Music

Interview: Q.G. The BlacKnight Discusses Being An Independent Artist In Arkansas, Musical Influences, And Album, “The Blackprint”

Q.G. The BlacKnight takes up space as an indie artist in Arkansas and is comfortable with who he has grown to become—"My goal isn't trying to be the biggest cat in the room. I'm just trying to be one of the most well known." Q.G.'s knowledge of self is admirable, as he is a champion for artist individuality and authentic self expression, which is what his album represents. Read more as Q.G. The BlacKnight peels back the layers of his musical journey as a southern independent artist, his musical influences, where Arkansas stands in the music industry, and a breakdown of his latest album, "The Blackprint".

“In terms of independent music, I think these days we’re blessed as independent artists to have so many different avenues to try and get things out to people via streaming, social media—everything like that,” explains Q.G. The BlacKnight (Quentin Gayfield), an independent artist representing the natural state—Arkansas. He goes on to say, “I’ve technically been doing this for like fifteen years now and I remember when it was so hard to get someone to listen to your actual CD, like when you had to give people physical media. Now, I can make a song tonight and have it on the internet two days from now and have potentially a million people view it.”

One thing that stood out in the conversation with Q.G. is his overall positivity and the way he reflected on the creation of his album, The Blackprint. He takes up space as an indie artist in the south and is comfortable with who he has grown to become—”My goal isn’t trying to be the biggest cat in the room. I’m just trying to be one of the most well known.” Q.G.’s knowledge of self is admirable, as he is a champion for artist individuality and authentic self-expression, which is what his album represents. External critique and mainstream standards were the least of his worries while creating this beautiful body of work, which captures themes like the Black experience, love and relationships, and self-discovery.

Read more as Q.G. The BlacKnight peels back the layers of his musical journey as a southern independent artist, his musical influences, where Arkansas stands in the music industry, and a breakdown of his latest album.

Q.G. The BlacKnight. Photo: DaCori Jones

We’re just going to jump right into it! Tell us a little more about your background, like where you’re from, your interests growing up—all of that.

Oh man, that’s a lot. My name is Q.G. The BlacKnight—I grew up in southeast Arkansas. A mix between two towns—Eudora and Wilmont. I went to high school in a different town, Hamburg, where Scottie Pippen‘s from. Went to college at Tech (Arkansas Tech University), where I met a lot of cool people. Growing up, I wouldn’t say that Hip-Hop was a big interest, but I’d say that music in general was because my mom’s really musical. Other than that, the personality I have today—where I nerd out over everything like comic books, games, and things like that—that was me twenty years ago. It’s the same person, I just have money now. [laughing] I can buy my own stuff now.

You said Hip-Hop wasn’t really—you didn’t have a focus, it was just all music?

Yeah. I feel like for most people the first music you pick up is your parents’ music when they became adults, so like eighteen, twenty-one—everything they were listening to in high school and college, that’s your Saturday morning cleaning music. So, for me that was my first pick-up with everything—Luther Vandross, Cameo, Pattie LaBelle, Gladys Knight—that’s all my mom’s old favorite music, which isn’t bad music at all. I always liked it. Other than that, just gospel music in general because my mom is a choir director and I grew up in church with a lot of gospel music. So, pretty much like a lot of old-school stuff. I don’t think I fell in love with Hip-Hop until I was fourteen or fifteen.

You just answered my next question. I was about to say, so when did your love for Hip-Hop begin? So, I want to know!

