“Also as far as investing in yourself, make your brand look good, sound good, and remember quality is everything.”
Check out the interview with 18 Letters exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
18 Letters: I’ve always been interested in music since a child. I was one those kids who had to have every new mixtape out. I guess this would be the start of me beginning my entertainment journey because this led to me deejaying. Deejaying led to hosting one of my close friend’s mixtapes which led to rapping on a few tracks on his project. That’s the beginning of J Ford (my old artist name) rapping.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
My biggest advice would be to work on your craft and invest in yourself. The more you work on something, whether it’s mixing, mastering, deejaying, graphics, beats, etc. you only grow if you work on it. Also as far as investing in yourself, make your brand look good, sound good, and remember quality is everything.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I’ll say time management is the hardest. I work a job, have kids, DJ events, record other artists, have a clothing line among other things, and still have to make time for my own music. So balancing time is a big thing for me.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
I think videos before dropping my projects works well for me. People will click a video of an artist they don’t know before hearing a track from my experience. And also being seen around making yourself known.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I’m from the small city of Saginaw, Michigan. It’s a competitive vibe here. A lot of talent, but everybody wants to make it so support is low. Fans here are based on where you’re from, who you know, do we see you type of vibe. If your music is relatable and sounds good you’ll have some constant fans.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Doing more shows working to better my craft.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
I listen to a lot of life music so people like Kendrick, J. Cole, or even Anthony Hamilton are where I mainly get inspired. I listened to a little bit of everybody and base my music off emotions so I can spill any type of vibe with my music. Might make you happy, sad, mad, turned up; you never know what you’ll get.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I don’t have a problem with it really, it’s a new wave and everybody is hopping on. I would say I don’t like that everybody seems to have the same stories and things to talk about. Seeing originality has become too rare. It’s like you can listen to 1 of any of the artists and like it, but listen to another 1 and think, “Didn’t I hear this already.”
Where can we contact you and find you online?