“Do try and fit in and be trendy, tell your own story and be proud of yourself. The more and more you are yourself, one day people will pay you to be just that.”

Check out the interview with A.Wood exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
It all started back in high school around the age of 14-15. I used to go to sleep playing Notorious B.I.G.’s Ready to Die and Life After Death on my radio. Then my brother put me on to Nas, Jay-Z, Big L, Big Pun, and X; I fell in love. I started writing raps and spitting them at the lunch table. I didn’t take rap seriously until I got older around 24.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Speak from within. Give your soul when you write and recite. Do try and fit in and be trendy, tell your own story and be proud of yourself. The more and more you are yourself, one day people will pay you to be just that. Also place yourself around people that allow you to create and be yourself. Also if you’re going to spend money spend it on promotion.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
The hardest challenges are making sure you networking with the right people. In this game you have to network and get out there to get your voice heard. Also getting people to see your vision the way you do. Everyone doesn’t deserve your time because some people don’t want the same things as you or have different agendas.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
The best way to promote your music is to stay genuine and stay consistent. Stay working and in your audiences eye. Let people see you are working and they will take you serious. Give your music away for free in exchange for emails and info. Genuinely stay in contact with your fans and care, don’t just shove music down their throats.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
My city is rough. We are always 7-10 years behind. It’s so small you have to take yourself and your art seriously, you have to stay consistent and busy. One wrong thing can ruin you here. My experience with fans is different because my music is different. I love my fans and they genuinely show they love and support me back.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from now I see myself as not just a major figure in my city but in the industry. I see myself touring and collaborating with other major artists like Chance the Rapper, J. Cole, and Bryson tiller. I see myself established independently and well known as a positive artist.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My inspirations in music are endless. I look up to independent artists like Nooney Hussle and Chance the Rapper. Lyrical geniuses like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. Beautiful voices like Beyoncé. All those artists inspire me. Erykah Badu, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, and Prince changed my life forever with how I hear and love music .

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
There is some I like and some I don’t. I respect everyone’s art and expression.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Twitter: @Awood822
Instagram: @Awood822
Snapchat: @Awood822