“Always follow your heart and most importantly be yourself. Don’t follow trends, just create something original. It’s okay to be inspired by artists, but always have your own flavor. Don’t be afraid if you got the talent/skill to back you up.”

Check out the interview with Icez exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.

Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Icez: All of this started when I was 9 years old. My uncle introduced me to music and that’s when I became intrigued. Both my uncles and dad were in an old hip hop group called Catastrophe 3. I was destined to be a producer/artist. Around 2009 my production started to get a little buzz when I became involved with the Jerkin movement on the west coast. My cousins and I had made a name for ourselves and after that I went my own way to perfect my craft.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Don’t give up. Always follow your heart and most importantly be yourself. Don’t follow trends, just create something original. It’s okay to be inspired by artists, but always have your own flavor. Don’t be afraid if you got the talent/skill to back you up. Wait, don’t be afraid period. Also, network with people and don’t be shy or stuck up.

What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
I’m an artist and a producer at the same time, balancing projects can be exhausting. People think rapping and producing is fun and games. It is but you got to have patience and motivation when you create. Plus I suffer from anxiety and depression and it can mess with my creative process. I never let that get to me down because I know all of this will pay off in the long run.

We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Soundcloud, YouTube, blogging websites, music websites, performing, and etc. Just make yourself available on any platform. Remember money talks.

Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I’m from Stockton, California. It’s a small but rough city to grow up in. Artists out here are barely starting to stick together and make things work. It’s a tough place to get out of because there’s not a lot you can do here. You settle for a 9-5, the streets, or you take that risk. A lot of artists are starting to take that risk. The fans are more like supporters. They just hope to see you get out of here one day and fly.

Where do you see yourself a year from today?
I really hope I see myself growing as a producer. I would like to hear my beats and lyrics on a Kanye album. Dude is a mad scientist. Reminds me of myself.

Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
My biggest inspirations music wise are Dipset, Lil Wayne, Rakim, and so many more. Who do I look up to now? Really nobody but I am fan of Travis Scott, Drake, and Asap to name a few. My biggest inspiration non music wise is Muhammad Ali. His confidence was out this world. That’s how I want to be.

How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
The music that’s coming out today is actually really good sonically. I never thought hip hop would reach these kinds of levels. The beats and melodies are getting complex. The lyrics … we can do better. I actually love the auto-tune though. It creates a more distinctive melody in my opinion. You have to know what you’re doing with it though. The only thing that’s lacking is originality.

Where can we contact you and find you online?
Soundcloud: icezcopeland
YouTube: stocc12
Snapchat: Icezcopeland
Twitter: :@icezonoreoz
Instagram: @Icezcopeland
Facebook: Icez Da8th