I can tell you specifically when I fell in love with Hip-Hop. It was Christmas, I don’t know which year it was, but it was one Christmas where this girl that I kind of liked and she kind of liked me, we got each other gifts, but we weren’t dating. I got her a headband with her name airbrushed on it and she got me Jay-Z‘s The Blueprint 2: The Gift & The Curse and I never really actually sat and listened to a Hip-Hop album at that time, but I was like, oh okay it’s a gift, I should be nice and actually listen to it. It’s a dual disk set so I just had twenty-four or how many tracks to listen to Jay-Z and man, I just—I probably burned that first disk out. From there it was just like, oh man, well what else? And then I remembered all the other songs. That’s when I started looking at “Big Pimpin'” and all the other stuff. I’m like that’s Jay-Z, but Jay-Z before this and then “Hard Knock Life” and just starting to go back. From that point, then you start to go back forward and I’m like bro, it’s a wrap.

You went down a rabbit hole. She just opened you up to something you didn’t even know you were missing.

Man, I really didn’t and it’s even crazy though because I feel like I’m a little bit of an anomaly because my favorite rapper is still Jay-Z, but I’m a southern rapper with a New York favorite rapper, but I still know Hip-Hop history wherever, though. Arkansas, well… as much as we know in Arkansas. East Coast, West Coast, Midwest, Texas—all of it. I just love Hip-Hop, for real.

That is quite interesting, though. I feel like that’s kind something—even with sports—being from Arkansas your favorite teams or favorite artists generally are not from—

From where you’re from. You have to pick a general area. We don’t have the luxury of being like we’re New York, we’re the birthplace of Hip-Hop and stuff like that.

So-and-so grew up right down the street from me and Hip-Hop was founded right here.

It’s even crazy when you hear about how many people talk about like oh yeah—like Busta Rhymes was talking about me and Jay-Z and so-and-so, we all went to high school together for three years and I’m like, that’s kind of a big deal now, bro. But we don’t have anything to really tout about to that level, I’d say.

When did you begin your journey as an indie artist?

I’d say when I was probably fifteen. I’m like every other rapper. I’m the original T-Pain, I used to be a sanger turned rapper, so yeah. I used to do R&B and stuff like that and that’s all I used to write songs about, write poetry, and then at a certain point—you know rapping was the cool thing to do. I never really wanted to rap because like I said, it was the cool thing to do and you can’t really do the R&B thing around the freestyle table because you’ll put people to sleep. I think I dropped my first full project when I was eighteen. I recorded it in my house by myself and just did it with free beats off Soundclick—stature of limitations! Y’all can’t sue me now! [laughing]

That’s interesting. I didn’t know this about you. Q.G. The BlacKnight—how did you come up with this name?

That was an accident. The first time I say it is in “Stay Ready,” which is off the 3pc EP. I was originally like, I’ll be Q.G. the something and keep changing it. I started thinking about it more and was like, this kind of has a whole bunch of different meanings for me, personally—the way it’s put together, the way it’s stylized, and the meaning behind it. I stuck with that one rather than keep changing it.

I like the thing about knights in general—just that kind of troop of people. Specifically, I used to like samurai and unfortunately, Q.G. The BlacSamuari doesn’t really sound good all in one. So, we just went ahead with BlacKnight. Knights are just English samurais, but the whole code of honor, code of ethics, this is what you do, this is what you don’t do, and you pretty much just build your respect and rapport up to a point where you’ve reached the title of Sir and everyone has to call you Sir and that’s it. Now you can be knighted by the Queen, but I’m a fan of when you had to go through the process of becoming a knight.

Earlier you brought up that Jay-Z was your introduction to Hip-Hop and then we talked about in the South we generally have the people that we admire from different regions, but going back to the South—you’re located in the South. Who are some of your southern musical influences and why?

Pretty much anybody that was coming out of Texas in the 2000s. Like Swishahouse, Rap-A-Lot—but specifically Chamillionaire, Paul Wall, Big Moe, Chalie Boy influenced me. Mostly, I’d say I’m heavily influenced by Texas rap. My brother is from Texas, too. When he lived with us one year pretty much that’s all I was banging. That Devin The Dude—one of the most underrated and under credited people in Hip-Hop, from a southern perspective and even from a general perspective. He’s still probably one of the best songwriters and storytellers to this day.

