“In Rome the hip hop scene is very much alive. Even though the majority of young artists will rap in Italian, a lot of kids going to international schools (like myself) will try breaking into the game with English – a nearly impossible task.”
Check out the interview with Detoxx exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Detoxx: It began when I was 11 years old in Dublin. I was walking through a shopping mall with my mother and cousins when I passed by a CD store. I remember seeing Eminem’s Encore album with had the monster hit “Just Lose It” that had been tearing up the charts at the time. My mother bought me that album and ever since then I listened, learned, and tried writing my first lyrics. At 15 I had formed a group with fellow classmates Sick N Tone which eventually turned into Diamond High. Unfortunately the possibility for international rap to explode in a very provincial setting such as Italy was resulting to be a very difficult task.
However, in 2013 I was approached by a Turin based record label known as Trumen Records and that same year my debut EP Decoded was released getting a good degree of success on the Italian Hip Hop scene. After two years in the label and little results in the international field, both parties mutually decided to close down their contract. I immediately got myself going and in October 2015 released Hood Ratz EP which was my first work as an independent artist.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Be present on social media. I noticed how important it was to give constant updates regarding your progress, your music, and even personal life. It allows your fans to personally connect with you. Another thing I would say is try contacting as many magazines, media pages, individuals, etc. that you think can get you promotion. And even if 100 of them don’t work, 1 of them is bound to reply.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Who’s to say? I just want to keep doing music that I like and keep expressing things that I think are important to put out there.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
Signing on to a label. When I first started it seemed like a dream come true, but a true label knows how to work your talent and mold it into something truly great. A lot of labels out there look for individuals with talent and place them in a style that labels think they will be able to make more money.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
In Rome the hip hop scene is very much alive. Even though the majority of young artists will rap in Italian, a lot of kids going to international schools (like myself) will try breaking into the game with English – a nearly impossible task. Rome is an easy going city, lots of places to see. Even though the situation in Rome as a whole is unstable, I still love my city and try representing it on the international hip hop scene.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Keep believing in yourself. Prepare yourself for failure and come out a better artist on top. A real man is one who can be beat down but will always find a way to evolve. Most important of all be flexible, considering the hip hop scene has a habit of changing styles every two-three years.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
Releasing my first independent project. It was something I always wanted to do. I worked a lot on the project trying to find the write style, lyrics, and sonorities. For me it’s my best work yet.
What is your inspiration?
My family, my girlfriend, and my friends. Making good music that people don’t necessarily like, but will be forced to appreciate the message. I try making music that is true for me, I am not trying to bend anyone’s opinion. If you want to listen that’s great, if not turn off the station.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
To be recognized nowadays is getting more difficult. You really have to see who is going to take your talent and turn it into something great without using you. I do believe it’s possible, but in a genre with a lot of competition such as hip hop it gets harder every year.