“The artists are unique because Arizona doesn’t have a specific sound. Before I saw that as a hindrance, but I know now that it’s awesome because we have the chance to create the sound.”
Check out the interview with MastodonRare exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
MastodonRare: You can almost say I had two beginnings. A friend of mine convinced me that I should rap. So that got me going. I did that for a minute with my little circle, spitting verses here and there until eventually another friend took me to his cousin’s house to actually record.
There I recorded my first real meaningful song dedicated to my mother, brother, and sister. I had an idea for a song so I asked people who wanted to be on it. That’s when Way hit me up like, “I wanna help you out.” He gave me his number and invited me up to Mesa to record and that’s the moment I truly began. Things were serious from then on.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Find out who you are and be that, be the best at that. It’s so cliché I know, but there are so few artists that only wanna be themselves; especially here in Arizona. I wanted to be Eminem or T.I., but that’s not me. Those are two of my favorites, but my story is not theirs and theirs is not mine. If I’m gonna get anywhere, I have to be true to myself first.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Exposure and support. I’ve known for the longest that talent is not what gets you famous. Not to say famous people aren’t talented, but they would be nothing without exposure and support. You don’t know betrayal until you share a song on Facebook where your family can see it and none of them can at least share or like the post. Meanwhile, they’re sharing me memes about Kim Kardashian and DaQuan, both of whom give 0 fucks about the people sharing these posts.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
Facebook ads. I’m so glad I found out about it too. For like $20 I got my video thousands of plays through Facebook ads and with $5 I was able to push past 100 likes on my page as well. It’s cheap and gets you in front of the people.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
There’s love here, you just gotta find it. The fans will respond either to what’s put in front of them or what’s just good. The artists are unique because Arizona doesn’t have a specific sound. Before I saw that as a hindrance, but I know now that it’s awesome because we have the chance to create the sound.
We only have a few big artists here. Futuristic, a very unique artist, and Injury Reserve, who are completely left field. Arizona is in its infantile stages in hip hop, but the artists I just mentioned are paving the way and I hope to be hot on their trails.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
Progressing. I learned so much in 2015 and met so many amazing people and artists like Way, Gxldxn, Turo Sivirian, and DZE. I have a little team of diverse talents to work with and I can only go up from here really. This year I wanna get recognized on the street by at least one person I have never met before. I wanna get a song to 1k+ plays in less than 8 months. I have so many aspirations right now that a year seems so far away.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
Perseverance has always been an inspiration to me. I love to see the underdog win, against any odds. I love it when you can give that extra inch or go that extra mile and basically just keep pushing when you wanna just give up and the moment you keep going is the moment it all comes together.
I think I’ve always found myself in the down, but not out characters in life. People like Eminem give that vibe off, he’s been kicked around so much that he just said fuck it. That’s basically where I’m headed attitude-wise. I’m making happier music now because I don’t give a damn about the people who choose to wait until I’m buzzing or famous to act right.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I do, to an extent. I listen past the music though. I can’t be a fan of an artist like Drake no matter how good the song is if I know he didn’t write it. There’s no work in that. I wanna hear the long nights and passion in your music or I don’t wanna hear it.
I like people like Corbin (FKA Spooky Black), Sylvan LaCue, Logic, Eminem, Asher Roth, Futuristic, Joell Ortiz; basically spitters and people bred through pain.
Where can we contact you and find you online?
Official Website: www.MastodonRare.com