And whenever I think of southern Hip-Hop it has its own sound and swag to it, so like it’s that southern drawl, it’s smooth, it’s laid back, we’re relaxed. We’re talking about everyday life. We can talk about the turn up the southern way. It’s feel-good music in my opinion. What is your take on that and how would you describe your sound as a southern artist?

I really didn’t think that I could be a good rapper because I don’t sound like the stereotypical southern rapper. Not even from a trapping standpoint. I speak a bit more eloquently and at that time it was like you want someone that tawk like dis shawty and errythang like dat cuh, which I can do as well. But, my sound is more of like if you had to think of southern Rap from more of a conscious standpoint. I can think of someone that has that same specific kind of tone where he can enunciate—Scarface from Houston where he still had that deep southern drawl and even Bun B where it’s like you can hear everything they say, but you still hear that southern mush mouth.

I’d say my sound probably comes from a conscious standpoint where I feel like in terms of what’s going on in the world right now we see a lot more of it in the South specifically because our states didn’t progress as much as other states. Whereas I can just casually talk about some of the injustices that I see day-to-day, for a lot of people it’s a really big deal and I understand that, but for me it’s kind of every day where I’m like, this is what I see and I kind of live with it. I have to maneuver through it and hopefully that just kind of teaches someone else like, you can do it this way.

And speaking on the South—Arkansas specifically. There’s no doubt that Arkansas houses talent. We have the talent, right? But there isn’t a single sound that the state is known for. Many of the artists that have quote unquote made it, have either relocated to new cities whose musical influences are vast. For example, people might go to Atlanta, people might go to L.A. to make it. What is it like navigating the music scene in Arkansas?

It’s kind of cool just because you don’t really have to navigate to an end game. For a lot of it, I think most of us, we’re all—that is maybe the one end all be all goal of going pro and being able to put your sound on a level from one of those locations. But, I think for those of us that stick here, you get to make your own lane. There’re so many different levels of Arkansas Hip-Hop that even I’m not familiar with because I’m a little bit older or may not hear a specific sound, but I know that there’s a following for it. I’ve been to shows where I don’t know who this person is, but he’s got this whole room rocking right now. So, clearly there’s a want for that.

I think it’s a little bit easier for that because at the point where you realize you don’t have to try and make it to the specific end of something, you just kind of keep doing what you’re doing and make a change here, make a change there. Weave this way, weave that way and just pretty much get to the point where you’re comfortable—that’s the most exciting part for me. I thought about it the other day—I’ve waited fifteen years to be at this point in Hip-Hop in Arkansas, in which I wanted to be well known. If I would’ve had that when I was nineteen, it probably would not have been the best thing at all. I’m glad now that I’m in a position where I actually understand this is what I want to do with my music. This is how I want my business to revolve around my music. If people don’t really want to work with that I can find somebody who wants to work with that.

I think that if someone wanted to aspire to be on that level where you’re a household name in every place, I feel like you have the opportunity to do that and be from Arkansas, you just may not have the opportunity to do that in Arkansas, but stranger things have happened.

So, what is your opinion on Arkansas’ music scene in terms of—do you think that we’ll ever be like be like oh you know, Arkansas on the map! We have a few artists who have made it that have made some really major moves from the state, but like I said they’re not still currently in the city and the state. So, where is Arkansas’ music scene going?

I think at this point still with just the way the market is in general in terms of how you can sell yourself as an artist and how much you can get out of that, I don’t think Arkansas will ever be a hub where it’s like we produce artists here and artists are going to come here to work with us. Just because I mean, we’ve got the space for it, but there’s not the market for it. If people would start to see the actual opportunity in that I definitely think that’s something that could be changed, especially with as fast as Little Rock, Conway, and Fayetteville are still growing. But, I think that if someone wanted to aspire to be on that level where you’re a household name in every place, I feel like you have the opportunity to do that and be from Arkansas, you just may not have the opportunity to do that in Arkansas, but stranger things have happened.

