“This indie wave is really good for that, creative control for the artist is the best thing for authentic music. The next step is for an indie label (Hopefully PeaceLife) to grind it out until it becomes major. When that starts happening, then that’s when we see stuff like the Motown Powerhouse.”

The artist Yump Daniels formerly known as Mann visits us at Skilly to discuss his new projects after his separation from Def Jam a few years back. We talk about the current state of independent hip-hop music and what he has been doing outside of music. We also spoke about his situation with his former label and what he has in store for 2016.

Check out the exclusive interview with Yump Daniels only on Skilly Magazine.

SKILLY: Thanks for being here, can you give us an update of what you have been doing this year, and what’s expected for the next?
YD: Thanks for having me. I am currently in Tahiti doing some shows for my most recent release Feel Triiip, simultaneously making music for my next project Curse Of Cain as well as LanaaMak’s debut EP. This year has been me focusing on being a real music producer as well as stepping up my independent game.

Are there any plans to sign with another major label or distributor?
Well right now we have a distribution deal with Empire Distributions. It’s cool because they get our music on all digital streaming platforms and that makes it easier for our fans to listen to new music. No plans for any majors in the near future.

Now that hip hop has made a turn into what it is now, what do you think needs to happen for it to be authentic again?
YD: Well I think the power has to be in the artist hands again. This indie wave is really good for that, creative control for the artist is the best thing for authentic music. The next step is for an indie label (Hopefully PeaceLife) to grind it out until it becomes major. When that starts happening, then that’s when we see stuff like the Motown Powerhouse.

Are you originally from the west coast? Where are you residing now?
YD: Born and raised in Los Angeles; I stay in South Central with the homies now. We all have a house that we create and live at, sort of like a compound.

When you had your first few albums with Def Jam, what was that experience like? Did you enjoy it?
YD: I had one album that dropped overseas only with Island Def Jam and it was bitter sweet. I enjoyed having an album but it wasn’t the album I wanted to create, and it didn’t drop where I lived. It wasn’t how I saw my first album.

What are some things independent artists can do themselves to generate more income in 2016?
YD: I’m not that sure to keep it honest. Income for independent artists is the only real draw back because it all depends on your hustle. See I took this year to get in the studio and get my skills up, and a lot of people don’t have that luxury. I think it’s all in your hustle. I’ve learned to shoot and edit videos, make beats, and audio engineer; all of these things, which in turn saves money.

When signed with a major label, where does most of the artists money come from? Is it from shows, or another source?
YD: Most of my money came from major features and my advance honestly. Shows did keep me a float and probably over time, it added up to be more. But the most money I’ve received at once came from the label and major features I’ve done.

What are some of greatest memories in your career?
YD: My greatest memory by far was performing in London at the Wembley Stadium in front of 70,000 people. It was the peak of “Buzzin” over seas and that was when I felt like a real super star. That was the biggest show of my life.

Yump, why did you change your name from Mann?
YD: Yump has always been my coined adlib in my music. I remember being in high school and everybody substituting “Yup” wit “Yump” and Jeezy was saying “Yeaahhh” in all his songs so I started saying “Yump” to rep the west coast. Daniels came from my homies from the Bay Area. They started calling me Yump Daniels and it stuck. Mann is and has always been hard to search for online.Why did you change your style and image over these last few years?

YD: Well honestly this is just me being true to myself. When I was signed to Def Jam they were trying to create an image for me that wasn’t really who I was. As soon as I got out of the deal I began putting the pieces back together, and Yump Daniels is him. I think the great experiences with def jam also did help mold me and help me be more of a well rounded artist, but this is more me than I ever was with the label.

Are you still working with any artists you worked with from Def Jam?
YD: Not really, I have really just been keeping everything close to home. Mostly homies and true friends from the industry.

Where can we reach you now? Can you update us with your social media so we can follow?

YD: My IG is Yump_Daniels, my SnapChat is Yumpxdaniels, Twitter is still Mann. I am not that big on social media, but I do participate.

Thanks for your time Yump! So what else are you into besides music? What are some off work hobbies you have?

YD: I am interested in one day becoming a Shaman. I explore a lot of psychedelics and want to better understand them and break the negative stigma they have behind them. Besides that I love movies and hanging with my puppy, Gohan. Thank you Skilly!

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