“In order to be successful you must have connections with your audience so it must speak to them on a personal level. If they don’t see themselves in you, they probably won’t listen for long.”

Check out the interview with Blas the MC exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Blas the MC: My history in music doesn’t begin with me but with my great grandparents, Walter and Ida Mae Fuller who were my first inspirations to pursue music as a career. They relocated to San Diego and were involved in the jazz scene so much that they were recognized years after until their passing. The accolades and recognition was minimal but, the lives they touched through their music was evident at the end of their lives. I want to have that same impact not just in music but in my life’s purpose. I feel like having that history makes me responsible to carry on that legacy and pass it on to the next generation.

What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
In my experience the best way to promote yourself as an artist is making yourself and your art visible to as many people as possible. That can be in the form of doing tours and shows in different places where your fan base is smaller and has potential for growth. The use of social media makes it easier for those shows to be broadcast over a larger area, but it is always more of a personal experience when you get to be face to face with your audience. Nowadays they have pop up venues in high traffic areas that offer the artists insight to local taste and trends. We plan to use those venues in the near future.

What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Ultimately I want to be known as a writer and a teacher. This music is my passion. I am not expecting to make it my only job/career. There are other ventures I want to make a reality and the success from the music will enable those projects to come to fruition. The music is more of a way to communicate with my audience and put light on issues that wouldn’t be addressed by an emcee such as poverty, homelessness, and hunger. We want to eventually have books, a plot of land developed, and farms that can provide just that.

What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
Being yourself and not compromising your ideals and values. Sometimes people make you temporarily suspend your ideals in order to have a certain amount of success or gain a deal that gives them access to new markets. Most of the time though the artist rarely makes it back to where they began and eventually lose their credibility because of their lack of integrity. I am glad I stuck to my guns instead of compromising my art, regardless of the things I have turned down as a result.

What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
The whole SoCal music scene is diverse. For the underground hip hop movement in LA to the jazz sounds of San Diego, there is an eclectic naturally original sound coming out of California that is being recognized by many as trendsetting. There are artists here who ghostwrite for top acts and are still able to maintain a local fan base by doing small shows in clubs and spots like Good Life Cafe and Little Tokyo where talent is being discovered daily. I love the art and creative scene here. You can literally feel it in the air.

What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Patience, humility, and flexibility are your best friends. Don’t ever be in a rush to create or put out something half done. Consistency in perfecting your craft takes time and you must be realistic about your goals and why you are doing this in the first place. I had to realize I wasn’t ready when I was in my 20’s to make timeless music because my priorities were not aligned to receive that come up yet. I speak from experience: great things come to those who wait.

What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
My wife and my three sons Isaiah, Elijah, and Israel, hands down. They gave me something to live for and work towards more as motivation and not necessity. Even though I want to give them the world, I want to also give them the experiences that make life worth living. Having them to come home to makes me want to put on my best performance and creativity on wax/video/etc.

What is your inspiration?
My inspiration is my family and fulfilling my purpose while I’m here. Getting up every morning allows me another chance to work towards that goal and that is itself a form of inspiration. I am also inspired by jazz, classical, and worldly music that speaks to the human condition. Moving people to action through words is inspiring itself.

Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Not just anyone because you have to have a certain level of authenticity to what you’re doing. The cookie cutter pop acts aren’t making it, they are not putting out meaningful music and originality lacks in the arena of songwriting because most artist rarely write their own songs. In order to be successful you must have connections with your audience so it must speak to them on a personal level. If they don’t see themselves in you, they probably won’t listen for long.

Where can we find you on social media?
Official Website: www.reverbnation.com/blas1
Facebook: @Benevolentlifeamongsin
Soundcloud: @blas-the-mc

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