Everything that you just said. That was powerful.

This is how I explain it to people who haven’t thought about it that way. Like bro, how long has Arkansas not had a professional sports team? We can’t get the market for that and that’s a major hub. When you think about that I’m talking about baseball, football, basketball, hockey—anything! The most we have is the Travelers (Arkansas Travelers), which is a minor league team and then we used to have arena sports. We still see the Arkansas Razorbacks as the primary sports team of the whole state in some aspects. So, if we can’t get the market for a professional sports team it’s going to be a little tougher to get one for entertainment value as well. But like I said, stranger things have happened. I’ve seen the biggest names in Hip-Hop in Little Rock.

That was an interesting perspective. Now I want to shift into discussing your 2020 album, The BlackPrint. You did a great job, I’m so proud of you! This is one of your most prolific bodies of work and it showcases your lyrical abilities as well as your versatility. It also has a southern sound, which you said you don’t feel like you sound like the typical southern rapper—you still got that southern swag! It has that southern sound and feel that’s familiar. What was your end goal with The Blackprint?

To get it done! [laughing] Literally because it was a project that morphed from three different types of projects. There were so many different people that were supposed to be on it, so many different songs that were supposed to go this way, things that were supposed to happen. Eventually, it got to a point where I felt like—I just got in the zone where I was like this need to get done and if I’m one of the only people that needs to do it, it’s going to get done!

I’ve been recording that one since 2018 and there were songs written on that, that were probably from like 2015, so it was really just finally being able to get the specific sound that I wanted for these songs out. I don’t want to say that this was just a project that I threw out there to be thrown out there. Every piece finally started to fall in place. At a certain point, I looked at it and was like all the pieces were there, I just had to put them together in a puzzle.

Q.G. The BlacKnight, Directed by Cain The Shooter

That was divine timing. 2015 to now, like—the way that the project is sequenced and having experienced it a few times, I can tell that this took time. I picked up on a few themes and let me know if I just made this shit up [laughing]. I picked up on a few themes—the Black experience with the track “Property.” Relationships we have “Imagination” and self-discovery with songs like “Find Yourself.” These are just things that I picked up on, but I also felt like are relatable to others that’ll listen. Does this align with what you intended?

Yes, one hundred percent! When you said “Property,” it’s pretty much—from the whole part of the album you hear the influence of Willy Wonka in it where it’s the concept of America or the welcoming party and there’s a part where in the American dream he says you signed this contract so you don’t get anything. I watch movies as an adult and I’m like, bro that one line speaks to the Black experience so much and instead of being sad about it, I’m like no—give me what I’m owed! If I had to try and put reparations into a song that might be “Property” because being Black in America has been difficult for so long and you see so many other ethnic groups that have got some compensation for it or at least validation of yes, we did this and we acknowledge it and we’re sorry for it. But when you see it with Black people in America it’s just another throwaway thing. Oh, a Black person got shot today… that’s what happens. We just kind of have to live with that and I’m like no, we really don’t have to! I feel likes stepping out of the status quo and normalcy of being like alright let it ride and maybe eventually it’ll happen. Like no, we have to start holding people accountable for that. Even when I was saying give me my property back I’m like no, I need you to be accountable for the things that you’ve done—the things that you’ve said you were going to do. I’m going to hop off my soapbox for that one now. [laughing]

I’m glad you took that approach because I sensed that throughout the project. We’ve experienced these things and it’s like no, we’re tired of it. This is what I have to say and I’m standing ten toes down—this is what I have to say. Y’all are going to listen!

