“And don’t listen to haters. Any time you take to respond to them, is time you are not using to get better.”
Check out the interview with Thee United Empire exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Thee United Empire: We got together around 2007/2008. We came up with the name T.U.E. (Thee United Empire) on the fly with some friends and it stuck. We’ve had sold out shows and shows with 20 people. We love to perform. All that hard work and we were finally able to release our EP Rise of an Empire in February 2017. And as far as we’re concerned, sky’s the limit. Still working, performing, and grinding.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
Just never stop doing what you love. Take advice, take criticism, and most importantly stay humble because odds are you aren’t as good as you think you are. Always be ready to work and try and get better and work on your craft. And don’t listen to haters. Any time you take to respond to them, is time you are not using to get better.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
Our biggest issues up here where we live is getting local bars and establishments to want to try and appeal to a hip hop crowd. A lot of owners and GMs are kind of set in their ways and don’t want hip hop in their businesses. The leading hip hop artists now in Fargo-Moorhead are good business men and are willing to work with anyone.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
About a year ago the answer would have been Facebook, but even in that time things have changed. Now it’s just making something memorable. Whether it be the poster, a promo video, someone that’s going to grab someone’s attention to make them say “Hey man, you need to see this” and share it.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
Fargo-Moorhead is great. People up here know how to have a good time. Local artists used to have real competitive relationships, and we still do to some degree, but it used to be nasty, dirty, and ugly. Now we all are able to work together and build each other up. The fans are a unique breed. No one likes the same thing.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from today just hoping we are performing around the country. People listening to our music and partying with people all over the U.S. I can’t ask for more than that.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
C.J.: God number one. My family and friends inspire me to be great in different way. Musically, Ludacris and Nelly have flows that I personally relate to. And I enjoy the way they and Usher, T-Pain and Ne-Yo tell stories with their songs.
BigMike: For me it’s definitely the man above, God himself. My family, friends, and fans. What musically inspired me was the late 90’s and early 2000’s hip hop and r&b. Tupac, Biggie, Bone Thugs, Nas – I could go on and on.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
C.J.: I feel like music these days is literally hit or miss. You may like, you may not. And even if you do, it’s more about the song and not the artist. There are so many one or two hit wonders in the hip hop game right now; it’s getting sad.
BigMike: Today’s music is so dumbed down I really don’t listen to what’s on the radio or the hottest hits anymore. I feel like they have no talent and mumble rappers aren’t for me. I give them props for the success they’ve had or are having.
Where can we contact you and find you online?
Instagram: @cjtrack1| @bigmike_tue
Twitter: @cjtrack1 | @thisistue
Facebook: T.U.E. (Thee United Empire)