“I had to learn to market myself to different cities and countries in order to get to where I wanted to go.”

Check out the interview with King Draper exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.­­­­

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
King Draper:
This musical venture started in the 7th grade when I started composing parts of other artists’ verses and making my own verses. I didn’t write my own music from scratch until I was in the 10th grade I believe, although at the time, I didn’t fully understand terms like “bars” and “16 (16-bar verse).” Once I got a hold of these concepts, I basically took off.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
One good piece of advice I recently learned is not to give up or get discouraged because you’re not getting where you want to be when you want to. Another good piece of advice is be willing to learn and research how to better yourself as not only an artist but as a business person.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Knowing exactly how and where to market yourself. I don’t have a team, label I’m a part of, or manager; I’m doing this all on my own as an independent artist. For years I thought the most important thing as an artist was gaining local buzz. I had to learn to market myself to different cities and countries in order to get to where I wanted to go.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
One thing is remain “you” and remain humble. Most fans could care less that you make music but are more interested in who you are as a person. Continue to thank people for liking and sharing your music because when you’re up and coming, it’s easy for people to forget about you.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I’m from Birmingham, AL and to be honest I don’t have a huge following in my city. As for the artists, there are a lot of undiscovered gems in the city like my best friend Edward “Poet” Austin, Six $ense, KR Beats (producer), Judah Morrison, and Cutt Dogg. These are a few I feel don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I posted this on my Facebook page not too long ago, but I see myself being able to quit my job and live off of my music. I truly believe that can happen if I build off my recent success. I also would like to perform and network in different states.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Anybody in contact with me knows Tupac is my all-time favorite and biggest inspiration. His music is the reason I turned from gangster rap to life rap. I loved Pac’s personal and conscious sides way more than his party sides. As for current inspirations, I’ll steer from the obvious ones and say Freddie Gibbs, Cyhi Tha Prince, Ransom, and many battle rappers.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I can honestly say I do from my perspective because I don’t listen to trap. I have less to complain about. There are trap rappers, songs, and projects I like but for the most part I’m into the Kendricks, J. Coles, and Devin The Dudes of the world.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official website: www.draperhiphop.com
Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/draperhiphop
Facebook: www.facebook.com/draperhiphop
Instagram: @kingdraper