In terms of writing I always know that the one thing I can fall back on is to write about a personal experience from is being Black and know that someone somewhere has definitely had the same or similar experience. It’s felt maybe the same way, if not a more amplified the way I feel about it. That was the venting part of the piece. “Imagination”—that one… I’m not going to talk too much about that one because we’ll just say it’s inspired by true events. [laughing] But yeah, that was one of the pieces that morphed into being—that first part with the poem was actually just a poem by itself, and I’m like, okay we’ll just try that, then we’ll try some more stuff, and just try some more stuff until eventually that piece just came out to be perfect. I think everyone has had a very similar relationship experience. I told someone the other day, I know you’re heartbroken right now, but ain’t that kind of what we’ve all been through?

I always try and preach enough positivity in the world where I feel like hopefully I can endure another day. If I keep being negative, all I’m going to feel is negativity and if I fuel that negativity with other things—it’s a done deal.

And then the other one was—the way that you just tackled my question I was like what does he have to say about this song: “Find Yourself”.

That one is very introspective. I don’t think we realized that until after we wrote it. It’s really inspired by a lot of people that feel a certain way about life in general and I feel like that starts to affect the way that they want life to be. I always try and preach enough positivity in the world where I feel like hopefully I can endure another day. If I keep being negative, all I’m going to feel is negativity and if I fuel that negativity with other things—it’s a done deal. I always try to be like let’s try something new because maybe we’re doing the same thing over and over that’s not working. Do something different. Do something positive. I have certain people in my life that I’ve lost to the experience like this is what you want to be and this is where you want to stay, so I’m going to let you chill right there. I’m not judging you. I’m not saying that’s horrible. I’m not saying I’m holier than thou. I’m saying I’m going to leave you right there my guy and hopefully while I’m gone you find what you’re looking for. While you’re away you get what you need and hopefully in that time, we come back to that point where either we can be how we were on a different level or we just realize that that’s not where we need to be— guys and gals.

That’s a great message. You know, some people are okay with being complacent, but then you have individuals like yourself. Like, I have to try something new! Like hey, I’m not getting the same result, I have to make something shake.

And I think that people just think that if a person wants to do something different, then that means you have to shun away all the people that do the same thing and just be instantly negative towards them. I’m like no, that’s not it at all because you’ve got experiences with these people that may be based around a certain thing. So like drinking—you may just have experiences with people based around drinking and you yourself don’t drink anymore, but you’re not going to judge those people for doing that because you’ve had good times around drinking or before that.

Now I’m interested in knowing what your creative process is like. I guess in general, but also just for this project because you did say you began creating it in 2015 til now, so what was that like?

With certain songs I can usually piece verses together. I’d say with Dox I’ve gotten more to the point where I like to be in a creative mindset where we make something from scratch just because we have that opportunity now since this project is done, but during that original project it was more of me bringing nothing more than these thoughts in my head. I’m like, I kind of want it to sound like this, maybe change this, maybe change that, or being really meticulous about it; so God bless the man for dealing with me and my craziness. But pretty much like I said—getting those songs that have been in my head for years and sitting down sometimes at night, sometimes two hours at a time.

I remember one time we did two hours when I was in Little Rock and we did like five songs for a project. Just being in that mindset of like alright this is what we’re on. At a certain point I was like man, we really need to get my tape done. It was to a point where I stopped thinking I have to wait for this person because I want it to sound like this. I have to wait for this and that and this timing and everything and just finally get to a point where I’m like make the song that you want to be heard. Whether that be with your voice or somebody else’s or just don’t make it at all. Finally with that project, all the pieces fell in place once again and we spent the last two or three weeks listening to the project over and over. Everything was pretty much recorded, but we had to get the right sound for it. Really, it was just so long. That album has been recorded in at least—I can say this factually… that album has been recorded in at least every area code in Arkansas—at least twice. So, two songs in each area code in Arkansas.

You brought up how you had a period where you were just waiting on everybody else and you were like I have to go for it. I have to create these songs. For the individuals who did make the project—the features—how did that come about?

