“The future of music is anyone’s guess. What I can say is that I hope that I can impact music and assist it in becoming more uplifting. Less of a party and more of a means to build character and teach those after you how to better themselves and their situations.”
Check out the interview with S.M.O.O.T.H. exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
S.M.O.O.T.H.: I must attest my journey to God first and foremost. I believe we are all granted a purpose in this life and he saw fit that I take this approach and build my character throughout music.
My journey in entertainment started way before I was introduced to hip hop though. I began entertaining in San Diego where I was born. It began with school plays and later moved onto singing in church choirs and singing groups. I was also involved in plays for the older age group at my church.
My parents were the ones to introduce me to the music that has influenced my style. They would never play rap when I was growing up so I would listen to gospel, smooth jazz, old tunes like Earth, Wind and Fire and Luther Vandross and oldies but goodies from the 60’s and 70’s. My brothers helped me by introducing me to hip hop and to the artist that is S.M.O.O.T.H.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Some of the creative ways I use to promote my music would be things such as giving my projects to my church family. I worship with a nice sized congregation and there are many opportunities to gain new fans when there are new people around.
I also give my music out at my job. I work with youth from the community and neighboring communities and they have families that they go back to. So I make sure to promote my music to them so that they go and tell others. And my hope is that those people go and tell many others.
Lastly, going to schools and passing out music. Kids are tremendously impacted by music and they enjoy listening to new music so making sure to get my product to them is a must. Also, social media is a monster. That’s how I was introduced to Skilly Magazine.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
The greatest challenge I find is not getting caught in what’s “hot” right now. It becomes easy to duplicate a style of music once it’s flooded through radio and internet. You are able to see firsthand that the current craze is making a difference for someone and you want to taste that same victory. But who’s to say that your unique style is the next big break out act.
And with that being said I overcome this by always telling myself that I am great as I am, not as they are. Not that others aren’t great, but I as an individual, separate from anyone else, I will be one of the greatest to do this.
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
The music scene in my town is not starving for new talent. Everyone raps. A lot of guys produce. That doesn’t mean great talent isn’t among us, but there’s a lot of people I feel are just trying to fit that mold I spoke of earlier. You will find talent out here though.
What I enjoy about my hometown’s music scene is that it is thriving. Events are usually going up in a big way when they do happen out here. The Ventura Theater is a beacon for a great night out. And you can meet some really down to earth people. Those that have a passion and an understanding about what you’re doing.
Since there is so many artists in the music scene out here you will run into artists who think they’ve got to be Ice Cube or Lil Rob. Music is about life, I understand that. But you’re life isn’t always fighting, smoking, partying, or taking some dude’s girl. Sometimes you kick it, sometimes you just take a drive down the coast. Sometimes you just go chill at the park. People need music for those moments.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
The future of music is anyone’s guess. What I can say is that I hope that I can impact music and assist it in becoming more uplifting. Less of a party and more of a means to build character and teach those after you how to better themselves and their situations.
Artists can be a part of this by simply understanding what music is made for. What music can do for people and caring enough about your fellow man to understand that they look up to you and what you do.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Be yourself. Be goofy. We have too many artists who feel that it’s all about your image and being stone faced or being a “real one.” Have a good time and show people who you are 100%. Work on every aspect of your craft. We can always strive for better and achieve goals, but work must be consistent.
What inspires you to write your next song?
At any given moment inspiration can find its way to me. If I am sitting down and say John Legend is playing, I may sing my own melodies to the beat and come up with a concept from whatever I’ve sang about. If I’m talking with my niece or nephew and they say something funny and I repeat it over and over in a specific cadence and it sounds cool to me, I’ll write it. Or if I receive a beat from someone I may just go off of what the beat is called. Sometimes that works, other times, not so much.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
My process varies depending on the situation. But the process that I enjoy the most is freestyling to a beat for a while. If within that time I say something that I like over this beat, I may use that as the focus of my song.
Or I will freestyle to get myself into a creative space and write a few verses and see what works. I have to thank my brother Thrillz for this one because we spent many nights just flowing, over and over again.
What do you think makes a great song?
A great song is made first off by having a great presence on the song. If you can’t convince the listener to meet you where you’re at, they won’t take the time to listen. You must again be real and be you so that you show the confidence behind your words.
Your music must catch the listener’s ears and get an understanding of what sounds good and what doesn’t is key. The best way I’ve found you can gain an understanding of this is trial and error. If it’s good, press on. If the response is negative, either change your approach or cut it out completely.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?
Google+: @Dwayne Bozeman
LinkedIn: @Dwayne Bozeman