“Instead of turning to a bottle and drugs knowing that my lil homie would not want this to ruin my life, I rose above and came back on the mic and studio twice as strong. So to answer the question, there are bigger challenges in life than in music. Music may be the least challenging thing.”
Check out the interview with Webby D exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
Skilly: Where did this all start? Tell us about your journey in the entertainment business.
Webby D: It all started at a very young age growing up in the Era of groups like De La Soul, Public Enemy, Beastie Boys, RUN DMC, BDP, etc. I loved hip hop from the beginning and joined with the skateboard culture I heard a lot of dope music in the golden 90’s era. Anyone who loves hip hop is familiar with this era, but I was about 7 years old when I noticed that I was loving the beat and slang. I started trying to put phrases and rhymes down in about 93/94 at around 12 or 13 years old, but it didn’t get serious for me until I reached my mid-teens.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for the young kids out there trying to do what you do?
My advice is to never give up and only keep making music for yourself and the love of it before anything. Also learn to take constructive critic even if it hurts to hear because if you are like me, you will take it in and use it to learn to get better and prove all the naysayers wrong.
I believe that if you improve as a person you will improve as an artist, at least it has worked that way for me. And last thing is to be perceptive, perception can translate in to creativity and inspiration is absolutely everywhere. Convert your perception into sharp creativity and you will never have writers block.
What are some of the hardest challenges and tasks in your position?
The hardest thing in my position is gaining exposure without a strong financial backing, but you got to keep pushing. Two years ago my cousin Taylor Rankin who was more like a little brother died tragically in a cliff diving accident in Jamaica and it absolutely crushed me. Instead of turning to a bottle and drugs knowing that my lil homie would not want this to ruin my life, I rose above and came back on the mic and studio twice as strong. So to answer the question, there are bigger challenges in life than in music. Music may be the least challenging thing.
We all know the entertainment business is very tough, but what do you find is the best way to promote and advertise your music?
For me, the only way without financial support being an indie artist is to utilize the internet assets. Research a way to build a studio for a reasonable cost, make a Facebook fan page, upload songs to Soundcloud and YouTube, tour even if you have to take your moms minivan, network with other artists, build your social media network base, and share your music as much as you can. If you have an ill product you will get noticed.
Tell us about your city. How are the artists and the fans?
I come from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. It is a small city that has massive talent that gets slept on a lot. This is where Paul Shaffer came from and actually an old friend of mine, Coleman Hell, is just blowing up internationally out of here. As far as the hip hop scene goes, there is some real talent here and the shows keep getting bigger and bigger. The fans I can’t say enough about because they make it possible. This place has been called “the mistake by lake,” but I call it “the slept on giant” based after our large mountain land mark The Sleeping Giant.
Where do you see yourself a year from today?
A year from today I see myself making more music and still wildin’ out at live shows. If I get paid great, if not I will still make music. When I was a kid my dream was to make it big in the industry, but now I realize it was just to have my own home studio in my own house to have access to it whenever I want. I have achieved that, some could say I am living the dream right now.
Who and what were your biggest inspirations? Who do you look up to in today’s world?
I have a ton of influences, you could basically take the whole NY catalogue from 1988-2000 and add them with pinch of west coast NWA and Tupac. I would have to say my biggest influences are the RZA from The Wu-Tang Clan because of his brilliance in business and as a producer and emcee. Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest for the same reasons and the fact that he is a lunatic perfectionist which I have become in my recent years. Del the Funkee Homosapian influenced me largely lyrically with his insane vocabulary and smooth flow and the same goes for Big L and Nas.
How do you feel about the music coming out today? Do you like it?
I am feeling a few artists like J Cole, Hopsin, Afro, and a few others. I come across some nice new stuff from time to time. The industry will always drop that watered down auto tune stuff and I am not a huge fan, but I embrace it all because at the end of the day I am an artist who respects anyone out there doing it.