“You’re only as great as the people you surround yourself with, so finding dedicated and self-motivating people to network and grow with can sometimes be challenging. Being a one-man band isn’t always as glamorous as it looks.”

Check out the interview with Cisalo exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

SKILLY: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
CISALO: It really began back in 96-97. I was about 6 years old then. My pops had all my siblings and I playing in a band. I naturally gravitated to the drums. It kind of just went from there. By 10, I was recording my brothers and I using an old-school tape deck. My first beats were made on a Korg Triton when I was 12. Eventually, I wanted to record the songs I was writing so my pops set me up with cool edit pro. I’ve been rolling since.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Stay consistent, humble, and never wait on anything from anyone. I’ve done this plenty of times and the only thing that got accomplished was premium time being wasted. If you are the only one in your circle making the sacrifices, putting up the money, waking up early, going to bed late, my best advice would be to ditch the “circle” and become a square.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
You’re only as great as the people you surround yourself with, so finding dedicated and self- motivating people to network and grow with can sometimes be challenging. Being a one-man band isn’t always as glamorous as it looks. Having a team to delegate roles would be idealistic, however, wearing many hats will only make you better as an artist, CEO, and overall person.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
(Laughs) I still don’t know this answer! Social media and its perception change like the seasons. So much that companies spend millions on people who can “predict” analytics. I say just make your music and videos readily available on every major site. Especially the visuals, people have the attention span of a fly so a nice video will definitely help you.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Where I’m currently residing (Woodbridge, VA) there are but a few artists that make me do a double look. One is my brother G-elite (Follow at general_elit6). The other is Creola Deville, hope I spelled her name right. I say those two because the first has a way of being very truthful on his records while not incriminating himself or anyone else. The latter because of sheer originality. She doesn’t even know I’m a fan, (Hell, I didn’t until about 4 days ago). You don’t really see a lot of female rappers that are not caught up in trying to sell ass. As for the fans here? They will support you, but, only after seeing someone one else do it first.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Filming and producing for Cisalo Productions and MMR, respectively. Owing a home down south and making a living from what I love doing.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Definitely Andre 3000, MJ, Prince and Mystikal. Believe it or not, another big inspiration is my Creator Yahweh. Sitting back looking at all the intelligent design just evokes creativity in me! Who do I look up to in today’s world? Sadly, no one. The world is a very evil and demented place once it’s shiny veneer wears off.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
Wish there more originality. There is with some artist though. Most of the music only helps keep an already distraught society down in the dump vs. building one up. I make music that my kids will be proud of when they are older and understand the hidden gems I placed in a lot of my art.

Thanks! Where can we contact you and find you online?
You can find me directly here: https://www.facebook.com/CisaloTheMistro and https://www.facebook.com/cisalo.harris
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mmrlabel/
Thanks for having me, shout out to my cousin Jessica in ATL, we gonna have the city lit when I touch! Bless!