“When somebody brings up hip hop in Texas the first thing that comes to mind is Houston like DJ Screw or Pimp C. That’s all great music, but what we’re trying to do now is show the world that hip hop in Texas is more than just Houston.”

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

Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
A.V.: My mom has supported me through everything I do, so when I was about 15 years of age I showed her the music I wrote and she loved it. As time went on we went searching for recording studios near my hometown in Dallas, TX. We found Septien ENT Group and I ran into local up and coming artist Britney Holmes. Long story-short, we built a good connection. Although we no longer keep in contact, she is the one who I learned a lot from. I take my hat off to her because ever since she taught me the basics, I carry that with me everywhere I go.

What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
An obvious idea that all artists should use is social media. I use YouTube, Soundcloud, Twitter, and I really should stay consistent on all but the ones I use the most is YouTube and Instagram. Another idea that I use is ordering about 500 CD copies of my best music and putting at least 300 copies in the back of my trunk and giving them out to anybody I run into with the help of friends as well.

What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
I would have to say getting your music heard and building connections with people. The reason why is because you can be a dope artist, but if you’re not looking at the business side of it then you won’t get your stuff heard at all. I overcome these obstacles by learning how to get paid for it and learning the skills before making any major moves.

How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Down here in Dallas everyone listens to all kinds of music. What I like about Dallas is that it’s a perfect place for an artist to be. What I don’t like about it is that hip hop in Dallas is slept on and not taken seriously. When somebody brings up hip hop in Texas the first thing that comes to mind is Houston like DJ Screw or Pimp C. That’s all great music, but what we’re trying to do now is show the world that hip hop in Texas is more than just Houston.

Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
I just got back from a performance I did in New York, the music scene there is way different than here in Dallas. I realized that artists in New York still make good money by selling their music out on the streets like they did back in the day. My point is that nowadays most artists aren’t trying to get signed to the major record labels anymore, a lot of artists are trying to make it big on their own now. Everyone is trying to do their own thing.

What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
My advice to upcoming artists and musicians that really want to make this happen is that it’s hard but it’s not impossible. You have to be determined, you got to be dedicated, and confident. Surround yourself with people trying to reach success as well. Build connections with other artists and get to know them. You’ll get to learn new things from each other.

What inspires you to write your next song?
One of the ways I get inspired to write is by waking up one morning and seeing what my vibe is. wither I want to talk about this party I went to last night, something I witnessed with my own eyes, or something I’m struggling with and feel like I need to get it off my chest.

What are the steps you take to make a song?
I would say visualizing the whole picture in my mind first. Then I write a list of all these ideas that I would like to use for the song and just put all the pieces together. I try to fit all these ideas in like a puzzle. Once I see that I’m done with it I go over the whole thing to make sure everything I wrote sounds good. If not I’ll correct it till it sounds great.

What do you think makes a great song?
I would have to say being able to touch somebody in a way that they can relate to in whatever situation it is. It’s always good to have a beat or an instrumental, but what I think makes a good song is the message you have to say. In my opinion your lyrics are what makes a song great.

Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
YouTube: Arnold Vargas
Soundcloud: av-music97
Twitter: @avmusic1
Instagram: @arnold1vargas
Email: arnold.vargas97@yahoo.com