and that’s sort of become a staple of my interviews. If you plan on watching one, you can definitely expect to learn a thing or two. A lot of the time I already know the answers to the questions I’m asking, but chances are, the viewer doesn’t—not unless they’ve done the same amount of research or studied that particular artist’s life and career religiously. Not only that, but if you ask someone a general question, chances are they’ve been asked a similar question before (if not the exact same one) and will likely give you the same answer that they already gave someone else, so all they’re doing at that point is repeating the information that’s already out there. But if you know the answer to a particular question beforehand, you can be more specific with your delivery and sweep the rug out from underneath them, if you will, so that they’ll have no choice but to dig deeper and divulge new information.
Of course you never know exactly how a conversation is going to go ahead of time, so there’s always a bit of adlibbing involved—which I feel I’ve gotten better at with experience—but for the most part I try to be as prepared as can be. I try to structure my interviews as best as I can and sort of gauge the conversation ahead of time, so I’m definitely not out there freestyling them or anything.
Q: What do you think of today’s rap/hip-hop culture/music? Anything you’d like to see change or stop?
A: I love it. At times it can be a little oversaturated I suppose, but I’d rather there be too much than not enough. I feel like that gives people more of an opportunity to sift out the music they don’t like and discover more that they do like, rather than be forced to listen to whatever’s being jammed down their throats, so to speak. It can seem sloppy at times with certain artists spamming their links, and I also agree with what I heard Kanye say once: something along the lines of how the connotation of being a musician means less than it did back in the day. But at the same time, I think today’s music scene allows for great music to be made and true talent to be discovered much more easily than ever before. So I can understand the different perspectives, but overall, I’m personally thrilled to be living in this era.
Q: Are you working on any new projects or developments that you’d like the people to know about?
A: Right now I’m mostly just focusing on trying to do as many quality interviews as possible and expanding my outreach/increasing my audience. The time may eventually come for me to partner up with a larger outlet—which, under the right circumstances, is definitely a goal of mine. But for now I’m still feeling things out and taking it all one step at a time. I may have started my site 6 years ago, but things are just now starting to take off and I’m still only 22, so this is still just the beginning in the grand scheme of things.
With that being said, you guys can definitely expect a lot more interviews coming your way. I’ve been dropping at least one a week for the past couple of months, and still have a handful in the stash and many more on the horizon.
Q: We have a saying here: “DO WHAT YOU DESIRE.” How does that apply to what you are doing and how you are living your life?
A: Sums it up perfectly. Rather than fall victim to the pressures of society, I’ve stuck to my vision—the same one I had when I was 17 years old passing out handmade business cards to the away crowd at our high school basketball games, with the majority of them just being left on the gym floor for janitors to sweep up. I’ve had people doubt my decisions along the way and basically tell me that I was throwing my life away by living it on my terms (which clearly makes no sense whatsoever), but that’s only because they weren’t able to see the vision.
One person even had the nerve to tell me out of spite that my reality was warped, which really stung at first—because I let it. But looking back, it’s that very same “warped” reality that allows me to now see their comment as more of a compliment than anything. Perspective is reality, and I’m grateful to be able to see the silver lining at all times. I can’t imagine there’s anyone out there who, if given the choice, would actually prefer to go through life depressed, pissed off, and always seeing the glass half empty.
I’ve sacrificed a lot, no doubt about it. But I wouldn’t change a single thing because one way or another, it’s all led me to where I’m at today and where I will ultimately be tomorrow. I realized after a close encounter that when we leave this earth—which we all do at some point, and in most cases without warning—nobody comes with us, so there’s no reason we should accept anyone else’s ideas of happiness for ourselves. And what those naysayers often fail to realize, at least in my case, is that most people live just to die—which is fine, as long they’re OK with that and enjoy the ride. But not me…
Instead, I’m trying to leave behind a legacy so that I can be remembered long after I’m gone physically and live on forever in spirit. We only have one life to live, so we have to make the most of it while we’re here. In our final moments, all we have are our memories. And once we’re gone, even those no longer exist. So the only way to be immortalized, as Big Sean would say, is to be remembered.
Q: How can we find out more about you online? Twitter/Facebook/Instagram?
A: My website once again is MuziksMyLife.com; that’s where you’ll be able to watch all of my interviews and view any archived posts. There’s also a “Press” tab where you can read more personal interviews like this one if you’re interested in getting to know me better. And if you’d like to keep up with what I have going on at any given time, my Twitter and Instagram are @MuziksMyLife, and my Facebooks are /DCMuziksMyLife (personal) and /MuziksMyLife (site-related).
Q: Any last words of wisdom or advice?
A: You have the ability to psych yourself in or out of any mentality or situation, and you also create your own destiny. I recommend looking up the Law of Attraction if you haven’t already. That’s the first step in manifesting your desires, turning your dreams into reality, and living a life filled with positive energy.
With that said, thank you so much for the interview, and thank you to everyone who took the time to read this. I really enjoyed it, and hopefully you guys did too!