Check out the new song from C.J. Luckey – Story Time
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
First and foremost I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for placing me here in this position today. Secondly, I want to thank you guys at WWS magazine for the opportunity to be interviewed and featured in your magazine.
I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I started rapping when I was 15. I used to freestyle at the lunch table with friends or on the bus for my teammates while traveling to basketball games. I didn’t start writing and recording songs until the age of 17. I was pretty raw at the time, so I put a lot of work into my craft to get better. I spent countless hours in the studio, staying up all night with no sleep, sometimes I even forgot to eat! I had to force myself to take a break. That’s just how much I love music.
My big brother and producer Michael Florence took me under his wing and showed me how to write my songs properly and how to display passion through my music. My goal as an artist is to grow and improve in every aspect. In every song, every feature, every mixtape, I want to give the very best of me. I hope the fans hear the growth and maturity in my music. My passion and desire to make an impact through music by using my God given talent is the reason I am where I am today.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
The song I’m promoting as of right now is a song I wrote called Story Time off my mixtape The Transition. The song is very personal and I talk about two good friends of mine, both male and female, who went through some tough trials and tribulations in their life. I’m basically telling their testimony. They felt like they were stuck in their situations and I rap about how God can turn a bad situation into a good one. The beat is very smooth and it was fitting for a story like song.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
I would say finding out what exactly makes me different from other artists. It was challenging to find that balance between being different enough to stand out but still being myself. I think some artist go to the extreme to try to stand out and I’m not knocking them, to each his own. I just wanted to make sure I give people the real me.
I wanted to make sure I established my own unique sound, especially being a rapper from Dallas, TX. I have come across several people who automatically counted me out thinking I made nothing but dance songs. My city is known for making popular dance songs and that’s cool, but we also have some lyricist too. I’m willing to prove that to whoever is willing to listen.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
One of my biggest setbacks I would say is when my parents separated. At the time I was devastated. I didn’t know how to handle the two people I loved dearly being separated. I was shocked and confused. Plus I was two states away in college playing ball at the time. I was deeply hurt by it. My grades starting slipping and I started diving off into temptations I had no business being involved in. I even stopped doing music completely.
The effect of that event definitely took its toll on me. I wasn’t open to letting other friends and family know I was hurting. I always kept that kind of stuff to myself and I let it build up into anger and frustration. I prayed and asked God for help and as always He delivered. I picked my pen back up and I started to vent through my songs. Music is an outburst of the soul. Music is what “feelings” sound like. That’s why music is such a blessing because it allows me to express myself the best way I know how and that’s through writing and recording.
I was able to cope with my parents separation by writing about it. So I was able to bounce back and get back on the right track. My parents also got back together and ended the separation. To God be the glory for that.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
I think artists need to know you can’t be too “sensitive” and too “thin skinned” if you want to make it in the music business. For every one hater that you may have, there are at least five other people who appreciate what you do. Make sure you focus on the positive. Believe in yourself but don’t get gassed off of your own hype. Keep a humble disposition.
We all know an artist can be hot today but then gone tomorrow. So be sure to stay humble, relative, and innovate. Also, too many artists, known and unknown, let others handle their financial affairs and they are taken advantage of. Overall my point is as you enter the music world, tread carefully and know what type of people you are dealing with.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
First and foremost, it is critical that you determine and clearly identify your primary market. Your funds and energy then can be spent more efficiently. I would say definitely work smarter, not harder, when executing your plan of strategy. Make sure everything you do musically is high quality. Perfect your craft! First impression means a lot in music. Just because you’re an independent artist does not mean that you should put less effort into writing, performing, mixing and mastering your songs.
You always want to put your best foot forward. People don’t just buy your music, they buy your lifestyle, your brand and your movement as well. As an artist, you want to convert fans into supporters. It can be tough being an independent artist but give them a reason to buy your music, merchandise, or pay to see you perform. Make them part of the experience.
Lastly try to find newer routes to promote your music instead of following the heard. Don’t get discouraged when things aren’t going in the direction you want. I know it can be tough booking shows and doing shameless promotion. Keep God first and keep pushing forward, things will definitely work out for you.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Definitely social media. Twitter, Facebook, Reverbnation, YouTube, Bandcamp, etc. Social media is a great way to promote shows, new songs or videos. It’s also a great way for me to network with other artists for possible collaborations or performing in shows together. Everyone nowadays is involved in the social media world. I think it’s a great way to promote my music.
Where can people visit you?