“I’ll never forget we were in Germany for the first time in a small town selling CDs in the streets and a small kid walked up to me. He handed me his mp3 player headphones and he was playing my first single …”
Check out the interview with Mic Bles exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Mic Bles: I started in the music scene in the 805 Oxnard. In the late 90’s/early 2000’s the local scene really started to bubble with all the hip hop coming out of the city and we were right in the mix of all that. Backstage parties, street ciphers, graffiti, and all that.
From then on I began making a name for myself with my crew JDI (Jus Da Ill Music) with mixtapes and videos. Fast forward years later, we went to Europe and Asia. He opened for legends and headlined on the strength of independent hip hop.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
We’ve always been independent, no publicist or label money. Staying active on your social media is important and being available to your fans and giving back to them. Being a physical presence is important as well, getting out there and touching the people. Best way to promo is to be visible with merch, stickers, multimedia, website, etc. Most of all build a team with a common goal.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
A legend and a business owner.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
I always like to look at things as challenges. The biz is always evolving. The challenge now is that music is free and the market is saturated. You have to really be diverse in your streams of income. Being in music comes with sacrifice, you have to be committed.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
Oxnard’s on the coast of California and the weather is always good. I always say Oxnard and the 805 area as a whole is like a breeding ground of hip hop. Many artists have come from here and continue to make waves coming out of this area. Overall, living out here is dope. I can catch waves, rock a show, and hit a club all in one day.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Invest in yourself and your art. It will show in your promotion and music. Stay true to yourself and your music, be authentic. Work on your craft. Get your Hustle on, keep your grind tight, stay focused, keep your mind right, and stay hungry when you’re in the limelight.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
I can’t say I have a definitive best moment, but there are many highlights I’ll never forget. The best moments for me are hearing from fans or people in general. I’ll never forget we were in Germany for the first time in a small town selling CDs in the streets and a small kid walked up to me. He handed me his mp3 player headphones and he was playing my first single, “The Legacy,” which at the time was years old. Those are the moments I live for.
What is your inspiration?
Inspiration comes from a lot of different places for me. Life in general, hardships, music, traveling. I also want my music to be inspiring for listeners. I always say if I can do for others what music did for me, I did my job.
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
It depends on what success means to you. If that means money or monetary success then yes. Rappers have been breaking out or going viral overnight and making a lot of money. Seems more so lately than ever. But with no foundation to stand, it’s typically short lived. When you climb through the ranks and have a solid fan base you can achieve longevity and be around for a long time. At the end of the day, success is what you make it.
Where can we find you on social media?
Official Website: www.blessthemicrophone.com