I gave DQ crap over this because originally when he dropped his tape a while ago I was like man, you only had you and Dox on the tape with you. How come nobody else got any features? And then I realized why that happened because it would literally only be him and Dox in the studio at that time just trying to get the tape done. So, at a certain point with mine the only people that were usually in the studio were me, Dox, and DQ at that immediate time. It worked out.

Now, speak to the production!

It’s been—that’s why I said I was at a point right now in my career I’ve wanted this since I was nineteen. I’ve got in-house production and engineering and it’s probably some of the most brilliant people that you would never even think of because it’s so iniquitous just watching them sit there and have a normal conversation and then when they get in their zone producing it’s just like—there, there, there! Watching Dox produce is a thing of beauty because I’ve heard him take something and I’m like bro, that don’t sound good at all—but he instantly flips it. But with my production that was mostly Dox and then I had Darius, Soulilloquy Vybez on a couple of tracks as well. Those three tracks are probably some of the most personal tracks, too because those are the tracks I really wanted to make when I couldn’t think of how to explain it musically and now I have people that actually understand musically if I hum it, say it, or tap it out—they know exactly what I want and they just make it a little bit better. My production is amazing. It’s going to stay amazing. I’m not leaving. [laughing]

Now, on to the samples. The snippets and speeches and how you arranged those—how did you come to choose those specific samples?

Just a lot from mostly my favorite movies. The first one is from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory where he’s welcoming all the kids to the factory and like I said just watching it that one time as an adult thinking like, man that one line where he says ‘you signed this contract so you get nothing, you lose and all that. Like man, just so many times in life I can imagine being told that—but on a nicer level. The last one before the outro on “October Nights,” that one was just because I think Pulp Fiction still, stylistically today is probably one of the best movies ever made and just the evolution of Samuel L. Jackson‘s character from the beginning to the end of that movie is like—you literally see someone who has gone from not caring about taking a man’s life to literally saying you know what, I’m going to spare you just because I feel like I need to get my life right because I could have died. That one line where he explains that ‘you all are the weak and I’m the tyranny of evil men, but I’m trying to be the shepherd’—I feel like that one was one where I was like you know what, I can be the one to lash out but I kind of feel like I need to be the shepherd. I need to be the person that guides people.

You don’t have to conform just to thinking like if someone thinks you’re this—so, be something else! Specifically for me, I think about when I was a kid and how I got picked on for liking anime and comic books and video games and all this stuff in the Black community because you know, that wasn’t really the big thing to do. You played sports and you did this other stuff because you think about it in your mindset, that’s how you’re going to get out of where you are. That’s going to find you a way somewhere different. Now when you look at it, kids are making thousands of dollars by playing video games and animation at this time is probably one of the biggest industries that’s surging. If you think about if we as a people decided to be like hey, let’s not shun people and be like we don’t do this because this ain’t Black or we don’t do this because this ain’t how we’re raised. If we just tried something different, think about how much more we could have influenced culture more than we already do. Because right now when you see an all Black anime it’s kind of like a taboo thing and I’m like no, we could have been doing that. It’s been Black anime fans forever! [laughing]

So yeah, it’s at a point now where I make music that I would want someone to either hear my experience or I make references to things like that because this is what I find funny or what I think is a little bit more personal or what may need to hit right there. I definitely know that me being the artist that I am right now—I couldn’t have been that artist ten or fifteen years ago. Even on an independent level, that would not have been popular at all.

So you needed that time for sure. It seem like you’ve come to appreciate that.

Oh yeah, definitely. I go back and listen to all my old stuff now and I’m like I just made that song because it sounded like something Wiz Khalifa would make. Or, I just made that song because it sounded like a Lil Wayne beat. Now, it’s like I made that song because I wanted it to sound like this, I wanted the chorus to be here, I wanted the verses—I get to put everything together and not be like alright, I’m trying to make a radio single.

There’s some thought. There’s like a piece of you actually going into it.

