“If I have a song in mind already, then I look for that type of track/beat. If I don’t have a particular beat in mind, I listen to tracks from producers and if something catches my ear then I let the track dictate the song.”
Check out the interview with Mr. Craig exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Mr. Craig: It all started back home in Queens, New York. I started writing poems and from there I wanted to do more, I wanted my stories to be heard. Mr. Tuck and G-hop took me under their wing. They had a studio at 510 South Franklin in Long Island were Public Enemy and Leaders Of The New School used to record.
Music is a passion of mine and its self-expression. It’s my outlet to surviving the stress that we all go through in life. I started my own label and I have my own publishing company. The rest is history.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
I utilize every possible platform to promote my projects. Of course, social media. I try to think outside the box. I have a few promo giveaways on my next project. Might be a T-shirt or hat, something of that nature.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
My greatest challenge would be having to do everything on my own and trying to lockdown good shows. Once my personal finances increase then I can outsource other things needed for my projects. Having to increase my following is how I can lockdown better shows.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
New York, the mecca of hip hop. The music is somewhat different now, but it’s still people just trying to survive. People still trying to get heard. I like when artists keep it real. I don’t like it when they are claiming to be someone they are not.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
Music will be around forever and it continues to grow. Staying connected on social media nowadays seems the way to say in tune with everything and everyone.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Learn the business. Learn about your publishing, ASCAP, BMI, Sound Exchange. Learn about encoding your music with BDS/Media. Networking and staying humble.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Me. Life. Life inspires me and it doesn’t have to be something that I’m going through.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
It depends on what I’m writing about. If I have a song in mind already, then I look for that type of track/beat. If I don’t have a particular beat in mind, I listen to tracks from producers and if something catches my ear then I let the track dictate the song. I will play the track while driving and that’s where I get a lot of thinking time in and the direction I want the song to go into.
What do you think makes a great song?
A song that has meaning. I love a powerful song. Lyrics, beat, a great hook to compliment the song. Songs that have energy that can really uplift you and others. At the end of the day I want a song to have some kind of effect on someone’s life. And longevity.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
MTV: @ strict-ly-shadow
Twitter: @ mrcraigta
Instagram: @ mrcraigta
Facebook: @ Mr-Craig