“Life’s going to throw all sorts of challenges your way and it’s up to you what you decide to do with them. You can either allow them to make you stronger or allow them to break you. Simple as that.”
Check out the interview with Hohepa exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Hohepa: I guess this all started in my room back in New Zealand where my mum used to bring home this laptop from her work on the weekends when nobody was working. I was about 14 at the time and I would take this laptop and just rap into the laptop over free instrumentals on YouTube. I’d save the file and put it on my mp3 player and show all my friends at school and play it through my backpack walking around at lunch time.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
I love that quote by Rocky Balboa, “It ain’t about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” Life’s going to throw all sorts of challenges your way and it’s up to you what you decide to do with them. You can either allow them to make you stronger or allow them to break you. Simple as that.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Learning to trust the process. It can be hard when you have that inner critic going 100mph telling you all the things you’re doing wrong, it’s tiring.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Social media, everyone’s on their computer 24/hrs a day 7 days a week, I don’t think 99% of the population that uses social media understands how powerful it is; it can change your life within a matter of minutes.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
New Zealand has some serious good artists, not just in hip hop but across all genres. A lot of artists where I’m from don’t get the recognition they deserve simply because people don’t even know we have a music scene. When I tell people in LA I’m a rapper from New Zealand they tell me they didn’t even know we had hip hop. The fans are very supportive.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I see myself a lot more present on social media, almost like a bug you can’t get rid of, and who’s always popping up and everybody’s talking about him and you hear about him for so long you begin to fall in love with the guy. No, but a lot more presence on social media, music videos, shows, etc. I really want to invite more people on the journey.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspirations as a kid were definitely Michael Jackson and Eminem. I listened to a lot of punk too like My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Greenday. My biggest inspiration at the moment and who’s probably inspired me the most musically and life wise would be Machine Gun Kelly. I connect with his music.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I love it. I think we’re pushing a lot of boundaries which is opening the gate for all sorts of mixed genres and artists to come through and create something awesome. I will say that of course the content’s very synthetic and shallow but what’s new.