Yeah, I mean I don’t write down notes or anything but I can say yeah, I compose music. I’ll play some chords sometimes if I hear them and Dox or Darius can manipulate them. I’ll have that sound and I’ll know what we need to go where or the harmony and things like that, but just because I don’t write it down doesn’t mean that I don’t compose it.

I’m going to have to go back and listen to that project that’s on DatPiff so I can be like, let me know how he started for real, for real. So I can really appreciate this project even more. [laughing]

Oh, don’t! Do not. Oh my gosh! [laughing]

No, but like after listing to The Blackprint I just felt like I was at completion. It just felt like [sigh]—okay, what am I going to do for the rest of the day now? That was great! It just felt good, so kudos. The outro I feel may be overlooked, mainly due to people’s short attention spans, but me? I was like no, I’m about to listen to it through and through and I’m glad that I did because it just—it added that final touch. It was just so heart-tugging hearing from your parents. I just wanted to give you a hug. It was really beautiful. Did you contemplate adding that track on the end?

Yeah, I mean there was the idea of just originally doing audio samples and have them play like normal. The outro is actually one of the tracks that I got to play a little bit of the instruments on, but I just find that one holistically as this “blackprint” of me as an artist and it’s like art. In the beginning you hear my son, you hear his heartbeat, and you kind of hear his first cries, and then you hear my mom and my dad. I have a really great relationship with my mom. With my dad, we didn’t have one as much, but I feel like that voicemail is one of the ones where our relationship starts to take a turn for the better and I’ve always saved that voicemail because even though sometimes I may be mad at my dad for whatever reason, he still really wants to be in my life, even though I may not feel that way sometimes. He wants to and he shows that he wants to and anybody that knows the relationship I have with my dad would know that, that part is like yeah—we just talk now. Not that anything is wrong, but we can actually just talk now.

You even saying all of this makes it even more impactful because you said at the beginning of the project it was your son when he was a baby—it’s like new life. And then towards the end you’re like this grown version, which could also tie to your son. You’ve evolved from the beginning of the project to the end and it’s kind of like going back to your parents, which is where you began.

That’s my blackprint!

It’s so beautiful. Very good job with that. I was just like did he intend for this to be like that or is this just how I perceived it, but you put some thought into it.

Specifically, what you said I feel like a lot of people may not listen to the outro just because it doesn’t have the content that you listen for in other songs, but there are certain songs on your projects that you have that are just for you and I feel like I gave a lot of that project for people and for me as well. But, the outro is my song!

I’ve figured out that my goal isn’t trying to be the biggest cat in the room. I’m just trying to be one of the most well known.

What was your biggest takeaway from this experience, creating this project?

Trying to figure out how to maneuver my way as being an artist in the way that I want to be. In terms of independent music, I think these days we’re blessed as independent artists to have so many different avenues to try and get things out to people via streaming, social media, everything like that. Like I said, I’ve technically been doing this for like fifteen years now and I remember when it was so hard to get someone to listen to your actual CD, like when you had to give people physical media. Now, I can make a song tonight and have it on the internet two days from now and have potentially a million people view it.

I think learning that whatever you want your goal to be, stick steadfast to that goal. I’ve figured out that my goal isn’t trying to be the biggest cat in the room. I’m just trying to be one of the most well known. It’s a quote on Godfather where he says, ‘I don’t have to wipe out everyone, just my enemies, that’s all’—it’s at this point right now where I’m trying to be me this is me and I’m not breaking, I’m not compromising my sound—my vision of how I want something to be for anything now because I don’t have to. There are plenty of people now that have made it without the support of a major record label and I’m not trying to blackball myself, I’m just saying that there are other ways to get your vision out and other ways to breed success if you want it and right now I think I’ve found the best way to do it, in my eyes, but everything changes.

How can we stay connected with you?

You can follow me on social media. I’m on Instagram and Twitter. You can follow me on YouTube as well. I have a video out and we’re going to be putting out a lot more content with my group DaArk.

LISTEN: Album, “The Blackprint”

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