“Study, and own your craft. Make it yours. Original, and most of all, do not stop. Never. Ever. Stop.”
Check out the interview with Whitehawk TheBeatMasta exclusively on Skilly Magazine Online.
SKILLY: Tell us where this all began. What is your history in the music scene?
Whitehawk: Honestly, I’ve never really been in any type of music scene. To this day, I have yet to perform anywhere, but I have a feeling that will soon change. Though my music journey started in Arkansas, where I was born and raised. Throughout high school, I performed in Choir, leading to a Choir scholarship at a local community college. While attending, I was introduced to music making software from a friend, and I was hooked immediately. I began teaching myself how to make beats, record, produce, mix, and master; though for the longest time I was focused on making good beats. I would spend days working on just one instrumental. Many very long nights, but it was worth it. Very soon, I will be releasing 92 of the first instrumentals I made; roughly 7.5 hours of content, that I never made into full songs for various reasons. After I began recording full songs, I would hand out CDs around town, just giving them out. It wasn’t about the money. It never has been. To this day, I have yet to see a dime made from my music, but I make music; because, I feel God called me to. I want to change this world for the better, and I believe music is my way of attempting that. The goal is to make hard enough beats that a gangsta would give props, but lyrics humble enough that even a Christian would listen. If I never see any financial income from my music, that will be ok. What matters is the impact the music has on the listener. If I cause just a handful to stop, and really evaluate the world we live in, then that will be enough for me. After we die, we can’t take material things with us anyway. So why waste our lives striving for things that are so temporary? It’s all about helping people. That’s why I do it, and because I felt I was called to. It really is more than a passion. I don’t have words really to explain how much this music means to me.
What are the best ways to promote yourself as an artist? Any tips you can give us?
Honestly, I couldn’t tell you. I haven’t made it. I still work a regular day job, and make music in my free time when I’m not researching something, or learning something new. I just promote face to face with strangers, and give out CDs to anyone, and everyone with my internet links on the disc. I talk to people. I share music through Facebook, and post my music in comments on youtube videos and other sites. I just share the music wherever possible. I feel like I’m spamming sometimes, but what are independent artists supposed to do when all of our money is tied up to take care of bills, and families? It’s all about the money. It sucks, but that’s the world we live in. Not trying to be a negative nancy, but promotion can be tricky when there is no money involved.
What do you ultimately want to become in your career?
Whatever God wants me to be. I’ve learned the hard way the He knows best for our lives. We may think we know what is best for our lives, and it may seem like a good path when we are thinking on it, but I’ve learned the hard way that Jesus will always know best. With that said, I just want to make music for a living. Whether it is for video games, movies, t.v. shows, etc..
I just love making music. It’s beautiful. Like the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” I feel instrumentals, even without lyrics tell Novels all on their own. To answer this question more specifically, I would enjoy in the future, my label “Mentally Unstable Productions”, becoming an extreme success with artist who provide deep emotion packed songs, with meaningful lyrics that cut to the core of a person’s psyche which help the listener on a spiritual level, with a divergent selection of different genres.
What is the hardest thing about being in the music business?
I don’t even feel as though I am in the “Music Business”. I make music. That’s what I do. I put it out there to make available. Then I make more. Yet, my plans, I feel, exceed this “Music Business”. I’m aiming for more. I care not about a ‘spotlight’, or my name in gold. Metaphorically speaking. I’m not after riches or fame. I just want people to think more. To analyze their environment. There is more to this life. I’m just trying to stir up a fire in people’s souls to make change. Not just demand it.
What is it like in your city? What is the music scene like, and how is it like living there overall?
Currently, I live in Ashtabula, Ohio. Small town, but I’m surprised after moving here less than a year ago at the amount of local artists here. In an unbiased answer, I feel here there is too much “beef”, and not enough collaboration. Everyone is doing there own thing, and I get that, but two is better than one. There is some real talent here, but there are talented people everywhere.
What are some of advice you can give and share to other artists who are still trying to come up?
Never quit. If you truly love doing what you do. Don’t stop. Don’t let the thought of money trouble you. All good things take time. Just keep patience, and keep learning. My grandma always told me, “Knowledge is the one thing that cannot be stolen from you.” Study, and own your craft. Make it yours. Original, and most of all, do not stop. Never. Ever. Stop. It’s ok to take breaks, but never let that time off turn into retirement, of course, unless it’s that time in your career.
What is the best thing that’s ever happened in your career?
Cannot really answer this question; because, I have yet to make music a career.
What is your inspiration?
My love for the art. It’s sort of spiritual. I don’t really feel it’s me sometimes writing a song, or making a beat. I mean, I know it’s me physically, but If I could explain that focus, the intensity, I would be lost for words. Then a lot of the times, I question if the art is all me. What’s really causing the lyrics to randomly pop/play in my head? Where is this ‘music’ coming from? When I can’t explain something, the only other place to go for me is God. Jesus. I’ve had a handful of supernatural experiences in my young life, and have witnessed things I cannot explain without God being in the conversation. My music is kind of one of those, ‘things’.
God/Jesus, is my inspiration, but listening to my music, you probably wouldn’t think that, but I’m not trying to lie about the person I am. I smoke. I drink, and I cuss, but believe me when I tell you, God is my Father. He has made Himself known in my life too many times to be written off; because, another human being has different views for their own reasoning. I have reasons I believe the way I do. Just like the next person, but I’m not going to lie, and say I’m any better than anyone else. So how do I do that? I keep it real. In all sense of the meaning. Jesus saves. I sin. He is my inspiration; because, He has proven His existence in my life, and He is the soul reason I make music. I am nothing more than a messenger, and this is how He sent me. Imperfect, just like everyone else. Why be what we are not?
Do you feel anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music?
For sure. It almost seems like they just go to random places, find some young kid, make a proposal, and you have the next ‘Lil Skittlez’, that makes a bunch of money, off of horrible music. So yeah. Anyone can be successful now in today’s world of music. It’s all about how big your wallet is. Just remember. If it becomes all about the money, the music will never last.
Where can we find you on social media?
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