“If you’re doing this as a hobby, or to be cool, or you got money to burn, or because you hear all the trash that is getting love and think you could pull it off as well … just quit.”
Check out the interview with Man-u-iLL exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Man-u-iLL: I’m just a Puerto Rican kid from Connecticut who fell in love with music at a young age. That love generated into a talent that I have been perfecting ever since. I often wish I was raised in a family of musicians or something, but truth is my mother’s salsa music blaring in the morning is the most memorable memory I have of music being something prominent in my household. Other than that it was the streets that fed me the music I ended up wanting to be a part of.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
The dilemma I find myself in is how do I get my music to the masses? I’m consistent in making it and it being dope, but how do I attract more listeners? I have 2 answers: you either have a nice budget to play with (which I don’t) or you have some real connections within the industry (which I don’t). What I do have is a hunger and a superior skill behind that mic.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Ultimately I would like to be placed among the elite. I think I have the potential for it, but the hard truth is I’m not getting any younger though, I am getting better. I just had a baby, just proposed to my girlfriend of 8 years, so honestly I would be happy earning a good living doing what I love to do.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The hardest part is trying to get into the actual business. The glimpses I’ve had lead me to believe the majority of the industry is smoke and mirrors. I’m not fond of the fake-ness, so sometimes I wonder if I really want to be a part of it all. Music is a beautiful thing, but the business not so much. I think I’m willing to put up with it to secure the future.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
My city is dead right now. At a point it was vibrant and a lot of new artists were popping up, there were showcases and things of that nature; now it seems everybody lost their fire. Plenty just get tired of trying to stand out in a game that is so oversaturated and the passion they had wasn’t strong enough to outlast the discouragement.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Consistency. If you’re doing this as a hobby, or to be cool, or you got money to burn, or because you hear all the trash that is getting love and think you could pull it off as well … just quit. Make room for real spitters, for real emcees who have something to say.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
I’d have to say being the original artist to set off the series Behind the Unsigned which made it to Fuse.TV and ran for 2 seasons. I actually worked with them on another documentary style web series called Sessions which made it to BET.com.
What is your inspiration?
Life and my brand new baby girl.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
Anyone can make music, the good, bad, the ugly, but not everyone can be successful at it.