“I lived in central Virginia my whole life up to a year ago. The whole Virginia/Carolina area is rich with musical talent. By taking a leap of faith and leaving my home state, I left on the table a role in an extremely promising musical group called Demise.”

Check out the interview with Golden Gripp exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Golden Gripp: Officially this all started for me from a music standpoint about four years ago. Primarily I was a freestyle artist and I rarely recorded my rhymes. It wasn’t until I fell into being a music journalist for an online art and music magazine that my writing ability began to take off and I discovered the community of talented artists in my home city’s flourishing hip hop scene.

It hasn’t stopped there as my visual art career has started to build momentum as well. I’ve been blessed enough to meet some of my personal heroes and collaborate with some truly talented people. I even branched out and auditioned for the lead role of an upcoming Steven Spielberg film. I’m only beginning to break in, or out, depending how you look at it.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
It’s been said before, but it can never be said enough: be yourself. There seems to be so much pressure to follow any number of crowds and to blend in. Being different is good. No, being different is essential. Staying open-minded and working with many different artists is important as well.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Being consistently productive isn’t always easy. It’s tough to get out there and even put my music out sometimes. I’m really introverted and would rather draw or write in my own mental space. The entire idea of leaving my day job and focusing solely on my art is a major challenge. It’s kind of like you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Word of mouth will always win, but these days social media is the way. I mainly promote on Facebook and Twitter or Instagram to put the word out about my music. Soundcloud is a major help for me artistically as well, not only in terms of distribution but also motivation.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Kansas City is amazing. You have Tech N9ne and the whole Strange Music family here. All of the artists and fans are obviously incredible. I lived in central Virginia my whole life up to a year ago. The whole Virginia/Carolina area is rich with musical talent. By taking a leap of faith and leaving my home state, I left on the table a role in an extremely promising musical group called Demise.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
More has changed for me in the last year than ever, so anything is possible a year from today. Ideally I see myself in the early stages of creating my own recording studio/art studio/gallery and building a brand, helping the community in turn by providing people a place to express themselves creatively and constructively.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif are two of my major musical inspirations. I’ve met Aesop a couple of times and his artistry continually inspires me. I can honestly say that his music changed my life forever. Mr. Lif made me believe in magic again. I don’t mean rabbit-from-a-hat magic either. I’m talking about actual spell craft. He’s like hip hop’s Doctor Strange.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
A lot of music that’s being released today is fresh and different. I’m doing my best to be optimistic here. True, there’s an overabundance of mediocre music flooding the internet but there’s also authentic-beautiful work to be found. Music has the power to heal the world, so of course I like that.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Soundcloud: goldengripp
Instagram: @DigitizedKnight
Twitter: @DigitizedKnight