“The toughest part of the business of music is focus. What I mean by that is you have to stay level headed and aware to make the right choices and deal with the right people.”
Check out the interview with Mr. A. E. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Mr. A. E.: My interest in music began when I was nine years old. My older brother Clyde and a family friend, Andrell Mcgee, had an idea of putting a Roland 307 groove box in my lap and we ran with it. I only intended in being a producer until we went to a studio in West Memphis, AR to meet with Tim O’gwin in a garage. That’s the day I wrote my first verse by force because they played a beat I made. From that day forward it grew from a seed.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
The best advice I can give any artist on promoting themselves is to trust in their talent and to not be afraid of networking by traveling and meeting new people. A lot of people have the idea that a career is established overnight and will come to them when it’s not that simple.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
My goal in my career isn’t to be known as a rap artist but a public figure. I want to be able to influence a generation in a different way then what’s seen today. Even being younger I like to think I have a demeanor that can be positive and less about what rappers nowadays show with “lil” in front of their names excluding Lil Wayne.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
The toughest part of the business of music is focus. What I mean by that is you have to stay level headed and aware to make the right choices and deal with the right people. You have to focus on not being distracted by anything that can cause bumps or detours on a path you’re trying to create for yourself.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
The city of West Memphis is loaded with talent. This is the home of Grenade Posse, Manson Family, and The Robinson Boys. I remember opening for Kia Shyne on South 8th Street at Club Unity. There was nothing like it. The stage was lit, the crowd was jumping, and the atmosphere was wild.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
The best advice I can give to upcoming artists is to find a demographic and stick to it. Be yourself but be comfortable. Make sure to keep things steady and always have your own ball rolling. And last, have fun. Don’t make it a job, make it a hobby so that it’s always interesting and keeps moving.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
The best thing that happened to me in my career was seeing the reaction received when you travel out of town and someone yells your name in public, or to hear someone whispering about you too loud and you still hear it. It doesn’t happen as often as I like yet, but when it does it motivates me to do more.
What is your inspiration?
I catch inspiration from anything but mostly it comes from my past struggles, having to get it on my own and grind. I literally had to get everything I got out the mud, no handouts or nothing, just straight raw. You have artists that are fictional characters and that’s something I refuse to be looked at as. What you see is what you get.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
I think this business isn’t fit for everyone or at least shouldn’t be. You have a lot that comes with this business now that reminds me of the hustle. Loyalty comes into play as well as knowing who to trust. Having an open door for any and everybody that can mumble to a beat is worse than giving shoes to a man without feet.