“I feel like that’s what the industry lacks nowadays, that creativity back when everyone just did it for the love of the art. Now everyone does it for the love of a paycheck. We got to get back to the essence. The essence of just making great music.”
Check out the interview with Native Sunz exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: How were you able to start your journey in the entertainment business? Where did this all start?
Frank Reed of Native Sunz: I got my first set of turntables at the age of 11, they were a set of direct drive Gemini turntables and mad crates of vinyl. Imagine an 11 year old kid carrying out turntables and crates of albums out of a record store on Greenmount and 33rd Street in Baltimore.
I started out spinning records and making mixtapes for chicks in the neighborhood, then got into emceeing because of a bet I lost. From there I learned the production side and started recording in a few local studios learning engineering.
As far as Native Sunz, we’re all family blood relatives separated for about 15 years as children and were reunited due to the passing of a close family member. This in turn spawned Native Sunz.
What are some of the creative ways you use to promote your music?
Frank Reed: Some of the creative ways we promote our music is via social media platforms such as Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We have several channels on every platform including Tumblr. We also have several radio channels around the globe that broadcasts all our work. Spotify, Slacker Radio, and Xbox Music are a few our outlets. We also do licensing placement opportunities in movies, TV shows, video games, etc.
What is the greatest challenge you face in today’s entertainment business? How do you overcome them?
Stixx Jones: I think the biggest challenge I face as a producer is exposure, being that the industry is over saturated with bad products and as an independent group it makes it that much harder. Stixx Instrumentillz Volume 1 is available now on iTunes, Amazon, and TIDAL. Also be sure to get the Native Sunz LP. Shameless plug I had to throw that out there (laughs).
How is the music scene like in your hometown? What do you like about it and what don’t you like?
Frank Reed: Me personally? I feel it’s too segregated and too cliché meaning everyone is doing their own thing and staying within their own comfort zone with the exception of a select few. I feel like if we could work together and stand as one we can truly make a mark in this industry.
As far as Baltimore goes, it is the breeding ground for greatness. What I do like about our music scene is that no one is afraid to do their own thing. I feel like that’s what the industry lacks nowadays, that creativity back when everyone just did it for the love of the art. Now everyone does it for the love of a paycheck. We got to get back to the essence. The essence of just making great music.
Where do you think the future of music is going to be? How do you feel artists can be more a part of it?
J.Allen Queda: The future of music is going to become robotic with no actual lyrics. How can someone make a tight song with no actual words being used? The industry is putting out nothing but black degradation. The listeners seem to be split between a love it or hate it mentality.
What advice can you give to other upcoming artists and musicians trying to achieve success?
Frank Reed: The only advice I can give an upcoming artist is persevere. Don’t stop. There’ll be times when you want to quit. There’ll be times when people say it cannot be done. There’ll be times when you just want to party. Don’t stop, keep at it if you truly love it and stay the course.
What inspires you to write your next song?
Frank Reed: Vodka, next question (laughs). Life events, experiences, tragedies, triumph, etc.
What are the steps you take to make a song?
Frank Reed: Step 1, drink vodka. Step 2, produce the music. Step 3, drink more vodka and dig deep. Step 4, once finished recording and hours are spent perfecting the mix I drink more vodka.
What do you think makes a great song?
Frank Reed: I think what makes a great song is something that people can relate to regardless of creed, religion, differences, and similarities. Music has the power to unite people and it’s only through those differences that we realize how much similar we really are.
Where can we connect with you? Can you give us your social media links and where we can contact you?